Welcome to my stop on the Shadow of Deception blog tour! The full schedule can be seen HERE.
Shadow of Deception by Sophia L. Johnson (The Kazumi Chronicles, #1) Publication date: April 9th 2015 Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
2153, Toronto, United Nation of North America (UNNA)A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself.Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.Shadow of Deception is the gold medal winner at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.
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Excerpt from Shadow of Deception – The Kazumi Chronicles #1
“Drop your weapons, or she dies!” The man squeezes my throat to emphasize his point.
My face contorts in pain and more stars appear in my line of vision. The world begins to dim. On the brink of collapse, I see Finn dropping all of his weapons. Just when cyanosis kicks in, the man releases my neck just enough for me to gasp a big lung-full of air before he tightens his grip again. The brief relief makes things worse. It’s like being woken up from the edge of unconsciousness so that you can feel another stab of pain. The agony is renewed and intensified after that short reprieve, further sending me into excruciating hell.
I stare at Finn with bloodshot eyes, trying to capture every detail of his charming face, because I know this will be the last time I lay eyes on him.
He walks slowly, cautiously, toward us with such fierceness in his eyes. His fists held so tight that even I can see the blanched knuckles. He looks beyond angry—like his suppressed rage is barely contained in a pressurized bottle, and some of the steam is already hissing and leaking from the seam. He is about to burst at any moment.
“So we meet again Mr. Finnegan O’Riley.” My captor says with venomous sarcasm.
Hearing Finn’s full name for the first time shocks my system, temporarily reviving me.
Finn glowers at the man. “Let. Her. Go.”
The man loosens his grip on my neck as if in compliance. I regain airflow to my lungs, but only in short, restrained breaths.
“Why do we always find ourselves in this situation Mr. O’Riley?”
My senses are back and I can hear the man’s deep, raspy voice clearly. It belongs to someone older. But there’s a strange familiarity to his scent—cheap cigar mixed with poor oral hygiene.
Have I met him before? I certainly hope not because he is clearly a Neuronic. Still holding my neck with his right hand, the man sighs, releasing a warm stinky breath against my hair. The putrid stench is almost as suffocating as his grip. He seems calm though, too calm for someone who’s about to kill or to be killed.
“She has nothing to do with this. Release her and we’ll settle this once and for all.” Finn says warily.
“She has everything to do with this,” the man snarls.
Then I feel a subtle squeeze on my left arm. Is he trying to signal something to me? Maybe he has no intention of hurting me.
He just tried to squeeze the life out of you. Do you call that unintentional? I want to slap myself for being so naive.
Finn is now joined by the rest of the Elites. They all came out of the crossfire relatively unscathed. The enemies on the other hand are sprawled across the warehouse in blood-soaked purple robes.
The Elites stand a few paces behind Finn, looking firm and unyielding. I can tell by their expressions that they’re more annoyed than concerned. To me, it translates to what has she done now? I know full well the hatred in their eyes is not directed at my captor. I have become their liability once again.
I had my first adventure at the age of nine when I flew halfway across the globe all by myself, not knowing a word of English. I was lucky my parents didn’t decide to cheap out and ship me as a parcel instead. But all jokes aside, it was because of financial and physical limitations that I had to fly to Canada solo. It was a great adventure for a nine year-old girl to be honest; aside from the puking, the starvation due to inedible raw vegetables and smelly goo of which I later found out were called salad and cheese. But I made it. I reunited with my parents and soon welcomed my baby brother to the world.
Twenty-, I have a beautiful daughter of my own and a loving husband. We all live in Toronto, enjoying the cultural diversity the city offers. The only adventures I get to have nowadays is by living vicariously through my characters.