Welcome to my stop on the True Born blog tour! I'm super excited to share an awesome top 10 list with you below. You can see the full schedule HERE.
Book Title: True Born
Author: L.E. Sterling
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy
Your fate is in your blood…
Welcome to Dominion City. After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair. The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared… And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are. When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic leader, Nolan Storm, and the beautiful but deadly Jared, who tempts her as much as he infuriates her. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters? As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.
Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114621-true-bor
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0
Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-born-le-sterling/112253795
iBooks Buy Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-born/id1046533172
Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/true-born
Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/true-born/
“Isn’t it a little weird that we have to do our tests again? Was there some kind of mistake with the first one?” Margot says it innocently enough, a slight twang to her voice to match the nurse’s rabble-like twang.
“Well, hon, sometimes they get mixed signals, you know? Like when you think a boy likes you but then he goes all hot and cold?” She winks. Margot’s fingers tighten on mine.
“Uh huh.” Margot nods. “So there’s a problem with your machines? Or with the staff?”
The nurse frowns. “Not this staff. They’re five-star amazing. Must have just been a bad sample or something. Try not to worry about it, sweetie.” She pats Margot’s arm just before she shoves the needle in my sister’s vein.
I squirm on my seat. The skin on my arm crawls from the sharp pain originating in my sister’s arm. Relaxed beside me, Margot doesn’t move a muscle. She knows what I’m feeling even if she can’t do anything about it. This is just how it is with us.
“How much are you going to take this time?” My voice shakes as our coltish nurse comes around to me and drives a needle into my arm. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as Margot’s did. Our hands stay folded together. There’s a note in our file about letting us. One of the perks of being born us.
“Oh.” For the first time she looks a little dismayed. “I’m sorry, hon. Didn’t they tell you? We gotta go through the whole protocol again. The whole shebang.”
My twin and I did know. We’d been told. Still, it bothers us. A full day’s worth of giving blood, going through tests, having your organs measured and documented. Urine samples, more blood samples, hair samples. We’d already been through this two times in the last two months. We no longer believe they’d gotten “bad” samples—not that we’re going to let on to the nurse.
And funny thing is, each time we come, the Protocols Nurse is new. This is the third we’ve had, each as clueless as the last.
We know better than to ask our parents. The deepening silence and constant rounds of testing and lies must mean the news is the worst. Late at night we lie together, holding hands and whispering under the deep canopy of one or other of our beds. We’ve thought about what it will mean if one of us turns out to be a Laster. We’ve talked until dawn about what we’d want, what we’d do. I tell Margot I’d want to go with her, but she’s against the idea.
“One of us needs to survive,” she said to me, her gray-green eyes as serious as I’ve ever seen them.
“What if it’s not that?” I asked her.
“What do you mean?” “What if we’re, you know,” the words mere whispers, “True Born?”
Guest Post: Top 10
The world of True Born is complex, dark and chaotic – but contrary to what you might think, it isn’t all make-believe. I wanted Dominion City to resonate with readers almost like another character in the book, and so I built the world to be as multi-dimensional as I could, so I drew from a heck of a lot of history, past and present.
How multi-dimensional, you may ask? Read on to discover 10 hidden facets to the world of True Born!
1. “Magic Bombs”: Nanotechnology is real! For instance: I interviewed biomedical engineers / scientists who are using DNA and extremely tiny gold particles to create biosensors to rapidly detect diseases and treat diseases. With this DNA-nanotechnology biosensor, a single drop of blood could tell researchers if a patient has a specific disease (like malaria or even HIV). The biosensor will recognize the DNA of a specific disease, and when that disease is present, the biosensor will change colors. The amount of disease present in the patient’s blood sample will even alert scientists as to how progressed the disease is by how great the color change is. I used this kind of nanotechnology as the basis for some of the more ‘fantastical” elements of True Born, like the “magic bombs” (which aren’t magic at all).
2. Disease-resistant True Borns: It is a scientific fact that despite levels of pollution that affect animals and humans alike, animals are significantly less likely to develop cancer (or other environmental diseases) in their lifetime. In fact, elephants, which, because of their enormous size, should develop cancers at an astronomical rate, actually almost never contract cancer. Why? Scientists have recently discovered that they have a number of genes that act like “smoke alarms” that kill off cancer cells. Where humans would fall sick, animals have naturally-evolved adaptive strategies to combat diseases. This is the kind of DNA-based thinking behind the True Borns in the novel.
3. Genetics Class systems: In True Born, people are classified by their ability to survive the Plague or rich enough to undergo gene therapy, yet the True Borns, who are genetically resistant to the disease, are nevertheless not considered “part” of society. The idea of organizing society around genetics is, sadly, not new. Under the reign of Hitler, Nazi Germany upheld a nationwide eugenics program aimed at cultivating a desired set of characteristics while excluding a number of communities (those of Jewish descent, Roma (gypsy) descent, aboriginals and homosexuals) from society. And, well…the rest is history.
4. Identi-pads: Retinal and other bio-security scanners such as the ones that appear in True Born were conceived of as early as the 1930s but weren’t actually developed into a working model until 1981. Now, of course, they are becoming a staple of security and are already used as security features in airports and other high security places.
5. NewsFeeds like the ones in True Born are actually already in existence! Feed-like news is rapidly replacing traditional media like television and newspaper news sources - one story, for instance, is often carried by hundreds of online and print outlets as an “imprint.” In some places in the world, news and information is restricted to what has been approved by the government. The NewsFeeds in True Born operate in exactly this way.
6. Cloud Cover and Rain: The strange weather in Dominion City is not as fantastical as it sounds. 1816, for instance, was famously known as the “Year Without A Summer.” Thanks to a massive volcanic eruption, ash covered the atmosphere over much of the world, blanketing out the sun. Crops failed and the climate went through an abrupt “mini ice age” pattern. This climate abnormality is something I mined for Dominion, though in the novel this is the result of a human-caused environmental disaster rather than a natural one.
7. Flux Storms: The Flux storms pictured in True Born are not science fiction, but a direct extrapolation of the current global warming trend. Last year, the global temperature was 0.75 degrees hotter than the long-term average (between 1961-1990). This spike in temperature has been blamed for catastrophic weather incidents, including a marked increase in tornados, desertification, wildfires, floods, landslides, and other “natural” disasters.
8. Class Systems: By now almost everyone is aware that the greatest amount of wealth is owned by a very small proportion of the population. But do you know by how much? Numbers released by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) this year indicate that the world’s richest 62 individuals own as much as half the world’s 7.4 Billion people. True Born’s Upper Circle is an exact reflection of this inverse wealth relationship.
9. Hot Guys with Antlers: There is one depiction of Cernunnos, sometimes known as Herne the Hunter, from Celtic mythological history. Cernunnos is depicted as having antlers, sitting cross-legged (with a human body), with a snake in his hand. Though very little is known about this figure, his half-human/half-animal appearance is not as odd as it seems. Throughout history there are scores of Gods, and even kings and queens, depicted through anthropomorphism. Just look at the Egyptian gods and pharaohs. It’s not so far of a stretch, then, to assume that at least some of these figures are in the process of changing from animal to human and back again – or, at the very least, that they have this ability.
10. Witches: It’s unclear whether the so-called “witches” who appear in True Born are actual witches, and the fact that they remain a hidden society in the book is a pattern that plays out in history. Whether or not witches who practice magic are “real” (and though scholars differ widely on the number) it’s thought that 35,000 to 500,000 women were murdered, and more tortured, between 1200 and 1700 AD.
L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Author Website: le-sterling.com
Author Twitter: @le_sterling
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LESterling22/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LESterling
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