Monday, December 2, 2013

Can Eva Save Them? #FREEDOM

Hey peeps-
L.J. here, and I just have to share about a book I just read. It's Clone - The Book of Eva by D.L. Jackson. Now, we've had Ms. Jackson on our blog several times and it's always been a blast (and we'll have her on again soon....heh heh). But her latest release is so compelling, so different from her previous works that I plan to grab my trusty ice cream scoop and dig deeeep.
Let's start by saying, I've read most everything D.L. Jackson has written. Great romance stories for sure. Military, Sci-fi, preppers, the list goes on and on. But this story? It's nothing like she's written before.
I need to make it clear...Clone - The Book of Eva is NOT a romance story. Yes, Ms. Jackson writes amazing, wonderful (and some OMG steamy) romances. But this ain't her usual box o' chocolates (i.e. no guaranteed HEA). This story grabs you by the throat and makes you wish you could change events that you already know are going to happen. Yep, they're made clear, right up there ain't no escaping it. But it's the getting there that gets to you. And don't get me wrong, there are plenty of love themes going on here -- longing for love, finding love and losing it, giving up love for a greater cause, having true love at last but not realizing it's real. Clone - The Book of Eva is a story about love and it's many aspects. (In truth, there are a lot of other things going on through the book, too. But I'll let you discovers those for yourself.)

Clone - The Book of Eva is a story that haunts you long after you finish it. Not just the characters (that are deep and well drawn) but the world itself. It's rich in detail, painting a future that is off-kilter in ways that will make your skin crawl and your stomach clench. I'm not talking about blood and guts horror, but more of the psychological nature. This book gets into your head because it's so plausible -- from the way clones are created, why they are grown, and what their lives become. <shiver>

But amid all this, there is hope. And Ms. Jackson uses this hope in ways that will have you longing for a different outcome (even though the outcome is spelled out up front, and in truth it's the only realistic answer). I was holding my breath as the world she'd created teetered on an axis that had been methodically chipped away by its characters -- some who hold great power, and others who are seemingly nobodies.

Again, this is NOT a romance story by any means. But more of a love story. And Ms. Jackson's love for this world and the characters she's created is very clear. I look forward to digging deep with another interview. Now...where did I put that ice cream scoop??

the book of Eva
by D.L. Jackson

....When a world leader’s daughter meets a clone, a doomed love affair begins.
....In the year 2087, a great war erupts on the planet and a struggle to survive begins. One hundred-fifty years later, the continent of America is divided into two factions, Aeropia and The United Regions. There is a shortage of food and an abundance of illness, leaving most to live on the scraps of the wealthy who wallow in excess.
....This is the world Olivia Braun inherits. Sick from birth, she wakes up from surgery with a new heart, only to discover she is the youngest president of Aeropia, an empire that has created and used clones to maintain their position of supremacy since the war. However, Olivia’s rise to power is no accident. Before her transplant, she conspired with a clone to free those enslaved, but the outcome is not what she expected.
....Now, enemies hide among the population, and even friends can no longer be trusted. Olivia must make a choice that will decide the fate of an empire. Before her tale of corruption, forbidden love and war ends, the mighty will be brought to their knees.
....By a clone.


Where to find D.L. Jackson: website | blog | Facebook | Goodreads

....Eva stared at the crowd forty floors below. Her toes hung over the ledge. She didn’t draw a breath or feel alarm in the tightening of her belly as most would when they faced death. The people clustered around the gates and paced along the street, appearing as nothing more than bugs she could squash under her heel. Tininess aside, the roar of fright reached her, rumbling through flesh and bone.
....They’d gathered around the palace because of the riots. They wanted her sympathy, her reassurance things would continue as usual, that the towers they’d built for themselves would not collapse.
....The Aeropite Commander of Joint Forces, General Michael Axis, stood near her on the deck, clutching the rail, as though he dared not get any closer than the ten feet that separated them. His knuckles were as white as his face, and for the first time since they’d met, he truly looked frightened. All he’d worked for threatened to die with her, and his soldiers, collared for the moment, were about to be released. He could do nothing about it.
....The wind whipped loose tendrils of her coif, beating the strands against her face in an angry assault. The fine silk of her suit snapped around her like a banner in a hurricane. For the first time in her life, she knew her purpose, had no fears. Concede. Die. Fight. Live forever.
....“Madam President, you need to come off the edge.” He trimmed his soft words with a threat no one else could hear. Sharp like a razor, cold like forged metal, Michael used his coercive blade as he always did, but this time, it had no effect. She’d stopped caring. “Ana.” Angrier, a little harder, more pronounced. He might as well scream, “heel, heel.”
....Not today. He knew her name, and it wasn’t Ana. He’d put her here, given her this power. When his plan failed, and he realized he could no longer force her to do his bidding, Michael had stooped to begging. Pathetic as it was, she savored every moment. No, you heel. The smile came, tied to joy, something she’d waited a lifetime for. Oh, she planned to finish this, but not as he intended. “They’re free.”
....“Don’t do this. Your country needs you. The people are frightened. I have no idea what to tell them. There have been murders, clones that have somehow broken free of their girdles.”
....Eva twisted slightly, enough to make eye contact with Michael and catch the outline of several figures clustered inside the room. There they stood, his grand audience, inside the balcony doors, flash frozen puppets with no voice. Eva surmised they’d accompanied him to talk her down, yet they did nothing to help. If they discovered she wasn’t their leader, they’d certainly push her over.
....The trigger he held, well, that was different. Designed to bend her to his will. Useless now. She didn’t care if he took her life. Her time had come, and he could not win this standoff.
....“Not somehow,” she said. Hundreds of thousands were free of their bonds and tasting liberty for the first time. In a few minutes, the soldier clones would follow, their collars falling from their necks, their hands filled with weapons he’d put there. Michael was a general with no control of his army, and they were about to turn on him.
....The people of Aeropia would suffer for the pain they’d heaped upon the clones. He would pay for what he’d done, and when the sun set and his body lay broken in the street, no one would take pity on his corpse—or his human soul. If he had one. He could not escape his fate any more than she.
....“I feel for you that you’ve lost your husband and friend. It’s a tragedy, but the people need you. Your daughter needs you. Come down.”
....Her wrist monitor beeped as the last code locked into place and the satellite transmitted the order to the soldier clone’s collars, releasing every last one. Michael glanced at the blinking band. His face grew paler and he swallowed, as though he choked on his own bile.
....“You, bitch.” Boom. Loud blasts sounded around the city, coming from every direction. “No,” he muttered. “You can’t do this to me.” His slid his thumb over a button on the device in his palm and pressed.
....Eva gritted her teeth.
....Jab, jab, jab. Michael poked the button over and over, before he lifted his chin and scowled. and over, before he lifted his chin and scowled. “How did you…?”
....For several seconds she held his gaze, waiting for the pain in her head, the ending he’d promised if she didn’t do as told. Dante. “He didn’t lie.” The words were not for General Axis, but to herself as she came face-to-face with the truth. Dante had loved her. He’d freed her.
....She’d killed him.
....“Who didn’t lie? What are you talking about?” General Axis’s eyes popped wide and his mouth fell open. “You can’t do this. I…. What do I tell the citizens to reassure them of their safety?”
....“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Let them eat cake. At least one queen could really say it. And today, she was a queen. She spread her arms and greeted the open air, falling forward into the storm, and back to the arms of the man she loved.
....As forty floors rushed by, a young woman in the same tower began her tale about the clone who freed the world. For the first time, she spoke of treason, lies, and a forbidden love born in a time of darkness.