Author: Deb Hanrahan
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror
Date Published: June 13, 2012
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Vestige is the first book in a two book series.
"This is the first book in a two book series. This book contains strong language that may be offensive to some."
By the time the lunch bell rang, Micah was certain that everyone had chilled, so he made his way to the school courtyard and to their usual table. As he approached his friends, he could see that Jess was crying, and then he noticed Dustin’s arm draped around her shoulder.
“Hey Jess...What’s going on?” Micah put his hand on her shoulder and pushed Dustin’s arm off.
Dustin grinned at Micah. “Just comforting your girlfriend...”
“Jess...seriously...what’s wrong?” Micah wedged himself between Jess and Dustin, forcing Dustin to slide over several inches.
“My family...my little brother and sisters are gone. The police think some cult kidnapped them...all of them.” Jess buried her face into Micah’s shoulder and continued her sobbing. “Oh Micah, what am I going to do? This is the worst day of my entire life.”
Micah put his arm around Jess and kissed the top of her pink head. “So...I guess we’re not babysitting.”
Jess stopped crying, lifted her head, and glared at Micah. She pushed his arm away, picked up her things, and marched off. Amber shot Micah a disgusted look and ran after her friend.
“Smooth,” Cody said.
“What? I didn’t mean anything by it. I just wanted to know,” replied Micah.
“Yeah right, jackass,” Dustin said. “You just wanted to know if you were still going to get some. Don’t you care about anyone but yourself?” Dustin smirked.
“What makes you think Micah’s getting any? This kid is still a virgin. Isn’t that right, Micah,” mocked Cody.
“It’s none of your business,” said Micah.
“Jess tells Amber everything, and Amber tells me everything,” said Cody.
Micah tried to change the subject. “Are we going to the park after school today?”
“Nah, man. I have to look for my dog,” Cody said. “He ran away or something. He’s been missing since last night. I let him out around 8:00, and when I went to let him back in, he was gone. I bet my dad left the gate open on purpose. He hates that dog.”
“That’s weird. My neighbor’s dog ran away too,” Dustin added. “He was yellin’ that dog’s name all night, ‘Daphne...Daphne.... Where are you girl?’ What a douche. I didn’t sleep at all.”
“I saw a lady looking for her dog this morning,” Micah said.
“Maybe the same cult that took Jess’s little brother and sisters took all the dogs too.” Dustin laughed.
Micah thought about the dog from his dream. It was still so clear. It seemed as if it had actually happened. He could almost feel the pressure of the dog’s teeth on his hand. He looked down at his open palm and gasped at the sight of two small bruises. Were those teeth marks? He turned his hand over and saw a matching pair on the opposite side. At first, Micah stared at the marks in disbelief, but then he thought about his hasty departure that morning. He must have grabbed a rough piece of wood or scratched himself on a nail.
“Let’s meet at the park tomorrow morning,” concluded Cody. “Micah, did you hear me?”
Micah snapped back to reality. “Yeah, sure...park...tomorrow morning.”
“Wanna ditch?” Since Micah wasn’t going to see Jess after school, he wanted to skip an afternoon of total boredom. He couldn’t stand the thought of sitting in the auditorium for another three hours.
“Nah, me and Amber are in the library together. She’ll be pissed if I ditch without her,” replied Cody.
“I’m in the cafeteria.” Dustin looked at Micah. “Jess is too.”
“Asshole,” Micah muttered.
“You’re on your own, Micah.” Cody stood and headed towards the school. Dustin gave Micah one last smirk and followed Cody.
“Fine.” As Micah slinked away in the other direction, he wondered where he should go. He couldn’t go home, and since he only had a fiver, he couldn’t hang out at the arcade. He eventually settled on the park.
Ever since Micah was a kid, he loved the park. It was just so…ordinary—an ordinary place where ordinary parents played with their ordinary kids. It became his refuge from the crazy. He would watch these ordinary people and take mental pictures, and these pictures would sustain his daydreams for as long as he needed them to do so. These people gave him hope that maybe one day he might have an ordinary family of his own.
What would you do if one day your younger siblings or your parents disappeared into thin air, along with an alarming amount of other adults and children? That's what happens in Vestige, the first of two books that follows a group of teens during what appears to be the apocalypse. Micah's mother always trained him for the "End Times" and told him he was special. He always thought she was crazy. Did she know about something that other people didn't? All around the world crazy things are beginning to happen. Some are claiming it's the work of terrorists. Others believe it's the End Times mentioned in the Bible. Others don't know what to think and just try to live day to day. Now the government is tagging everyone's right hand with a mark to keep track of them. You can only get food and other privileges if you have the mark. Micah and his new girlfriend, Clarke, try to figure out what is really going on and how they can stop it - before it's too late.
Growing up going to church, I have always heard stories and sermons dealing with the "End Times." The Rapture, the Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast - all of this is familiar to me. That might be part of the reason that I was so engaged in this book. It was creepily familiar and had a tinge of possible reality to it that made it all the more engrossing for me to read. It's a great concept with a well written and fast paced narrative regardless of the reader's familiarity with the concepts. The characters are flawed and completely believable, so it's easy to identify with them early in the book. As I mentioned, the plot deals with the apolcalypse and other references from the Bible, such as the Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast, the Rapture, etc. It also threads a story of a single person who can stop the Antichrist and save the world. This person is supposedly descended from angels and is called the Guardian.
I found the entire story to be a page-turner and I was completely hooked until the end. The novel ends with a great cliffhanger, so I was left wanting more - I wanted to know what happens to the characters and how things were going to end. I couldn't put this book down until the very last page and I am definitely eagerly awaiting the next book. I highly recommend this novel to fans of YA, dystopian, apocalyptic, and thriller genres.
About the Author:
Deb lives with her husband and three teenagers in the Chicagoland burbs. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Chemistry, she worked at a nuclear power plant for five years. She then left her career to stay at home with her kids. Seemingly, overnight, she went from being crazy-busy to having way too much time on her hands. With her husband working long hours and her kids pursuing their own lives, she decided to write that novel she always wanted to write. Vestige is her second novel.
Connect with Deb:
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*