Welcome to my stop on The Artful blog tour! Today I have a great excerpt from the book to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
The Artful (Shadows of the City #1)
Author: Wilbert Stanton
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.
Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels - their playground. They aren't heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.
On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.
I was never jealous of Dodge, not really. I envied him and readily acknowledged I would never be as intriguing. In all my seventeen years I could never have the confidence he had. I was just a hopeless scrawny kid in comparison, average at best. I accepted that. I did, however, hate that I felt myself forever in his shadow. You see, Dodger and I were Gutter Punks, the best crew of thieves the world has ever seen, but I think the world believed I was his sidekick.
“Twist, here, boy, now there’s a lad!” he yelled in the mocking voice he used to make fun of the wealthy.
I sauntered over, awkwardly pushing my way through the group of giggling girls surrounding him. I felt uncomfortable, my pants too big, the fancy dress coat too long for my liking, and the gold-tipped cane all but useless. While Dodge wore his disguise like a form-fitting glove, I looked like a child wearing his father’s clothes.
Dodger was busy talking to a well-endowed socialite; her high heeled boots met a Victorian bell-shaped dress, and her corset was so tight I wondered how she could breathe. Her skin was pale, and her eyes had the usual bloodshot look we saw in drug users. Many of the other women were of the same cast. They were ghosts, hanging onto every word he spoke as if he were a magician, able to conjure up whole new worlds.
“So I was telling my fellow Twist here”―he looked deeply into the cleavage of his mark―“We’ve explored so much of this city, our skin is permanently tanned. It’s time for new adventures, wouldn’t you say? With Mayor Reynolds nearly set to go to war with that Brooklyn tyrant Chrysler, Manhattan will soon be a battlefield! You would think each mayor would be content to stay in his own borough, and yet they both want a piece of our great Manhattan. I shudder to think what would happen if these parties were put to an end. All we need is to hijack an airship, which would be no challenge for me.” He ripped the cane from my hands and pointed it at a passing waiter.
“Move and you die, good sir. Alas, what have you to offer me in your surrender?”
The waiter frowned, and held up his tray of wine.
“Very good.” Dodger finished off his glass and replaced it with a full one.
Dodger’s swooning admirers laughed and whispered in thrilled excitement.
“You see, I am quite skilled in swordplay. Once we have control of the ship, we will sail past the quarantine border and to the end of the world.”
His mark gasped in exaggerated fear.