No citizen shall be left behind.
Life in Neress is simple. For nearly four decades, people have known exactly what’s expected of them. Obey the rules, follow the path that’s been laid out, and everything will be provided for: food, shelter, education, safety. No need goes unmet.
But the cost is steep: you lose all rights to make your own choices in life.
In seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will come of age and take over for her father as president of this idyllic nation. Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are finally opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.
Sirens blared all the way along Barden road, down the long stretch of highway that connected the center of Meridian City to the compound. Ambulances collected in the runways, which were already clogged with the dozens of fighter jets that had crashed in today’s ill-fated mock raid. Medical personnel streamed out of transports, coming in steady waves to sift through the debris and wreckage strewn all around in the surrounding airfield.
Alanna knew they were hoping to find survivors.
Fire bloomed and raged, taking its anger to the skies. Alanna had seen the blaze from miles away as they approached the downed jets, dreading what kind of damage they’d find at the scene. Firefighters had managed to put it out before any of the rescue teams got there, but smoke still rose from the charred, mangled pieces of aircraft that lay on the ground, scattered haphazardly like a child’s toys after a long session of play.
She thought she might vomit from the stench of burnt acid, her lungs protesting each gulp with a cough. She couldn’t expel the corrupted air from her body soon enough. The grass glistened with splatters of blood, torn bits of clothing. Severed limbs. The instinct to turn away was so strong, but she couldn’t afford to lose her composure. She was here to do her job and make sure people got the care they needed. She couldn’t do that if she let her emotions get the best of her.
But it was hard to keep the panic from mingling with adrenalin when she’d yet to see any sign of Owen among the dozens of people being pulled out from under the smoldering pieces of twisted metal.
Jennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.
She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.
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Cancer has touched all of us in one way or another. Those who have read THE POLARIS UPRISING will know that I dedicated it to my dear friend, Brittanie, whom we lost to Stage IV ovarian cancer in 2010. She was only 26 years old. In her memory, I am pledging to donate $1 out of every sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from now until October 6–the day she was diagnosed with the disease that took her life. Every donation up to $2,000 will be matched by my employer, so your generosity will be doubled! Thank you in advance for helping me in this special cause.