This is part of the book blog tour for Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu, organized by Shane at Itching for Books.
The battle is all but over, and hope seems to be lost. Zoe and her fellow Resistance fighters are on the run, having lost their home, their protection, and their leader. They are outnumbered and outmatched by the powerful corporation that controls the world, and the cruel Chancellor is inches away from completing a scheme that would kill most of humanity. Zoe’s only remaining option is to chase the impossible dream of upending the Link system, freeing the world from the hardware that controls their thoughts and emotions, and hope it will trigger a revolution.
The plot requires a nearly impossible mission to infiltrate the dangerous Community, and it is a task that Zoe must unfortunately complete alone. With challenges and surprises at every turn, nothing goes according to plan. Adrien’s visions of the future now show two possible outcomes: one in which they succeed, and one in which humanity falls. It all lies in Zoe’s hands.
Full of romance, high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Shutdown is a heart-pounding conclusion to an exciting sci-fi adventure trilogy for young adults.
The thrilling conclusion to an action-packed sci-fi trilogy.
Book One and Book Two from the Series:
Today, I’m going to share an excerpt from the book, Shutdown.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
Excerpt from Shutdown
By Heather Anastasiu
from Chapter One
He looked up briefly, then back at his text. “One time you called me a philosopher,” he said. “So I’m reading philosophy.”
I brightened. He remembered. I knew Jilia said he had all his memories—it was attaching emotion to the memories that was the problem. I kept hoping that the more he remembered, the more he’d be able to draw those emotional connections himself. I’d called him a philosopher during one of our first conversations when he was trying to convince me that people had souls, that we weren’t only base physical parts strung together with electrical impulses.
“So what’s it about?” I asked.
He finally met my gaze for more than a passing glance. “It’s about the myth of Sisyphus. Do you know it?”
I shook my head. I hadn’t read much beyond what the Professor assigned in Humanities. “Tell me about it.” Anything was better than the math theorems he usually liked to study. He’d tried to explain them a couple times during past visits. Not only could I never follow, but he’d become so meticulous and absorbed in the problems on the page, I felt like he barely noticed I was even there.
He paused, and for a second it seemed like his eyes softened. “It’s the story of this man who’s in the Greek mythological version of hell. You know what hell is?”
An uneasy shiver went down my spine. I didn’t like where this was going, but I tried to tell myself it was encouraging that he was engaging with me and actually asking questions. “Um, isn’t that the bad place people in the Old World thought people went after … after they died?”
He nodded. “So this man is in hell, and they were very creative with their punishments there. They knew that it wasn’t just unending pain that could torture a man.”
“So what did they do to him?” My voice was barely more than a whisper. I’d wanted to get Adrien talking, but now I wasn’t sure that I wanted to hear what he had to say.
“All day long and every night without rest, he had to push a rock up a hill. Then when he got it to the top of the hill, the rock would roll back down, and he’d have to push it up again. Over and over and over again. For all eternity.”
“You know that’s only a story right?” I said uneasily. “That never really happened.”
Adrien lifted his tablet briefly. “Well I’m reading this philosopher named Camus who says that this is really what all our lives are like. Useless, monotonous. That we’re lying to ourselves if we think anything different.”
“No,” I said, edging closer to him. My heart hurt in my chest at the things he was saying. “That’s not all there is. There’s love and beauty and courage.”
He averted his gaze from mine. “Camus says love is a fiction. Make-believe. A story weak men tell themselves so they can believe there is something more to their pointless lives. He says it’s courageous to look at life in the face and call it what it is. All of us uselessly pushing our boulders up the hill.”
“Adrien,” I said, putting my hand on his forearm, but he pulled away again.
“Maybe I’m not as broken as you all think. Maybe I’m just one of the few people who can see clearly now.” His voice was calm. It sounded like he thought it was a good thing not to be able to feel anything.
I didn’t know what to say to that. I wanted to yell at him that he was wrong, to grab his shoulders and shake him until he remembered how to love me. Instead I got up and started walking away, not wanting him to see my tears. Because unlike him, I could still feel emotion, and he was breaking my heart.
About the Author