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Authors: Krista McGee

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Anomaly

BOOK: Anomaly
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ADVANCE PRAISE FOR
ANOMALY


Anomaly
grabs the reader and refuses to let go. From the introduction to misunderstood anomaly, Thalli, to the boy she loves, one is never completely sure what is fact and what is a horrifying virtual reality. This is sure to be a favorite of teens everywhere.”

—Heather Burch, author of the critically acclaimed Halflings Series

“A razor-edged look at the resilience of Christian faith,
Anomaly
is taut, high-stakes dystopia that grips on the first page and twists all the way through.”

—Evan Angler, author of the Swipe series


Anomaly
is a fabulous read! Krista McGee is a fresh and gifted voice in YA apocalyptic fiction. Excellent characters and an intriguing plot provide readers with great entertainment—as well as a call to go ‘outside’ themselves. I can’t wait for book two!”

—Kathryn Mackel, author of
Boost

“A beautiful story that has me wondering if I would have the strength to be an Anomaly. Fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner will love Krista McGee’s
Anomaly
.”

—Jon Lewis, author of the C.H.A.O.S. trilogy

ACCLAIM FOR KRISTA MCGEE

“McGee’s debut novel is an absolute gem. Anyone who enjoys reality television and a well-told story shouldn’t hesitate to read this great book.”


Romantic Times
TOP PICK! Review of
First Date

“[A] touching, fun, edifying, campy, quick and downright delicious teen read.”

—USAToday.com regarding
First Date

“Good things come to those who wait—and pray.”


Kirkus Reviews
regarding
Starring Me

“. . . an abundance of real-life problems . . . should keep this story relevant for many teens . . .”


Publisher’s Weekly
review for
Right Where I Belong

ANOMALY

OTHER NOVELS BY KRISTA MCGEE

First Date

Starring Me

Right Where I Belong

© 2013 by Krista McGee

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Published in association with literary agent Jenni Burke of D.C. Jacobson & Associates, an Author Management Company, www.DCJacobson.com.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version
®
, NIV
®
. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

McGee, Krista, 1975–

Anomaly / Krista McGee.

      pages cm

Summary: Living in a post-apocalyptic State that has supposedly eliminated emotions, Thalli is slated for annihilation by the Scientists when her carefully-kept secret that she is an anomaly becomes known, but when she becomes their test subject, instead, she learns that she may actually be part of a Creator’s greater design.

ISBN 978-1-4016-8872-1 (pbk.)

[1. Emotions—Fiction. 2. Curiosity—Fiction. 3. Science fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.M4784628Ano 2013

[Fic]—dc23

2013002060

Printed in the United States of America

13 14 15 16 17 18 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1

To my son, Thomas

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”

Philippians 1:3

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER FORTY-NINE

CHAPTER FIFTY

CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE

CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO

CHAPTER FIFTY-THREE

CHAPTER FIFTY-FOUR

CHAPTER FIFTY-FIVE

EPILOGUE

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PROLOGUE

F
ifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds.

That’s how long I have to live.

The wall screen that displayed the numbers in blood-red letters now projects the image of a garden. The trees are full of pink and white blossoms, the green grass swaying a little in the wind. I hear the birds as they call to each other. I smell the moist soil.

But the countdown still plays in my mind.

Fourteen minutes and fifty-two seconds.

It isn’t really soil I smell. It isn’t really the garden breeze I feel on my face. That is simply the Scientists’ “humane” means
of filling my bloodstream with poison, of annihilating a member of the State who has proven to be “detrimental to harmonious living.”

The wall screen is beginning to fade. The colors aren’t as bright. The blossoms are beginning to merge together. They look more like clouds now. I don’t know if the image is changing or if it is the effect of the poison. I could try to hold my breath, to deny the entrance of this toxic gas into my body. But I would only pass out, and my lungs would suck in the poison-laced oxygen as I lie here unconscious.

No. I will die the way I finally learned to live. Fully aware. At peace. With a heart so full of love that even as it slows, it is still full.

Because I know something the Scientists refuse to acknowledge.

Death is only the beginning.

CHAPTER ONE

I
suppose I’ve always known something was wrong with me. I’ve never quite been normal. Never really felt like I fit. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried. In fact, I spent most of my life trying.

Like everyone in Pod C, I was given a particular set of skills, a job I would eventually take over from the generation before us.

I am the Musician of Pod C.

My purpose is to stimulate my pod mates’ minds through the instruments I play. I enable the others to do their jobs even better.

And that is important because being productive is important. Working hard is important. I have always been able to do that. But being the same is also important.

This is where I have failed.

I started realizing this in my ninth year, the year my pod mate Asta was taken away. We were outside in the recreation field and our Monitor had us running the oval track. We ran nine times—one time for each year of life. This was part of our daily routine.

Sometimes, I would like to say no. To just sit down, not to run. Sometimes I want to ask why we have to do this. And why we always do everything in the same order, day after day. Why couldn’t we run ten laps? Or eight? Or skip laps altogether and do something else? But I knew better than to ask those questions, to ask any questions. We are only allowed to ask for clarification. Asking why is something only I would consider.

I am an anomaly.

So was Asta. But I didn’t know it until that day. She always did what she was told, and nothing in her big black eyes made her appear to be having thoughts to the contrary. She was training to be our pod Historian, so she was always documenting what we were doing and what we were discovering. Her fingers could fly over her learning pad faster than any I’d ever seen. But that day, when we were running, she stopped. Right in the center of the track. I was so shocked that I ran right into her back, knocking her to the ground.

“I apologize.” I reached for her hand, but when she looked up at me, I saw a yellowish substance coming from her nose. I had never seen anything like it. Her eyes were red and she was laboring to breathe—all of this was quite unusual. I pulled my
hand back and called for the Monitor to come over and help Asta.

But the Monitor didn’t help her. She looked down into Asta’s face and her eyes grew large. She pressed the panel on her wrist pad. “Please send a team to Pod C. We need a removal.”

The Monitor motioned for me to finish my laps. No one else had stopped to see what happened. The rest of my pod mates simply ran closer to the edge of the track, eyes forward, completing the circuit.

I stood and tried to run, but I did not want to run. I wanted to stay here, to help Asta. She looked . . . I do not know how to describe it. But whatever it was made my heart feel heavy.

Berk ran up beside me. “You will never beat me.” His grin shook me from my thoughts. I was determined to beat Berk. He always thought he was faster, but I knew I could outrun him. So I picked up my pace. Berk did the same.

We were on our fifth lap when I saw a floating white platform with four Medical Specialists land beside Asta on the grass inside the track. “Where will they take her?”

“I don’t know.” Berk slowed a little. He was watching the medics lift Asta onto the platform, then wrap her in some sort of covering. “Maybe take her to the Scientists. They will help her.”

Berk was going to be a Scientist. One of
the
Scientists who govern the State. That made him different—but in a good way. The Monitors never corrected him, and he was allowed to study any subject that interested him during the time the rest of us worked on improving knowledge in our specialty areas.

BOOK: Anomaly
9.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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