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Ethan seems to have an almost perfect family life. He lives together with his father, his stepmother and stepsister Haley. His parents are obviously madly in love with each other, he likes them both very much and he gets on pretty well with Haley, too. There is only one not so tiny thing that bugs him. Ethan can do anything, but Haley is always in the focus of his parents. He loves and adores his father who is a brilliant ‘white-hat’ hacker who works in IT security. So, he tries to impress him with a modified version of one of his Dad’s computer codes, a relatively harmless virus that knocks out his high school’s computer system.

Ethan’s coup even makes his way to the local news – but again: his father ignores him because at the same time Haley makes a big appearance with a new and shocking outfit. Ethan gets mad and jealous and when Hailey explains her sadness and accuses Ethan’s Dad of sexually molesting her, he doesn’t believe her at all. He takes sides with his father and accuses Hailey that she has destroyed his family with making all these things up only to be in the center of attention. It cannot be that his idol, the person he adores so much could be such a monster, or can it? When he hacks into one of his father’s old computers he makes a startling discovery that casts a slur at his Dad. What can Ethan do with this dark secret and what kind of person does this make him? (mehr …)

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We’re born into pain, and we leave in pain, and we cause it along the way too, it seems. It’s a damned hard lesson.
Shreve in THE TWELVE-FINGERED BOY

Fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon is in Casimir Detention Center for Boys, but it seems that he doesn’t mind it. Sometimes, Shreve doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut but he is a smart-ass and somehow he always finds a way how to work the system. He has got a pretty good position in juvie because of his good running business as a candy dealer.

For the moment, he is quite okay with his life in juvie because he has a bed, his own three squares and the regular meals in the prison are something he wasn’t allowed to enjoy in his life with his mother, before. The only thing he is desperately missing is his little brother, because he fears that their alcohol addicted mother might not treat him well.

Shreve’s regular daily routine is over, when Jack Graves, his new cellmate, arrives at Casimir. Jack is very shy and scared and reminds Shreve in some ways of his little brother. So he doesn’t hesitate and takes Jack under his wing to protect the younger boy from the juvie bullies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long and Shreve messes things up for Jack when he unintentionally blabs Jack’s secret – that the boy has six fingers on each hand.

This of course makes Jack the center of attention in juvie, one thing he wanted to avoid at all costs because now he cannot hide anymore that he has even a way bigger secret. Jack has an outstanding dangerous superpower that he hasn’t completely under control. With this superpower he piques the interest of the super-villain Quincrux who wants to lay his hands on Jack and his extraordinary skills.

Jack and Shreve are afraid of Quincrux and bust out of juvie. Once they are outside, they have to learn that breaking free is much easier that defending their freedom. To protect themselves they have to cut across lines and often do not know what’s wrong or right. (mehr …)

Noa and Peter are teenage computer hackers who come from different corners of the society. Noa is a foster kid who has to fend for herself always flying low under the radar of the foster care system and Peter lives a very privileged life in a rich family. They only know each other in the virtual world of a hacker alliance. A coincidence brings them together in real life.

When Noa wakes up in a hospital bed that obviously isn’t part of a real hospital she has to fear for her life. She can escape her kidnappers but has not much opportunities to go into hiding.

At the same time, Peter accidentally stumbles over some explosive documents on the internet. He hasn’t much time to delve into the information because strangers break into his house, frighten Peter, menace his family and steal his computer. When he tells his parents about the incident they react conspicuously reluctant.

Peter tries to find a way to understand the explosive documents and with that the mysterious housebreaking and asks for help in his online hacker alliance. Here, Noa’s and Peter’s paths cross in the real life and soon they learn that they have more in common than they realize. (mehr …)

„…we’re the only survivors who aren’t infected and it’s up to us to start things over again. Like a new earth. […] It’s like the planet has reset, she explained, to create a new earth full of hope.“
Anna in CHASERS

16yo Jesse from Australia and his new friends Dave, Anna and Mini are visiting New York for a UN Youth Ambassador’s camp. They are on a subway when a massive explosion suddenly rocks their train. As the only survivors they manage to escape the underground inferno. Arriving above-ground they find themselves stranded in a New York in chaos – with buildings burning and falling down and abandoned and smashed cars on the streets. The most disturbing fact, however, is, that New York’s streets, usually full of noise and life, are deserted – they can’t see a single body. The four teenagers have no idea what might have happened. When they finally see some people in the distance their joy is quite short-lived because all human beings seem to be infected by some mysterious virus. Those people act like zombie-like creatures who crave for any liquid. This can be muddy water from the streets, molten snow, water from fire hydrants –
or human blood …
Jesse, Dave, Anna and Mini have to run for their lives, find a place to hide and wait for rescue whenever this might come.  (mehr …)

I can find your hope again. I can show you that great things can happen. Even right now.
Zoey in MIDNIGHT CITY by J. Barton Mitchell

Eight years ago, Earth has been conquered by extraterrestrial invaders. Since these days, the aliens, known as The Assembly, have broadcast a telepathic signal that ended any resistance. The mind control signal influenced the brains of all adults who then left their families and jobs, marched toward the nearest Assembly Presidium and disappeared forever. Only children and teenagers were left behind, unaffected by the signal, but turning adult, more and more of them also succumbed to Assembly control.

With all military crushed on the planet, most of the population subdued, there is not much hope left for the human race. It seems impossible that children who hardly know anything about fighting could form an effective resistance against the aliens, even more as they seem more interested in killing each other than uniting and facing the invaders. The very depressing perspective is that The Assembly will take more of the adolescents every day and it won’t last long until there isn’t anyone left behind.

In this society, Holt, a young bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira, when they find Zoey, a little girl who has obviously something about her, but who also needs protection. Although Mira and Holt are enemies at the beginning, they have to learn to work together when they want to survive and protect themselves and Zoey.

They have to face horrible feuding alien armies, zombie-like mutants and also a lot of not so well-meaning members of their own human mankind. Starting as a group of loners who don’t trust each other, they have to stick together and finally form a team that might be the beginning of hope …

Artwork by Evan Cagle

(mehr …)