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Land

Alex Campbell
"A tense and passionate novel about choices, obsession, destiny and power"
Land – picture

A tense and passionate novel about choices, obsession, destiny and power

The sea rose. Civilisation was wiped out, countries drowned. Out of the ashes of a desperate refugee camp, a new society was born, with a new place to call home: Land. Trapped by an aggressive sea, its citizens were bound to rules that saw the weak removed, marriage and children by approval only, and designated work for all. All for the greater good …

Decades later, and seventeen-year-old Christy’s life is on the cusp of irrevocable change. She has become eligible for The Pairing, a carefully selected marriage of political and social convenience where romance is out of the question. Her grandmother, Cons, has also reached a significant age – sixty-six: soon the Selection Truck will arrive to take her away forever.

Christy’s only hope for protection lies with her errant rebel father … but nothing goes as it’s supposed to. As Christy finds a Pairing that might offer a new opportunity for love and security, she also uncovers a destiny that has been hidden from her; truths that have been disguised as childhood lies. With Cons’ life under threat, Christy is forced to face a whole new world, one where she must choose between those she cares about and the greater good. A new life where she must play the reluctant rebel, revolutionary, lover … and assassin.

Publication Date: Thu 4 Sep 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471402258
ISBN Ebook: 9781471402265

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Author

Alex Campbell

Alex Campbell announced she was going to be a writer at eight years old. But no one took much notice. After a nomadic education daydreaming in back rows across Luton, Chester, London, Sheffield and Middlesbrough - and one English degree later - Alex moved into the world of PR and copywriting. Here she worked on getting other people noticed instead.

Now, living near Bath with one husband, two children and an armful of untold stories, Alex's eight-year-old self's ambition has finally been realised with the publication of her debut novel, LAND. When she's not gazing dreamily out of windows, Alex can usually be found, notebook at the ready, in dark art-house cinemas, propping up coffee bars, or worse.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @ACampbellWrites

Extract

My eyes shot back to the street as I heard shouts, unusual in Land. A small crowd was forming ahead, blocking any view of Cons, a Black-clad State Trooper hollering, 'This is what Land's traitors look like; come see!' indicating the wall to his left as if he were calling an audience to a show. Between a gap in the growing throng, I spied five scared looking young men, stripped down to their underpants; winter's cold turning their skeletal frames blue; shivering, cowering like animals awaiting the slaughterhouse. My eyes locked on one. I recognised him from Kara's block: soft brown hair and a pinched but gentle face. He wasn't more than twenty. My gut twisted in fear for him, but I couldn't stay and watch. I surged forwards, but more people got in my way, citizens assembling to prove themselves loyal. Combined voices began raining out like ammunition at the bowed heads of the boys: 'Land won't carry you!' 'Your kind will bring us all down!' 'Destroy all Resistance!' My breathing hurried, I elbowed a path through Grey and Green and Brown-clothed bodies. Stay silent. Fix a smile. Keep on walking. I just hoped desperately the gory spectacle would have dispersed by the time Kara passed on her way to the Institute. Arrests like these, they were few and far between; mostly kept out of sight. To do it in public must have meant the Troopers wanted to send out a warning to would-be traitors. Which Kara was fast risking becoming. Lately, she was burning to retaliate, to risk trouble - to pay back the State for removing both her parents for Selection, her father when she was twelve, her mother two years later. My job: to stop her. Always. I was nearly through when the crowd bunched and pushed me to one side. 'Get off him!' I watched a middle-aged woman in Brown with lank dark hair careering into the furthest State Trooper, her arms out. 'Leave my boy alone!' I turned my head away - it was inevitable what was to come. I kept my focus on the road ahead as I heard the slam of a body onto hard concrete, a crunch of steel-clad heel on bone. I pushed on, creating distance as fast as I could from the woman's flailing shrieks; from the shouts of one of the boys, suddenly silenced by the pop of a gun. I rubbed at my eyes. What difference could I have made? Say nothing. Do nothing. It sat there as comfortably in my psyche as wake up and eat. Survival, wasn't it? I clenched my fists tight, gritting my teeth. No - it was about protecting the ones I loved. Kara. And Cons.