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A World Turned Upside Down

Braxton A. Cosby Author Interview

Broken follows a young woman in a dystopian future who finds fate placing her on a dangerous path toward freedom. What were some sources that informed the development of this novel?

I watched a lot of films that covered dystopian fiction as inspiration for world-building. These include Mad Max, Terminator, Bladerunner, a little touch of The Walking Dead, and Divergent. My fascination with dystopian fiction started with Farhenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. The idea of a world turned upside down, and the separation for survival by the main characters really thrilled me and piqued my interest.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

The escape from the Horder village. it occurs right toward the end, and the weight of the escape and the things the stakes that were raised by the time Kessa and her friends reach this critical moment of the story was so heavy. I wanted to capture the sense of urgency in the narrative and hopefully keep the readers on the edge of their seats, guessing what will happen next or who might make it out alive.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into Keesa’s character?

The absence of both parents in her life was something I wanted to pull from my own experience of living in a one-parent home. How that experience shaped her character and what pieces or components of her personality could’ve or should’ve been different because it was a focal point.

What can readers expect in book two in The Young Hellions series?

The comic is a blast and was very exhilarating to script out because it allowed me to finally introduce more of the Ashers into the story-telling. So yes, readers will see zombies front and center here.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In a time of a failed One-World order economy, the only viable currency is a human one.

It is 2035, and the path of Earth’s inevitable destruction has finally been realized. Efforts to perfect weapons of mass destruction and subsequently destroy one another have come to a head as the most powerful countries engage in an all-out nuclear assault—the time of The Big Drop—that nearly banishes everyone to death in a wake of destructive Fallout. Humanity devolves back to its carnal heritage of slavery to re-establish currency through the slave trade. Nobody knows who started it, but the devastation ravages every organic life form, both plant and animal. 90% of human life is wiped out, and of the 10% that survive, radiation poisoning has varying effects on the human genome, creating both mindless beasts called Ashers and beings with special gifts – Alphas. As humanity struggles to survive, migrating to the safety of continental coastlines in search of fresh water, the planet scurries to salvage some kind of economic stability. Enter16-year-old Keesa Donovan and her younger brother Kiran. They live out their lives in a slave pod run by The Establishment, just outside Savannah, Georgia. Losing everything she loved after the Fallout, she desperately seeks freedom while navigating the trials of teenhood, sifting through emerging feelings for her best friend Wynn, and realizing the growing attraction for newcomer Dobbs. Confounded by her gift of ESP, she is haunted by unexplainable visions of mysterious days to come, holding onto a sliver of hope that one day she and her brother will be freed. But on the fateful day of the annual Reckoning, Keesa’s life takes a turn as fate steps in and forces her onto the narrow road of her destiny.

Broken: The Young Hellions Series

Broken follows the adventures of Keesa Donovan, a woman of an Establishment settlement outside of Savannah in a post-apocalyptic world. In the aftermath of the Great Drop, when nuclear bombs were dropped all over the world, survivors are forced to create a new world. One of the big players is the Establishment, who have enslaved many people of the world, among them Keesa, her brother Kiran, and their Uncle, who live with meager hope for escape. Keesa has accepted, and welcomes, the fact that she’s going to die, especially after failing to make the yearly sacrifice for the third time, but fate intervenes in the form of a new friend who brings new hope. Dobbs Saunders, a fellow slave, who has managed the impossible and escaped on numerous occasions. He speaks of the Resistance, who are liberating people and spreading their anti-Establishment message. With Dobbs’ know-how, the gang of friends band together to hatch a plan to escape.

The author creates a dreary setting in this gritty post-apocalyptic story. I could really feel the despair and hopelessness of the characters’ lives. I find this emotional depth often lacking in other young adult books, but I really enjoyed how this story embraces that darkness and colors the world in austere shades that make the story feel authentic, if bleak. This is a dark and disturbing dystopian world that is enthralling. There were several intriguing details that made my skin crawl. The author does an excellent job of conveying this in the writing, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Although dark, the story shows how love and perseverance can be used to push through any obstacle. This creates moments of great humanity in a world that feels as if its lost theirs. I really liked the fantastic contrast within the story and I found it compelling, but I wish there was more light to balance out the dark. The book also contains tender moments as well that I would have liked to have seen expanded on further.

Broken shows readers a dark vision of what the world could be after a nuclear fallout. This is an enthralling cautionary tale that will inspire readers to choose love and use determination to push through the darkness. This is a thought-provoking and entertaining post-apocalyptic adventure novel that will appeal to fans looking for a story that, while dark, provides great lessons in finding strength in dark times.

Pages: 369 | ASIN: B0B2MZDKBQ

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