Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts

Title: Child of Etherclaw
Author: Matty Roberts
Publisher: Twilight Fox
Publication Date: August 2nd 2022
Print Length: 348 pages
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction

The bonds of family go well beyond blood.

But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.”

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According to Casper’s schematics, the best route into the eastern sections of the undercity was through a disused area on the outskirts. They waited until nightfall and took the maglev to the stop closest to their destination. Sparse industry was the only sign of activity this far out. Myconutrient processing plants and stacked rice paddies were some of the few facilities that looked active, but even those were largely automated and devoid of human presence.

A couple miles to the north was a massive tower, two hundred stories tall. Their line of sight prevented them from seeing the top of the dark, forbidding column and the platform that capped it, but Fenlee knew the chateau was up there. She could feel it.

They walked a half mile north on crumbling roads and through the carcasses of buildings long abandoned to ruin. To their le , the megacity of New Cascadia shone like a supernova. And to their right, the Eastern Wilderness Zone stretched for hundreds of miles past the mountains to the wastelands beyond. It was like navigating the serrated edge of a sharp boundary between worlds.

“Entrance should be coming up soon,” Casper said, looking at his holoquip.

“It better be. We’re about to run straight into the injunction zone.” Fenlee tried to suppress the anxiety before it could seep through the cracks in her confidence. With the tower looming in front of them, the number of obstacles between sister and brother suddenly felt overwhelming.

The plan was simple: they would enter the undercity, go up the tower, access the bottom level of the chateau using an old service channel, disable the surveillance, get Elliot, and get the hell out the way they came. They brought plenty of food and other various supplies to cover contingencies.

Casper wanted to bring some of his homemade sake, but Alex told him to forget it. She and Fenlee also made him leave behind a strange black novelty sword he’d picked up from some overpriced vendor. Alex assured him he’d only wind up hurting himself if he tried to use it, and it would probably shatter on its first impact, anyway.

Kavi rode on Nico’s shoulders as the boy plodded along behind them. He’d been quiet since they left. Fenlee wanted to ask if he was okay, but that felt like such as stupid question. Given what they were about to do, none of them were okay.

They took a break on top of a hill of rubble while Casper checked his map. He pursed his lips. “Should be...there!” Less than twenty feet away, down the other side of the hill, a gaping hole opened into the old undercity.

That’s where we’re going?” Alex raised an eyebrow. “I’m not saying I expected a welcoming committee, or even stairs, for that matter, but that looks like a death trap.”

“I’m guessing you’ve never been in the undercity before, huh?” Casper asked.

Alex sighed. “Yeah, well, first time for everything. I’m not saying I mind getting dirty, but that doesn’t look safe at all.”

Nico touched Alex’s arm. “Nothing is safe,” he whispered.

Casper glanced at his holoquip. “Rain hasn’t been too bad, and we’re far enough inland that the tunnels shouldn’t be flooded. Is everyone ready?”

“What was that?” Fenlee blurted out.

Alex whirled around. “What was what? What did you see?”

“Up there.” Fenlee pointed to the eastern sky. Hints of mountains cut an uneven line across the dark horizon. The Void Pillar stood as an ominous backdrop, somehow blacker than night. A bright streak lit up the sky before fading to nothing. A er a moment, there was another streak, then several more.

“Are those real shooting stars?” Casper said, sounding awed. “I’ve never seen any ‘cause the city’s so bright, you know? And even if it wasn’t, with all the damn buildings and everything in the way—”

“Casper.” Alex’s voice was low and even. “Those are the fragments of the auxiliary platform.”

Casper blinked. “Oh. So you mean...”

“Yeah, Cas.”

Fenlee stood on a small mound of pockmarked cement. Casper walked up beside her, and the pair stared in silence as thin fiery lines traced across the sky. Alex stepped back, giving them both space as the two watched pieces of their lives crash into the atmosphere.
Matty Roberts began their career in journalism where they earned an Emmy and had the privilege of working on several other award-winning projects. They hold an MS from Johns Hopkins University and are now an engineer in renewable energy in Denver, Colorado where they live with their wonderful partner, two extraordinary kids, and the best doggie ever.

In addition to writing, engineering, and parenting, Matty is a vegan enby nerd who is in love with this world and will forever be doing all they can to make it a better place. And they may be known to occasionally play in a punk band here or there.

Website * Goodreads * Twitter
Win a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts - open worldwide!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

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  1. My niece would like this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

  2. Looks like an interesting and detailed book. Good work

  3. I have been looking for a new dystopian book and this one sounds great! Added to my TBR on Goodreads and my wishlist on Amazon.

  4. This book sounds awesome. I hope to read it sometime soon.

  5. The book and book cover are interesting

  6. David HollingsworthAugust 3, 2022 at 9:11 PM

    Happy Wednesday!

  7. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. wow the author sounds like an awesome person, would love to be your friend but I'm not that cool lol.

    1. What? No way, did I mention what a giant dork I am? Come find my on Twitter @MattyBRoberts and I'll happily follow you back :)

  10. Sounds like an interesting book. I like the cover and excerpt.

  11. Sounds like a fascinating book. Adding to my TBR list.

  12. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  13. The book sounds very intriguing. Great cover!

  14. I enjoyed reading this excerpt - great read!
    Thank you for sharing this.

  15. Seyma Bennett ShabbirAugust 8, 2022 at 4:47 PM

    Thanks for the excerpt! I can't wait to read this!!

  16. This sounds like a great Sci Fi read.

  17. The book sound like a great book!

  18. looks like a fun one

  19. My daughter would enjoy this book

  20. Sounds like a good read. Great synopsis & excerpt