The Fourth Piece was a book I requested on a whim when I first started using NetGalley. It’s also one of the few books I have read and reviewed through the site so far. If you want, you can read my full review here. But to sum it up, I loved it. I loved the world, the story, the characters, their interactions and relationships, the themes explored, and I can’t wait for the second book to be released!
Scroll down for an excerpt from the twelfth chapter of the book and a giveaway!
The Fourth Piece
(Order’s Last Play #1)
by E. Ardell
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: 8 July 2016
Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…
Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular… so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human — until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.
In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies — and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.
Book I in the Order’s Last Play series
from Chapter Twelve
Smack!—the first sound of a fist slamming into flesh. Grunts, screams and insults fly as the crowd turns into an angry mosh pit. People with kids grab their rugrats and run. Bodies crash into me, making me stumble.
I’m wading in an ocean of arms, legs and sharp elbows, not getting anywhere. Shizz. I could really use an alien power right now. If Lyle were here, he could do something. Hell, Dev could probably kick everyone’s ass.
Screw this. A roar builds inside me, starting from my gut and rumbling in my chest. “Aarrrgh!” I lower my head, stick out an arm, and charge forward, football style. I knock a few more people out of my way, before I slam into somebody a lot bigger than me and stagger a few steps backward. The bigger guy grabs me and throws me into the person behind me. That person shoves me forward and I swing at the guy who threw me in the first place.
“Get outta here, kid!” A tall man, probably college-aged, wearing a Houston Texans jersey snarls at me. A big dude rams into college-aged man from behind and gets a fist in the mouth.
Someone grabs me under the arms and starts dragging and I use both elbows to catch them in the chest.
“Dammit, Lawrie! Let’s go!” Jeremy again. He’s like a bloodhound.
“You go!” I push him off and fight my way through the crowd. People are on the ground getting trampled, and I see Stringy. He’s down and getting stomped on by Muscle Tee and two other guys. There’s a girl standing on the counter of the strength booth, screaming and crying as she watches.
“Aaaaaargh!” I throw myself on Muscle Tee. He’s a lot bigger than me, but I manage to knock him off balance and we both go down, me on top, punching his head. Rage sets me on fire. I see YouTube Guy and my brother down and out with no one to help them and I can’t stand it. I hate it.
“You little freak!” Muscle Tee shoves me off with one hand and I fall on my back and roll out of the way of his stomping sneakers, jumping to my feet.
A guy throws a swing at me and I dodge, but end up catching a hit from someone else. Pain erupts from the right side of my jaw, but it doesn’t stop me. ‘Gotta do something’ pulsates at maximum speed, and the balloon in my chest from last night comes back, but this one is filled with baking soda and vinegar. It shudders as it stretches. My head’s pounding, my heart’s jack-hammering. It’s hard to breathe.
I fall on my knees. I know the ground’s hard, but it feels soft, inviting, like plopping down on Old Faithful. I shake like a diabetic on a sugar crash. The sensation of a billion fire ants on Red Bull races under my skin. I wanna rip it off.
“Whassamatter, kid? Thought you could kick my ass?” A foot digs into the middle of my spine. I catch myself on my hands, and heat from the ground shoots through my palms like an atomic pulse, filling me to bursting point. White noise rises to a fever pitch and blocks all other sound as the shakes turn into slow, stomach-churning spasms. One-one thousand, shudder, two-one thousand, shake, three-one thousand…. The balloon explodes, and the vinegar, baking soda, Red Bull ants, and white lightning that tastes and feels like ‘gotta do something’ on crack gush into the ground.
The cobblestone beneath my hands splits fault-line style, the ragged fissure spreading as the ground quakes.
I hear Muscle Tee shout, “Whoaa! Earthquake?!”
Over the sounds of people fighting and crying, there are shouts of surprise and “What the hell?”
Police bullhorns fill the air. I don’t know what they’re saying. I don’t know what anyone’s saying anymore. I only see mouths moving. Muscle Tee and the guys with him run away. People scatter as rent-a-cops in black T-shirts flood the area.
I need to get out of here, but my body deflates. The earth calms as I lie down. The ground’s cool and better than any bed I’ve ever slept on. The Boardwalk is nothing but a wade pool of shapes and colors drifting around me. A rectangle splashes toward me. Is it talking? I don’t know.
Where’s Stringy Guy?
Did I help him?
The pool turns black.
And I feel nothing.
Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure.
Only from 22 September to 29 September
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