"This series is absolutely everything I look for in dystopian style reads. [...] Jerri Chisholm’s writing style is amazing. It keeps your interest, keeps the storyline moving so you can’t put the book down, and is just brilliant." - Kade G., Goodreads
Published: November 16, 2021
In Compound Eleven, freedom from tyranny is impossible.
My name is Eve Hamilton, and I’ve managed the impossible.
I am free.
Until just like that, it is wrenched from my grasp. And this time, the corridors of the dark underground city are even more dangerous than ever before. But my brief taste of freedom has left me with something useful, something powerful, something that terrifies the leaders of Compound Eleven.
And now I have a monster inside.
One I’ll need to learn to control, and fast, or I’ll lose everything and everyone I hold dear. Starting with Wren Edelman. The one boy who has taught me that anything is possible if we stick together.
But will that matter if I become the very thing he fears the most?
“Eve. Don’t move.”
The voice is low and hoarse in my ear.
A moment ago, my fingertips grazed the back of his neck as we kissed. My other hand curved over his large shoulder and pressed firmly into muscle. It was the first time we had stopped walking since escaping Compound Eleven, the first time we had even acknowledged each other, because for the past hour we have been too preoccupied and too overwhelmed.
I think it’s the feeling of earth beneath our boots that’s to blame. That and the twinkling night sky overhead. We are used to concrete below and concrete above. But more than anything, it is the staggering realization that the heat won’t kill us after all.
It won’t even hurt us, despite all we’ve learned, all we’ve been taught. Everyone back in Eleven thinks it’s a sauna up here, a killing field—practically upon impact. Yet an hour ago, we discovered that nothing could be further from the truth.
In time, as our shock wore off, our pace slowed, and we held each other—we kissed, celebration thundering like laughter in our ears. Then Wren went still.
Now his tendons stiffen. They lock him in place. He murmurs to me again, “Don’t move.”
In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything.
My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight.
Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices.
Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter.
Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different… maybe even kind.
Right before he kicks my ass.
Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation... or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal: I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I've been waiting on.
About the author:
Jerri Chisholm is a YA author, a distance runner, and a chocolate addict. Her childhood was spent largely in solitude with only her imagination and a pet parrot for company. Following that she completed a master’s degree in public policy and then became a lawyer, but ultimately decided to leave the profession to focus exclusively on the more imaginative and avian-friendly pursuit of writing. She lives with her husband and three children, but, alas, no parrot.