Burn Out [NOOK Book]

Overview

"A smart, suspenseful thriller with surprises at every turn, BURN OUT is one hot read."--Lenore Appelhans, author of THE MEMORY OF AFTER

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off...
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Burn Out

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Overview

"A smart, suspenseful thriller with surprises at every turn, BURN OUT is one hot read."--Lenore Appelhans, author of THE MEMORY OF AFTER

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
In 300 years, mankind will colonize the stars via faster-than-light travel but be unable to master the basics of hydrogen harvest and combustion to ensure a water supply. That’s just one of the unlikely aspects of the “science” of this fiction. Tora, the sole and embittered survivor of her family, is trapped on a dying Earth by a promise to her father. She guards the apocalyptic weapons he developed for—and then stole from—the corrupt Consulate government. The one person who knows where to find her is the mercenary Markus, who gladly sells her out, only to be double-crossed himself. Tora is trapped in the family bunker with Markus’s crew, including the cute but surly James. The nominal makings of a romantic thriller come together in Helvig’s debut, but the situation still doesn’t make sense. If the weapons should never fall into others’ hands, why didn’t Tora’s father simply destroy them, instead of his family? There are few answers and no resolution, but a sequel is planned. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—Three centuries in the future, our sun unexpectedly and swiftly grew, burning away all water and most life on Earth. But Tora remains—and she suspects she's the only human left on the planet, subsisting on dwindling air and water reserves in what was her family's emergency shelter. Her mother and sister died tragically and her scientist father was murdered by the government when he refused to turn over weapons he created for them. But then a family frenemy, Markus, returns with soldiers (one of them the smoldering and mysterious James), intent on taking those weapons that Tora has so carefully hidden. The heroine thinks that Markus might be her ticket off the planet—if she can survive this encounter. There is much in Helvig's debut that doesn't make sense: How has humankind mastered interplanetary travel and colonized other worlds without being able to preserve Earth's water or keep the planet habitable? Why would Tora's father key his weapons specifically to her bio-signature and leave them with her, putting her at risk, rather than just destroy them? Too many twists in alliances and betrayals by love interest James will leave readers puzzled at the motivations behind the characters' actions, and the ending leaves very little resolved. Not much differentiates this from others of its kind, but teens will enjoy the mix of romantic tension, "he didn't! he couldn't!" moments, and laser gun-slinging adventure.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-19
In an unrecognizable future, the sun has ballooned to epic proportions, leaving the Earth charred, desiccated and nearly vacant, as a teenage girl tries to hold on to her sanity and secrets. Tora Reynolds, the daughter of a famous weapons developer, spends her days isolated in an underground bunker with nothing to keep her company but a cache of deadly weapons and the whir of machines that purify her air and water. The Earth has become a monstrously inhospitable place, with an angry sun that has shriveled the land to dust and rendered it impossible for humans to venture outside without a sunsuit for protection. When Tora is unexpectedly approached by Markus, a friend of her father's with a disreputable past, she is cast into a dangerous game in which Markus' group and the oppressive Consulate vie for access to her deadly arsenal. Through Markus, she meets James, a handsome and dangerous boy who at any moment could as easily kiss her as kill her. Faced with the responsibility of her father's legacy, she must decide how to save the weapons and herself. Tora is whip-smart and sharp-tongued, and though she possesses enough munitions to blow up a spaceship, her sarcasm is by far her most useful tool. Helvig builds a rock-solid future world and provides enough staggering plot twists and turns to keep pages flying to the gut-wrenching cliffhanger. A scorching series opener not to be missed. (Science fiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606844809
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 759,854
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. You can find her musing about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics at www.KristiHelvig.com. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and their behaviorally-challenged dogs.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2014

    Whoa--this book is, like, the definition of "page-turner.&q

    Whoa--this book is, like, the definition of "page-turner." I could hardly put it down! Ms. Helvig is a master of ending chapters in just the right spots, on just the right notes, that make it pretty much essential that you dive right into the next one.




    What's more, this book has an awesome concept (the sun is burning out WAY sooner than anticipated), a spunky, snarky heroine in Tora, and a cast of supporting characters for whom your trust is always shifting. Some very cool futuristic settings, too. I'll be psyched to come back to this world and learn how this story continues in the sequel!

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  • Posted May 19, 2014

    3.5 Stars Okay, let me start by saying BURN OUT was NOTHIN


    3.5 Stars

    Okay, let me start by saying BURN OUT was NOTHING like I thought it was going to be at all! But I still really enjoyed it, a lot! I went into BURN OUT thinking it was going to be something totally different then what it was. But I was pleasantly surprised that even though it wasn't what I excepted it to be, it was still pretty terrific!

    That being said, I still did have a couple issues with BURN OUT. The first issue was that they're was a lot going on and a ton of secrets being kept from everyone, and no where near enough answers revealed. I felt the book could of been longer and add more to the story and it would of easily of made my rating a 4 or even a 4.5. It ended abruptly, with hardly any explanation to what the hectic was going on, and who could be trusted and who couldn't. Because they're was some surprising events that unfold in this novel, but when you get to the end, you still don't know why they happened, or who is the "Good guy & the Bad guy" so to speak. So if it would of explained more of the reasoning behind some of the events in the main plot, and if I was able to get a better feel of who I should like and who I should hate, then it would of probably turned out to be at least a 4 star review for me!

    On a better note... Kristi Helvig has crafted one girls fight to honor her fathers last wish, and to save humanity from suffering the same horrible fate her father did by the corrupt government, and to try and stay true to herself, while getting the hell off the giant sun drenched fire-ball planet called earth...alive!

    THE PLOT...

    Tora has been confined to her family's secluded underground bunker, hiding from both the Consulate, the corrupt government her father worked for and deceived, and the vicious, lethal sun that will cook you faster then a oven, for so long she can't even remember! Both her mother and little sister died while the sun cooked them from the outside in, and turned them into a pile of ash. Her father went back to try and reason with the Consulate about the guns he created, and he never returned. So Tora has come to terms that he is most likely dead. She's also faced the facts that she will probably die in that bunker, because no one is coming for her, because she is the last person left on earth, or so she thought....

    An old family friend Markus, has come back for her as promised. But it's not just her he's come for. He wants the guns that her father created and risked his life to hide, and Markus wants them all! But Tora can not, and will not, hand them over to Markus, or anyone else! These guns were the last thing her father tried to hide and ultimately died for. Markus wants to sell them and become rich on Caelia, the new plant that the government and some of the upper class citizens have made it too. But if Markus gets the guns then they will definitely fall into the wrong hands, and everything her father fought for and ultimately died for, would of been for nothing!

    Tora will have to decide just how far she's willing to go to keep what her father worked so hard to conceal out of the hands of the corrupt government. And if it's really even worth fighting for, and ultimately worth dying for!

    Overall, BURN OUT was an intensely hot book, that kept me on my toes, second guessing everything I once thought, as shocking events unfolded, and had me craving more of the sun scorched world that Kristi Helvig created! I will definitely be picking up the next book with eager hands, because I just HAVE to know what's coming next!

    NOTE: I received an eARC copy for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own, and are not influenced in any way!

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Before I get into how much I like this book, I have to thank aut

    Before I get into how much I like this book, I have to thank author Kelsey Ketch for the recommendation. I sincerely appreciate the heads up, and she was right: this book is great!
    Like all good Science Fiction, Burn Out is innovative, entertaining, fast paced, and unpredictable. The action scenes are vividly written, the advanced technology is realistic, and the plot is captivating. Kudos to Ms. Helvig on a job very well done. Her first novel deserves all the praise it has received since its release last month.
    I really like Tora’s character – she is resilient and brave and smart and honest. She’s also grieving and vulnerable and confused and flawed. She’s taking life one day at a time when Markus and Co. descend upon her home. Her dismal future takes a dangerous turn as she is forced to join their quest for revenge. After years of solitude, she has to interact with the other survivors – but is it really an united front or just every many for himself? Some characters you love to hate and some you hope are better than they appear on paper. As a reader, it was gripping to never really know who Tora could trust. The surprises are exciting and frustrating; stolen moments expose just as much as betrayals.
    The world building is, in my opinion, stellar. In real life, out sun is scheduled to become a “red giant sun” about a billion years from now. In Burn Out, the author depicts Earth after this event occurs way, way ahead of schedule (in 300 years). All plant and animal life dies from extreme temperatures and dehydration. Heat-resistant technology and global water conservation prolonged human life, but when we meet Tora, we see it is not much of an existence. The futuristic methods of avoiding sun exposure and forcing water molecules from the atmosphere are very interesting, and the biometric security systems are a realistic solution to protecting property in this advanced, yet desolate, world. There is a watch-type gadget called an Infinity that links the wearer to the GlobalNet, suits made out of fabric that can mend itself and the coolest dog leash ever. Any fans of Sci-Fi will appreciate the imaginative, yet plausible inventions in Burn Out. And any fans of YA fiction will appreciate the original plot and engaging storytelling.
    I was seriously impressed a debut novel could be so full of creative concepts, gripping action and jaw dropping surprises. As I read the story, I was half hoping it was a series and half hoping it was a stand along story so I could know how it ended! Since I would have been happy either way, I was excited to get to the end of the book and realize a sequel must be in the works.

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  • Posted May 14, 2014

    To sum up how I felt about this book, I can only say - where's t

    To sum up how I felt about this book, I can only say - where's the sequel, Kristi?
    I am very impressed with the world that Kristi Helvig built, and all the devices that were required to maintain life. I fell in love with Tora's backstory, and personally a well built back story truly is the core of a book. I felt like I knew her family and admired her father and his attempt to prevent his inventions from falling into the wrong hands.
    The character development was amazing. Tora is kick butt and vulnerable. James is a man of mystery and a hunk, but I am not sure how I feel about him. Markus reminds me of Han Solo from Star Wars or Malcolm Reynolds from Fire Fly. I was nervous about the introduction of Alec so late in the book, but with Lucy tagging along - you just knew he was a sweet guy. That leaves Kale and he is seems to be shaping up into a perfect villain.
    This is a great read. Thank you, Kristi Helvig!

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  • Posted April 28, 2014

    Burn Out was a very intense, fast-paced book. I had seen several

    Burn Out was a very intense, fast-paced book. I had seen several people on Goodreads commenting about this book so I was extremely excited to receive an ARC and get the opportunity to review it! 




    From the first chapter you immediately know that you are going to be reading an intense, survival story. I am a huge fan of survival stories and Burn Out has the perfect blend of Sci-Fi and Survival to make it an awesome book! 




    The main character, Tora, has been left on Earth which is now a deserted planet with only a few survivors. The sun has erupted and now Earth is uninhabitable and unimaginably hot. The air is basically poison and Tora only survives because her father, a bio engineer, foresaw this happening and built an underground bunker with solar powered everything in order to survive the heat. Her father had been murdered and her mother and sister burned to death while trying to go outside. Her father was a genius and worked for the government building weapons so Tora lives in the bunker and protects her fathers weapons. 




    "Sweat drenched my body within seconds as the intense heat enveloped me. Some early survivors had said this was what hell was like. They were the same ones who claimed the asteroid incident was God's will. Though they preached with righteous indignation about mankind being punished for their wicked ways, they ended up dying just like everyone else. Guess nothing brought out evangelism faster than disaster, but they didn't get that the real hell was Earth." 




    Tora is shocked when she senses the arrival of another human. The visitor is an old friend, Markus, who knew her father and knew that he created weapons for the government. He also knew about the bunker and the location of the weapons but did not realize that he would be faced with Tora when he comes to collect the weapons. 




    Tora is surprised again when she realizes Marcus has brought a crew of raiders with him to help him get the weapons. The weapons are technologically advanced and can only be activated by Tora so the raiders and Tora come up with an alliance that they both agree with. 




    Little does Tora know but this is just the beginning of an intense fight for survival. Tora will face betrayal, distrust, and lies throughout her journey with the raiders yet she will also find allies and friends in unlikely places.  She will also find out truths about her past that she never even considered. 




    Burn Out is full of drama, romance, survival and so many twists and turns. I loved the Sci-Fi aspect and the author writes the story in such a way that it is truly believable that this could occur. I just absolutely loved it.  The cliff-hanger at the end has be itching for the sequel!!! 

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Okay, after reading several contemporary reads, I thought it was

    Okay, after reading several contemporary reads, I thought it was time for some sci-fi adventure!

    Plot: This story is set in the future and it moves pretty fast. From chapter one it moves fast to lots of action and drama. I have to admit that since it did begin pretty fast it gave me a adrenaline rush. I yearned to know more of the world, of what her father was hiding, of who these friends or rather foes are.

    Family/Friends: Tora is who heck of a gal. She has a lot of knowledge due to her father and is looking for peace. I like that Tora is strong and fierce. She doesn’t trust most people and watches people closely. In other words, I really liked this girl. She is one person who I would friend right away.

    Ending: It shocked me. I thought about half-way through I knew what was happening and then, it changed. WOW, dude. Seriously, I did not expect that and I’m hoping that on the next book there is some explanation as to what exactly happened.

    If you want a fast paced, futuristic read, check this book out. It will give you the epic fights, the fast running for your life and more of all an adventure in space. Burn Out is awesome.

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Burn Out by

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Burn Out by Kristi Helvig
    Book One of an untitled series
    Publisher: Egmont 
    Publication Date: April 8, 2014
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: ARC sent by the publisher




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure. 




    Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment.




    Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in. 




    When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. 




    She is shocked when James accidentally fires one of her father's bio-weapons--weapons designed to work only for her. She'd felt a strange pull to James from the start, but the odds of someone sharing her energy vibration are statistically minuscule. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.




    What I Liked:




    I'm going to be brutally honest - ready for it? Well. I've had an ARC of this book since late JULY, you all. July 2013. I got an ARC from Egmont (thank you to both Egmont AND Kristi, who put in a good word for me), and I believe I was the first blogger to get an ARC. I knew I wasn't going to review this book until closer to the release date, but I wanted so badly to read it. Of course, right about that time, freshman year at Johns Hopkins hit me upside the head, and that's that.




    So, I FINALLY read Burn Out, and I'm reviewing it, yay! I enjoyed this book, and while I had a few complaints, my overall impression was very positive! I'm quite happy with this debut, and will definitely be continuing the series. The story was pretty great, the characters were likable, and the science fiction was awesome!




    Tora is alone on Earth. She's in an underground bunker that her scientist father built and moved her and her family into when he betrayed the government. You see, he built weapons for the government, really high-tech, highly destructive weapons, but he realized that it was too dangerous to give them to the government. So he took them and his family, and hid everything in the underground bunker. And then the sun starting expanding, and life on Earth basically ended. Tora's father's friend, Markus, comes back to Earth, and wants the weapons, which he'll give to the highest bidder. Things go pretty far downhill from there. Tora joins Markus and his group, with the weapons, and attempt to run from the government.




    Not much happens in this book, to be honest, but I enjoyed what DID happen. Markus comes in search for the weapons. He leaves, and brings his thug friends back. Tora is forced to go with them, because the government shows up as well. The group gets away from the bunker, but they have to go back to get the supplies. Things get messy after that. I can't/won't tell you specifically, but betrayals run rampant in this book.




    So the plot was pretty decent. I was never bored, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The writing style wasn't anything special, but it kept the flow of the story going, and it wasn't a hindrance. There is definitely a bit of mystery in this book, as to Tora's past, the colonized planet Caelia, and soon. I liked this! But I hope things will be revealed. 




    The characters - I think I like most of them. At least, the ones that should be liked. Tora is very spunky and feisty, and I think it definitely fit her well. There are some inconsistencies in her character, in my opinion, but I liked her. Britta is probably the character with the most personality. She is extremely honest, and she lets everyone know her opinion of them. Kale was kind of one-dimensional to me, until the last part of the book, at least. Markus - well, I always liked him, even from the beginning. In the end, I felt really bad for him. James is tricky. I think I like him, yet I don't. It's not enough for Tora to like him for me to like him. He is shrouded in mystery and secrets, and I want to know more - but not necessarily because I like him. Alec joins us late in the game, and I REALLY like him.




    So... romance? The entire book pushes us towards Tora and James. Heck, Tora's mindset pushes readers towards liking James, because she is definitely attracted to him, and she likes him. I'm not a huge fan of James, but really because I need to know more about him, and his motives. This book has no love triangle featured, but I could see how the author could slip one in. Please don't. ***Edited to add: the author personally told me that the series will not include a love triangle. WOOHOO FOR THAT!***




    The science fiction in this book is pretty cool. The weapons themselves are awesome - they can only be used by Tora, because the weapons are programmed to her vibrations. So, only someone with EXACTLY her vibration patterns could use the weapons. Which is pretty much impossible. That's so much more secure than a fingerprint or something. The bunker is filled with all kinds of neat science-y tech, like the manner in which to get water (W.A.R.). And of course, this entire book is built on a catastrophic natural occurrence that mankind tried to divert. Apparently, humans shot an asteroid off course (it was heading towards Earth), but it went towards the sun. It had a lot of dark matter, and so when it went towards the sun, it caused the sun to expand (I can't remember the exact logistics, but I remember thinking that it was fascinating).




    Have I convinced you yet? If you're into science fiction, you definitely do NOT want to miss this book. If you aren't a science fiction person, you should still check out this book, but don't get super excited like it's going to be the next big thing (that would be cool though). I'm glad I had the opportunity to read and review this book!




    What I Did Not Like:




    I think the only thing that really bothered me was the amount of questions I had, by the end of the book. They started about halfway though the book, and kept adding, right until the end. I'm a little confused about the end. Okay, so, two things - the questions, and a sub-dislike - the end.




    But seriously though. I'm confused as to why Tora didn't keep vigilant the entire time. She let her guard down so often, which is kind of ridiculous, if she's supposed to be this kickbutt, non-trusting girl. Which she is, but I feel like she trusted Kale, Britta, and James too easily. I could understand why she would let her guard down around Markus - she was the most familiar with him, since she knew him from before - but not the others.




    Also, towards the end, why didn't she just blast everyone? The TO does a really good job of getting rid of threats... so use it. Or something. I feel like there were a lot of times when Tora could have attacked, or threatened her enemies/captors with the TO, or have done SOMETHING, but she was caught

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    I predict Burn Out will be voted the best debut novel of 2014! I

    I predict Burn Out will be voted the best debut novel of 2014! It’s action-packed, mixed with the right amount of romance and suspense for any young adult novel. I, personally, fell in love right from page one.

    If you are a fan of science fiction such as Firefly, you’re going to enjoy the plot and characters of this novel. It’s just as diverse and adventurous, yet completely unique in its own way. I never knew who to trust or who to side with. Like the main character, Tora, I basically had to trust my instincts. And with the plot and the building romance being so intense, my stomach just continued to knot up. Who can I trust? Is it James? Is it Markus? And what about Kale?

    Honestly, with how well James is written, I couldn’t help but fall for him, even when my gut and his actions were screaming not to trust him. I was just completely sucked in by the blond medic. I so wanted to be Tora and have James wrap me in his arms and stay there for eternity. And Markus . . . Markus was another one I had a hard time not liking. He reminded me so much of Malcolm from Firefly: both in his actions and in his character. Even when he was an arse, he was just so much fun. The only big difference between him and James was my gut so totally could NOT trust him. Period, end of sentence. No matter how sweet he smiled.

    However, to be honest, I was a bit nervous that this book was about to take a wrong turn when Alec was introduced. I was so scared of a love triangle forming, something that I now feel is getting old in novels. Besides, I don’t think my heart could take it. Not with my intense feeling for James. It would just kill me!! Fortunately, as I read on, I didn’t sense anything. Which was good. I just hope it stays that way.

    To sum up, Burn Out is an excellent read. If you haven’t added it to your TBR lists, I highly recommend that you do. It’s FABULOUS!! <3 James!

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