It's been seven days since Clementine, Logan, and their allies retreated into hiding on the Surface. Clementine feels almost safe in their company, but she knows it won't last. The rebels may have won one fight against Commander Charlie, but the fight is far from over. He will find a way to fly his Core battleship to the nearby planet, Marden, no matter how many lives are lost in the process. Unless the rebels defeat him first.
The plan is simple: they will infiltrate each sector and weaken his infrastructure from within his ranks. They will convince the underage workers in the camps to join in the uprising. They will hijack ships, enter the Core, and assassinate Charlie. But Charlie has more weapons in his possession than guns and bombs, and he will do whatever it takes to keep the rebels from ruining his plans. With every step, Clementine draws closer to losing Logan and everyone she cares aboutand losing control of herself.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
By Stephanie Diaz
St. Martin's GriffinCopyright © 2015 Stephanie Diaz
All rights reserved.
When I close my eyes, I see the explosion.
Fire consumes the acid generator on the moon, like a sun swallowing it whole. The escape pod that carried the bomb to the generator tower rips into a billion pieces. The burning bits of metal get sucked out into the vacuum of space.
The explosion happens over and over, like a CorpoBot broadcast on repeat. Every time, I try to stop it. I bang my fists on the window of the escape pod, begging Oliver to let me take his place.
He refuses to listen. He grabs the flight levers and turns the pod in the direction of the moon's surface.
I scramble back to the main cockpit and turn the spaceship around as the bomb timer ticks down to zero. I try to save him.
But I am always too late.
* * *
I wake drenched in sweat in the darkness, choking back tears.
It takes me several moments to remember I am not on the spaceship anymore. I'm in a bed in a secret military base, buried deep in the mountains on the Surface. Beechy brought me here to join the others who were part of his undercover rebellion in the Core, after he and I escaped the explosion and returned from the moon without Oliver.
The only light in the room comes from the pale glow of the space heater above the door. It shows me the outline of the bunk bed across from mine, the storage lockers built into the wall, and the safety suits hanging on hooks in case the deadly acid in the world outside seeps into the KIMO facility. In case our safety is compromised.
I've woken up in this room almost every morning for the past seven days, but every day I still wake thinking I am somewhere else. On the spaceship with Oliver, in a cold prison cell, in a death simulation in the Core. Lost in one of my nightmares.
It doesn't help that Logan sleeps in a different room. We were apart all those days I was in the Core, after I was picked for Extraction and had to leave him behind on the Surface. But I never really got used to sleeping without him. I still miss the warmth of his body near mine, the comfort of his strong arms bracing me against the world outside.
As it is, I have to handle the night terrors on my own. I untangle myself from my bedsheets and take in a slow, deep breath through my nose, counting to five, then exhale at the same rate. My muscles are tight, but the tension should ease if I keep breathing like this.
Oliver's death is not your fault, I remind myself.
Commander Charlie put the bomb on that ship and forced Oliver to guard it. He took down the protective shield surrounding Kiel's atmosphere, letting the deadly acid seep in, forcing us to fly to the moon to destroy the generator. He didn't care how many innocent lives were lost that day, so long as he got what he wanted.
Oliver's death is not your fault.
I try to believe it.
Wiping my watery eyes, I shove away my covers and slide off my top bunk. My bare feet thump as they hit the floor.
The bunk below mine is empty, thank the stars. My roommate, Skylar, caught me thrashing in my sleep during a nightmare I had two days ago. She didn't say anything about it after I assured her I was all right, but I couldn't stand the way she looked at me afterwards. Like I was a krail with a broken wing or something.
The other two bunks in our small, cramped sleeping quarters are also empty. The twins who are a few years older than me, Fiona and Paley, are probably busy in the flight port, refueling pods or refurbishing the old jets Beechy and the other rebel leaders found when they discovered the base.
They'd happened upon the compound on a mission to the Surface a little over a year ago. The facility proved useful when two of their friends needed somewhere to hide to escape imprisonment. When the rest of us showed up a week ago, after the Core rebels made their first real strike against Commander Charlie, there was still work to be done to make the base fully operational. The security systems were up and running, but many of the other systems needed repair.
According to the computer logs, the base was out of use for nearly three centuries before the Core rebels made it their headquarters. The last inhabitants were members of KIMO—Kiel's Intelligence Military Operative—the special military corps that led the war strikes against the humanoids on the distant planet, Marden, when our leaders sought to reclaim the home Kiel's people originated from. KIMO abandoned the facility, fleeing underground along with the rest of the Surface population, after Marden's army placed a weapon on our moon powerful enough to pump acid into our sky and poison our cities. But the KIMO members left behind military equipment and nonperishable food in their old base, perhaps meaning to return.
Thus far, we've had no sighting of Core ships anywhere nearby. But that doesn't mean Commander Charlie and the other four Developers—the scientists who rule Kiel—don't know this place exists. All it means is they haven't realized we found it, or they're preoccupied with bigger things. Maybe Charlie is holed up in the Core, uncertain whether his plan to reignite the war with Marden is such a good idea after all. But I don't believe we could be so lucky. He has probably already begun construction on a new bomb, or a stronger tool that will succeed in launching his Core battleship into space, abandoning the rest of us to die. Likely, he believes those of us who know what he's doing and oppose him are too disorganized to threaten him any longer.
But he is wrong.
I switch on the ceiling light and grab my clothes from my locker: a crumpled tank top, a jacket, and a pair of old gray army pants.
After I strip off my sweaty nightshirt, I pull on the clothes. I hate this outfit—the gray pants, especially. They remind me of the suit Lieutenant Sam used to wear, when he wasn't dressed in his uniform to impress Commander Charlie. They remind me of him slamming me into a wall and trapping me with his hands all over me in a Core elevator.
His lips molding against mine, his tongue in my mouth.
I slam my locker shut, shoving down the memory. I will not think of Sam. He is far away, and I won't let him scare me any longer.
Someone raps twice on my door.
I check the small mirror beside my locker, hoping I don't look like I've been crying. My cheeks are slightly flushed, but there's nothing I can do about that.
"Come in," I say.
The door opens, and Logan walks in. The sight of him sends a flood of warmth and relief into my body.
His hair is slick and wet from the showers. His pants hang a bit low on his waist, made for someone who wasn't starving in a work camp a little over a week ago. He's been showering every day, but there are still remnants of field grime on his face and under his fingernails.
"Good, you're awake," he says with a smile. "You ready? Skylar wants to take us out for a flight drill in a couple minutes. We should hurry and get breakfast."
For the past few days, my roommate has been training us and a couple other newbies how to fly. Everyone part of the Alliance is supposed to have experience in both ground and flight combat. We're preparing not only for the possibility of enemy ships finding our headquarters, but also for the attack we plan to launch against the Core as soon as we know what's happening out there—as soon as the scouts we sent outside the compound return with news.
"Almost ready," I say, closing the door behind us. I'm glad Skylar's taking us out for a flight drill. I could use the distraction. "Did you just wake up?"
"No, about an hour ago. Went in the training room for a while. I thought you were going to meet me there."
"Sorry, I slept later than usual." I grab my boots from the floor and sit on Skylar's bunk to pull them on. There's a dull pounding in my temple, an undercurrent that remains of the panic I woke up with. But Logan's presence soothes me.
"You missed me hitting all the targets with those old blasters we found in the storage room," he says, leaning against the bunk post.
He mimes firing a gun in the air. "Hit the bull's eye, four in twenty."
I snort. "That's terrible."
"True. But I hit the target almost every time, so I'm getting better. I might actually have a chance of hitting an official when we infiltrate the Core."
An image flashes through my head of Logan in the Core under attack, facing men who've been turned into mindless soldiers by their monthly injections. I picture them firing at him again and again until he falls limp with blood spilling from his chest.
A knot of panic twists in my stomach. I can't lose him; I won't let that happen. I'll make sure he isn't on the front lines when we start the invasion. I'll make sure he is safe, no matter what.
"You all right?" Logan asks. A crease of concern forms between his eyes. The bluish glow of the wall heater brings out the color in their stormy gray.
"I'm fine," I say.
I haven't told him about my recurring nightmares. He doesn't need to know I've been waking up in terror, afraid I haven't escaped the danger yet. I don't want him to worry any more than he already does.
I finish knotting the laces of my boots and push off the bed. Logan shifts toward me, reaching for the small of my back. I slide my arms into their familiar hold around his waist, pulling him close until I can feel all of him against me. The hard outline of his hip bones; the warmth of his skin through his shirt.
He is comfort and quiet and everything I need. I'd give anything for the world outside to pause and let us be happy here, instead of dragging us apart again.
"You're safe here," Logan says softly. "You know that, right? You're safe with me."
I want to believe him. I want him to be right.
But every time I've been sure I was out of danger, I was wrong. I thought I'd won freedom when the Developers picked me for Extraction, but they only wanted to control me. They picked me for my intelligence, but they wanted to turn me into a soldier who would kill for them without question. And they would've succeeded if I hadn't been allergic to their serum that turns strong citizens into mindless bots—if I hadn't found the will to fight.
If I'm lucky, Commander Charlie thinks I died in the explosion. Once he finds out I'm alive, he will want to punish me for how I screwed up his plans. He will make me watch as he destroys everyone I care about—Logan and the rebels in the compound and the thousands of innocents in the work camps—to save his precious, elite followers in the Core.
I don't know if I can kill him before he succeeds. But I have to try.
"Forget everything else," Logan says. "You don't have to worry right now."
He pulls away a little, moving his hand to caress my cheekbone. His thumb trails in a slow line along the curve of my jaw, drawing close to the tender spot where Charlie slammed a gun into my face a week ago. The scar hurts like vrux every time I accidentally bump it.
Leaning in, Logan brushes his lips against the sore spot. I brace myself to flinch away, but the pain doesn't come. There's only a light flutter of nerves in my stomach.
Logan's hands trail back to my waist, drawing me closer. "I won't let anyone hurt you again," he whispers against my skin. "I promise."
He presses his mouth to mine, and I believe him.CHAPTER 2
The mess hall is crowded when we arrive. Men and women wearing faded army clothing sit at the round tables with their breakfast trays, some of them playing cards or dice, laughing as they eat, as if this life is normal to them.
I didn't know what to expect when Beechy told me about this place, when he said the base housed a group of people who'd been working undercover to overthrow the Developers and liberate the work camps. I had no idea the operation was so complex. But I didn't know a lot of things until a few days ago.
"Clementine, over here!" My roommate, Skylar, waves at me from a table by the wall. She has two open seats beside her.
"I'll grab you a tray," Logan says, dropping my hand.
"Thanks," I say.
As he heads for the counter at the back of the room, I slip between the tables, avoiding people who are trying to scoot their chairs out or stand up. But I bump into a woman on accident, nearly knocking her tray over.
"Sorry," I mumble.
She gives me a small smile, edging out of my way. I can't help staring at her. Her face and arms and neck are covered with more bruises than I've seen on anyone, all of them horrible shades of purple. Like she was cut up with knives or stuck with too many needles.
I've seen another woman with scars like these. She was strung up inside a glass cage when I arrived in the Core after I was picked for Extraction, and Commander Charlie made me shoot her to prove I would do anything to stay alive. He was disappointed when my shot didn't kill her and someone had to finish the job for me.
Quickly averting my eyes, I hurry past the woman. There's only one place she could've gotten those bruises: Karum. The prison on a cliff above the sea, where Charlie and the other Developers send those they can't control with their monthly injections. They study them and do everything in their power to break them, and mostly they succeed.
I try to avoid the others who came from there. I know it's stupid. I was one of them; I was Unstable too. But whenever their eyes catch mine, I see the cell bars reflected in them. I see the doctors leaning over me, and the needles that left marks on my arms.
I see bodies in the sea.
The memories cause my hands to tremble, my throat to clog up, and my chest to feel like it's about to explode. If I told Logan or Beechy I keep having panic attacks and nightmares, they'd probably tell me to go to the sick bay and have the nurses give me something to help me feel better. Maybe medicine could make all of it go away.
But I don't trust injections or pills, not even here. What I need more than anything is a distraction. I need to do something. It's taking too long for us to gather the information we need to form a suitable attack plan.
"You all right?" Skylar asks when I reach her. My expression must not be as composed as I thought it was.
"I'm great," I say, dropping into the seat beside her.
Her eyebrow raises slightly, but she shrugs. "Shiny," she says, snatching up the set of dice on her tray. Today her shoulder-length blond hair is twisted into a bun at the nape of her neck. Her pilot helmet sits on the table beside her tray. She carries it with her everywhere, so she'll always be ready to fly.
"Take your roll," the male pilot across the table says. I recognize him as one of the men who broke me and the other Unstables out of Karum prison.
"What, Buck, are you so eager to lose?" Skylar smirks, tossing her dice on the table. She rolls double sixes. With a hoot of excitement, she throws her hands in the air. The pilots at the table next to ours glance over, some of them laughing, others shaking their heads.
Buck groans and throws the rest of his rusty nails into the pot. "I swear, you're the vruxing luckiest winger I've ever laid eyes on."
"The smartest, Buck." Skylar scoops up the pot and moves it to her side of the table. She nudges my elbow. "I'm also the youngest person ever to make head pilot. Started flight training when I was ten and got promoted at fourteen."
Buck rolls his eyes and takes a swig of his drink. "Started bragging the day she was born."
"Oh, shut up." Skylar throws a die at Buck, and he fumbles to catch it. "You've done your share of bragging too, Mr. No-One-Can-Fly-the-Pipeline-as-Fast-as-I-Can."
"They sure as moonshine can't." Buck curls the edges of his thick mustache. Skylar laughs.
Chewing my lip, I snatch up the other die from her tray and turn it over in my fingers. I want to challenge Skylar, but I need more practice against easier opponents first. She's won every single game I've seen her play. She might be one of the youngest people in the Alliance, but she's certainly not the least experienced when it comes to gambling games or piloting ships.
"When did you two join the Alliance?" I ask.
Beechy told me he and his wife, Sandy—Commander Charlie's only daughter—founded the Alliance a little over a year ago, with a few of their closest friends. It took months and months for the insurrection group to grow to the size it is today. Now they have about two hundred people working to overthrow the Developers. Most of them aren't here; they are still undercover in the Surface settlement or in the lower sectors.
"Sandy recruited me about two months ago," Buck says.
"I joined a couple weeks ago, after Commander Charlie made his announcement," Skylar says. "If Beechy or Buck here had trusted me more, I would've joined a hell of a lot sooner." She snorts, but a subtle hardness seeps into her expression.
Excerpted from Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz. Copyright © 2015 Stephanie Diaz. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
REBELLION by Stephanie Diaz is a fantastic blend of dystopian and sci-fi. Think Ender’s Game meets Divergent/Hunger Games. REBELLION picks up pretty much right after the events of the first book and follows Clem & Logan as they join forces with a group of rebels set on overthrowing Commander Charie/freeing the human race. Thanks to the amount of world-building the author did in the first novel, we were able to delve much deeper into the action and character development the time around. Stephanie Diaz is a gifted writer. I found myself fully invested emotionally. Clem’s PTSD is absolutely heartbreaking, yet fascinating to observe how much this affects her behaviors. I enjoyed getting to know Logan a bit more, as well as seeing his relationship with Clem grow. Just when I thought I had the next plot point figured out, the author would throw in some kind of twist that left me gaping at the page. This book is a total page turner, with one hell of an ending! Can’t wait to read the final book in the series! Note: I received a FREE ARC (advanced reader copy) from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I would like to audition for Fluttershy and Rarity, please. Write soon. ~Lunar Fire
I want to thank St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. If you haven't read the first book in this series, STOP HERE. I cannot promise there will not be spoilers from the first book. As a matter of fact, I can pretty much guarantee there will be. This book picks up right where the last book left off. Clementine is back from her trip, where Oliver flew into the moon to destroy the machine put there by the enemy. Clementine and her band of misfits have taken to a compound on the surface, where they hide and plan their attack on Commander Charlie. Of course, as with any good plan, there's always a downside. And this comes in the form of confronting your enemy and possibly never coming out alive. Clementine knows this is a real possibility. I will say that the first book in this series was just ok for me. It didn't hold my interest as much as I would have liked. The concepts were interesting, but I had felt like there was too much of other books in them (which I mention in my review). Same went with this book, I could see similarities for sure. I wanted it to go a different route than I was expecting, but it didn't really do that for me. But every dystopian must have it's rebellion and Diaz managed to pull that off quite nicely. This book certainly was faster paced than the first. There was more action and intrigue that kept me wanting to get to the end to see where Clementine would end up. And there's even a twist, a wrench if you will, thrown into the plot. One that actually pulls Commander Charlie more onto their side then they would like. I can't get into what it is, because I'll spoil things, but let's just say I can see where the enemies might join forces a bit in the next book to try and save their people. Clementine is plagued by what has happened to her in the very recent past in this book. It makes her hesitate in situations where she should not, and do things in situations that might cause others harm. She has a hard time separating herself from the trauma and it's a picture that is clearly painted to the reader. At the same time, she chooses to hide what's going on from her friends, rather than seek the help she needs to move past it. I felt badly for her, but I also wanted her to find the light somewhere and it never really happened. Her relationship with Logan becomes especially pressed for it, and it doesn't help that she keeps secrets from him because he feels the tension it is causing. There are a ton of supporting characters in this book, each with their own unique personality. It was nice to watch the interactions between them as their relationships grew stronger the more time they all spent together. I will say I would have liked to see more showing in this book as opposed to telling. Much of the time Clementine focuses on telling us what is going on around her rather than us seeing it though her interactions with the other characters and the world around her. At times this pulled me out of the story and I had to put the book down to take a breather. Overall this was a fairly enjoyable read. There's definitely a cliff hanger ending here, so I want to see what happens int he next book. I can only imagine that the opening with be a big bang, because it can't be anything but.
“When I close my eyes, I see the explosion.” And with that, we return to the toxic moon Kiel from Extraction (book one of Stephanie Diaz’ trilogy). As Rebellion (book two) opens, Clementine, Logan, and the insurgents have survived the detonation but not the war. They continue to race the clock to thwart Commander Charlie’s quest to overtake the nearby planet Marden. Their plan will force them to return to Kiel’s Core, where he controls his minions with mind-altering injections. Page after page, you’ll wonder how Kiel hasn’t already imploded from its own evil force fields. 4+
4.5 Stars 'Rebellion' is the action packed second book in a young adult dystopian series. The book picks up right where the first left off - the rebellion has officially begun. Logan and Clementine, along with their allies, have gone to the safety of the Surface after winning the first battle against Commander Charlie. The war is far from over, and the Commander has every intention of winning - no matter what the cost. When Clementine and Logan team up against the Commander and against time - they discover just exactly what they're up against. There will be secrets, lies, and anything else that could tear them apart. Is Clementine going to end up losing Logan as well as the war? Is she even strong even to control herself? Just like the first book in the series, this story had me immediately hooked from the first lines. I felt like no time had passed since I finished the first novel, and it was incredibly easy for me to slip back into the world that the author created. The story continues to follow our heroine, Clementine, along with Logan - her other half and a major hottie. I was glad to see that both of the lead characters continued to grow throughout the story. Sometimes during a series, the characters or other parts of the books become stagnant and lose their appeal - I'm very happy to report that this definitely wasn't the case here. Clementine and Logan both have to grow as characters - as a couple, as a team, as well as on their own. I really enjoyed watching them overcome the many obstacles thrown into their paths and how they had to mature even more in every aspect of their lives. They're basically leading the rebel army against the Commander, so they have no room for petty worries, thoughts, or fears anymore. They must step up and lead the people who believe in the same principles as they do. The plot was intense and really fast paced. There was always something going on, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen. The writing is exceptional with detailed descriptions of every aspect of the book - from the characters to the setting and the plot itself. There's loads of vivid imagery, so it's easy for the reader to imagine themselves in that world alongside the characters during the story. I think that this book - and the series - will appeal to fans of several genres, due to the fact that the author wove together such a wide variety to create this enthralling series. There's action, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, dystopia, and romance - just to name some of the genres involved. Overall, I found this to be an exciting and addictive second book in a series that has me hooked. I can't wait until the next book is released to see what's going to happen next. Very highly recommended. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
4 Stars REBELLION was an intensely thrilling, adventure-filled dystopia, that kept me engaged and on my toes until the very last page! It was a wonderful follow up to EXTRACTION, that had terrifying surprises, and a hell of a cliffhanger that will have me on the edge of my seat in anticipation until book three is in my needy little hands!!! I've been so excited to start REBELLION since reading EXTRACTION last year and REALLY enjoying it, a lot! And REBELLION did not disappoint either. I mean, I did have minor issues with it, which in turn knocked a star off my rating, but nothing too serious to make me not want to continue reading and finishing this series. And I loved the direction that the plot took. I have to admit that I did not see that ending coming. I can't say what of course, ;) but I was literally shocked along side Clem when the truth was finally revealed. And it's always a fun ride when you can be utterly shocked and stunned that you have your mouth hanging open in shock. And that's exactly how Stephanie Diaz left me feeling with that EPIC twist ending!! But, like I said, I did have minor issues with it. Manly it was just that it felt too slowed pace for my taste. It felt like everything was happening in slow motion, and I just knew something was coming, but it was just taking too long for it to get there. But it wasn't bad enough to make me want to DNFed. Besides that I can't really think of any other negative issues I had with REBELLION. The characters were far more developed in this second book. We got to meet new characters and of course in any good dystopia, loose some too. But the characters had their stages of development that I really enjoyed. They went through the motions of their struggles and hardships, and had to learn how to work through them. But eventually they were able to overcome them and slow build themselves back up to the strong-determined rebellion that sparked the revolution, and was driven by the rage and desire to end this terrifying world that has brought so much pain and suffering to it's people. They were ready to do anything to see the people who tortured and enslaved them, imprisoned, or better yet, dead... THE PLOT THE UPRISING HAS BEGUN... Clementine has fought and defeated The Commander and his army of mindless soldiers once, and she's determined to defeat him again and end the senseless suffering to the slaves being used and abused under his rule. Clementine and the love of her life Logan, have teamed up with the rebels and are now taking refuge in a secret facility, lying low until they have enough Intel and numbers to strike the The Commander hard, hard enough to wound and damage whatever insane plan he has in the works. Because if it's anything like the last plan her and Beechy, the leader of the rebellion stopped, then it could mean the end, for everyone... But Clementine didn't go through hell and back just to allow The Commander and his solders to win and kill off the ones he doesn't need anymore. No, she is prepared to do whatever necessary to defeat him once and for all, even if it means she has to go back to the very place it all started, the work camps, AKA,the death camps... Amidst all the danger and death that The Commander has planned, Clementine goes undercover as a spy in the work camps, trying to blend in and get the upper hand for the rebels. All while a few of the other rebels do the same; wrecking havoc whenever and wherever they can, trying to add enough chaos and drama to The Commander and his minions insanity. But The Commander wants Clementine extremely bad, and he has everyone on high alert to be on the look out for her hiding amidst the work camps somewhere. And that just makes her job that much harder, until she uncovers the truth behind The Commanders real plans, and that they're even more sinister then she ever thought... Will Clementine and her group of rebels be able to infiltrate The Commanders organization? Will they be able to uncover all the secrets, plots, and help the ones under the mindless drug that has most people in a compelled state? Will they be able to gain the upper hand and stop all The Commanders vicious plans before it's too late?? But most important, will they be prepared for the coming doom that is destine to come no matter the outcome with The Commander?? You'll have to read and find out for yourselves....;) Overall, REBELLION was a great second installment that did not disappoint. I've thoroughly enjoyed this series so far, and I'm highly looking forward to finding out the outcome of this epic battle on all sides. Because that ending was absolute TORTURE!!!! I definitely recommend the REBELLION series to fans of dystopia, Sci-f, action and adventure.Either way, it's definitely worth a fair shot. NOTE: I received a Physical ARC from St. Martin's Griffin for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!