al davroe

Hi everyone! Today we have a post from author A.L. Davroe of the upcoming Nexis publishing in December. Hope you enjoy the post!

About the Book

nexis coverNexis by A.L. Davroe
Released December 1, 2015
YA Science Fiction
Add it on Goodreads

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

About the Author:

author photoA.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing  December 1, 2015!

By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese.  She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods.  Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble.  She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

 

The Post

Diversity. When we think about it, we tend to think variety. Many different people and things. When I was first asked to do a guest post about diversity, I was like “…okay, yeah sure, I have a handicapped main character, that qualifies.” But then I actually sat down and thought about it. I realized that my upcoming book, Nexis, is brimming with all sorts of diversity issues.

Ella, my main character, is and of herself the poster child for diversity. Ella is a genetic minority. Unlike all the Aristocrats who were genetically Customized from conception, Ella is a Natural. She hasn’t had her physical body overhauled to DaVinci’s Golden Rule or had disease and susceptibility to illness removed from her genome. That makes her weaker than everyone else around her. Her Natural genes also make her a racial minority. While she still sports the darker hair and skin that have come to dominate Americans, the Aristocrats have reintroduced lighter colored skin and brought back extinct physical traits like red hair and blue eyes. Because she’s a Natural and unable to get the Modifications and Alternations that might allow her to catch up to her contemporaries, Ella is also a social minority. To top it off, she loses both her legs in an accident and through a series of unexpected events can’t get a new pair grown for her in a lab. The only thing Ella had going for her (her prodigy-level capability for programming) is pretty much taken away from her when she’s imprisoned in her own home and the parental controls on the chip implanted in her head are adjusted so that she cannot use her skills to get herself out.

If I didn’t know myself any better, I call myself cruel and unusual for creating a character this pigeon-holed into minority disadvantage.

But then, Ella is in good company. While a significant group of people in number, the androids who serve the Aristocrats are little better than slaves to their masters’ whims. And, while freedom may seem like a boon to the androids, the Disfavored who live outside of the domed city would do anything to get in – even sell themselves as “Dolls” so that the Aristocrats can dress them up and experiment on them like living mannequins.

There are also the Aristocrats themselves who, in a strange twist of genetically engineered fate, are as cookie-cutter perfect as can be and hate it. One’s occupation becomes a thing of distinction in this world — graduating to proper nouns with a capital letter. The youth and the more trendy adults go to extreme measures with Modifications and Alterations to look as unique as possible and thusly stand out among their brethren. The result is a flock of humans that, while exactly the same on the inside look as different from each other as they possibly can.

After sitting down and actually parsing out how different these people are from each other, I had to wonder why I did this. It was subconscious, to be sure, but it happened none-the-less. My only answer to myself is that I like diversity. I think all humans do. It’s what makes each and every one of us special. Each of us has a unique story made up of original experiences and a face all our own.

But, how do we find diversity in a world where there is no true sense of politics or religion, where race hardly exists because people have all become one melting-pot of mutt, where all tradition and cultural relevance is lost. Where we all look the same, speak the same, believe the same. What happens when we’re put in a bubble and stripped of relevance?

Do humans remain irrelevant? No. We create diversity by creating our own adversity. Where there is one class of Aristocrat, they create a sub-class of Elite who are somehow better but we don’t know why and the androids who serve them become a dejected class all their own. Where there is one face and one race, they create new variety with the insertion of nanotechnology into their bodies via Modification and Alteration. And, where there was once isolation from the Disfavored who live in the waste beyond the dome, the Aristocrats start to venture out, taking a perverse interest in the lives of those who are so unlike them – the “other.” It becomes exotic to adopt a Disfavored child or even take one as a paramour.

The class lines are blurring, tension is rising. The Disfavored want what the Aristocrats have. The androids want to be free. The Aristocrats just want more and more of what makes them feel good and don’t care who they step on to get it.

Amidst this chaos is Ellani Drexel.

Ella is my special snow flake who proves what happens when you put a drop of something into a swirling pot. Sometimes the drop gets swallowed up like it never existed. And sometimes the drop changes the whole thing to something new.

How will Ella navigate her own diverse challenges?

How does she deal with all the adversity within the diversity (or lack there-of)?

Most importantly, does she get the boy?

Well, you’ll have to read and find out.

What did you think of this guest post? Are you as excited to read Nexis as I am? Let’s discuss!

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