Tower of Terror
Today’s booth is going to be a very fun ride but beware it’s not called the Tower of Terror for nothing. Our journey will start thirty-two stories up in a broken down old skyscraper! While on this ride with us, please make sure that you stay seated at all times and don’t leave the vehicle because venturing out in this world is extremely dangerous! It is home to the Eaters and rouge robots that will have no problem tearing you limb from limb! This is going to be quite an adventure so everyone take your seats and please welcome our host today!
Let me take you down, because we’re going to the Battery.
The Battery is Frost’s destination, the place where her dreams may be pulled into reality, the place where, she believes, her pet broot will be saved, and her life can begin anew. But that all must wait. Right now she is 32 floors up, a burned out apartment littered with crooked towers of books, each as yellowed and brittle as the city outside. Because the door is locked — it is always locked — we enter through the gaping hole in the wall where a window once stood, the building’s facade blown out by some long ago explosion, the brick exposed and cracked like the streets below, a vantage from where she can see the city entire, the blue light of the Battery like a low hanging star in the distance. We notice how the rats come and go, some real, some mechanical. Opening the cupboards, we find them bare, the electricity long dead — a controlled fire roars in the center of the home; we feel its heat even as the chill of dread washes over us. This is a forsaken place.
Beside the fire sleeps a beast, its chest rising and falling with each heavy and strained breath. His name is Romes and he is a broot. But, more importantly, he is Frost’s beloved pet, and he is dying. Romes is massive, like a bear, but with the coloring of a pig. At one end of the animal is a large, powerful jaw; at the other is a tail similar to a rat’s. His claws are razor sharp as are his teeth. In the wild, he would be lethal, a hunter — his kind had never been known to be domesticated. But, for Frost, he is docile, playful even — he had protected and loved her for a long time. Looking at Frost, we realize there must be something truly special about her.
But if Romes’s life is to be saved, the time to leave is now. Yet Frost can’t do it alone. She will need help — a lot of it — and that help will come in the form of Bunt, a lifelong robot guardian. Standing at six feet, he looms over the young girl of sixteen years who looks merely twelve. He has glowing violet eyes and a mouth that sparks to life whenever he speaks. He has the shape of a man — even the contours of his face ache for skin — but his presence is far from human.
His actions are clear, concise — no movement is wasted, every decision deliberate. He hunts for food daily, for supplies — the only one to ever leave the apartment. He is strong, wise, and completely loyal to Frost — this is because he was programmed this way by her father, who, upon his death, had his consciousness uploaded into the robot. Unfortunately, this is causing Bunt to malfunction. Whenever Frost’s father comes alive within the robot, his control over it becomes less and less — soon, he may not be able to control it at all. His voice has become more distant, his movements drag and sputter, as if he were walking under water. Although his only desire is to care and protect Frost, one gets the sense he may do more harm than good.
But, for now, with her father away in the dark abyss of the robot, Bunt will have to protect Frost the best he can because, outside the apartment door, down 32 flights of stairs, is a dangerous world filled with bloodthirsty Eaters, deranged robots, and unpredictable humans.
As we follow Frost into the hall and down the seemingly endless stairs, we can hear noises. Are they other people? Animals? No, Bunt informs us. They are Eaters — humans that have devolved into insatiable cannibals. The ones who are far gone are easy to spot because when they can’t find food, they feed on themselves — first their tongues, then their fingers, then their arms, and so on. They look ravaged, decayed. But it’s the newly turned that are the most dangerous. This is because the Eater’s mind is mostly intact — they’re just controlled by their hunger for flesh and blood. If one hasn’t removed its tongue yet, why, it might even befriend you, waiting for just the right moment to rip out your throat. They are legion, covering the city like a disease.
Nearing the lower floors, we can nearly taste the open air — it’s stale and rank. If Frost manages to get outside in one piece, it will be the first time in her memory that she has ever done so. Then its just six long miles to the Battery. With her on this journey is a malfunctioning robot, a dying pet that can’t walk, and the towering burden of inexperience. But she also has hope. And bravery. And an unwavering will to fight. If she wants to survive, she’ll need it all.
Let us follow, guided by the blue light of the Battery.
Want to read more from M.P. Kozlowsky?
This contest is provided by Scholastic!
Three lucky readers will win an ARC copy of Frost!
Available October 11, 2016 by Scholastic Press
About this Book:
Cinder meets The Walking Dead in a chilling futuristic fairy tale that will reboot everything you thought about family, love, and what it means to be human.
Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.
She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders . . .
It’s his memories.
Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the only living creature she loves.
With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters . . . to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own?
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