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The Salvation State by Marcus Damanda

Price:
$4.99
SKU:
978-1-77233-671-9


Product Description

“This is what the truth is. Second Salvations murdered my parents, and I’m running away.” 

A single post over unregulated Internet channels. A sleeping society awakens to a chase, broadcast live on television screens all across the New United States of America... 

Rebecca and Daniel have never met. A fifteen-year-old preacher’s kid and a sixteen-year-old atheist outcast, they appear to have little in common. And yet they have both attracted the attention of a recruiter for Angel Island, where bad kids go to be remade—or destroyed. 

Agents of the all-powerful New America Unity Church will stop at nothing to get them. They’re building an army, a modern children’s crusade, in which Rebecca and Daniel may be just the kind of future leaders they need. 

If not, they might be just the kind of sacrifice necessary to keep the rest of the faithless in line.

16+ due to violence and adult situations

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Excerpt:

Rebecca had known Miss Marcy was there the whole time. She was careful not to betray that knowledge by looking at her, though, even as she hit the bottom of the stairs and ran straight in her direction. She had anticipated a host of enemies lying in wait for her, in fact, and counted herself lucky when she could only make out one. The bright white shirt and the camera-flash light of the videophone identified her easily.

The devil you know, she thought, steeling herself, telling herself it could only be worse, going the other way. God only knew how many people waited to spring on her around back. She didn’t think the cop could be there, not so quickly, but there was no way to be certain.

She kept running, full tilt, as though making for the woods. But she was ready all the while, and when Miss Marcy came for her—thinking to roll her in one quick sucker-tackle, no doubt—Rebecca lowered her head, let out a cry, and drove herself right into Miss Marcy’s stomach.

They went to the ground together, but Miss Marcy had already lost. Nary a sound—other than sucking breath—escaped her lips as Rebecca pinned her arms with her knees and punched her in the face. Once, twice, three times…

Then, scooting back over her middle as Miss Marcy’s hands flew up to protect her face, Rebecca punched her twice more, this time in the sternum—straight punches, not uppercuts, leading with her two prominent knuckles, just as she’d been taught.

And finally she stood, turning a full circle, suddenly panicking again. Surely there’d be an army coming for her by now. But there wasn’t. Not yet.

Miss Marcy just lay there, curled into a ball, gasping.

She saw the videophone Miss Marcy had propped up on the windowsill. I don’t have time for this, she thought, going to it anyway.

She saw her own face in the screen as she drew near, growing bigger and bigger as she picked it up. It was taking live video of her and feeding it to Miss Marcy’s personal Omni page. The Views line at the bottom indicated there were currently six people watching.

“My name is Rebecca Riggs,” she said to the screen, and suddenly found tears were threatening again. It annoyed her because she was not a crier as a general rule. She fought them down. “This is what the truth is: Second Salvations murdered my parents, and I’m running away.”

She couldn’t know, as she tossed the phone aside and started running again, how famous those words would ultimately become. It wasn’t her name at first—nor her accusation, nor even her admission of deliberate flight—that would catch the attention of so many people. But the video, still in record mode, was already being shared by all six of the anonymous watchers on Miss Marcy’s Omniscience page.

By the time Rebecca made it to the scooter between the road and the edge of the woods, one of the watchers thought to add the caption: This Is What the Truth Is.

By sunrise, that video would go viral.

 

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Product Reviews

  1. Enjoyable read for teens and adults 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 8th Feb 2016

    The Salvation State is a well written dystopian story that teens and adults of all ages will enjoy. If you enjoyed reading The Hunger Games or Divergent, you’ll enjoy this story. When I came across this book, I didn’t know it was part of a trilogy and when I got to the final page, I was concerned that this was the end and I was desperate to know more of the story. Luckily, another reviewer mentioned the trilogy. I definitely look forward to seeing how this story is going to unfold, to see Rebecca and Daniel come into their own and how they are going to go up against the New American Unity Church and the misguidedness/evilness within it. Rebecca and Daniel (the heroine and hero of the story) are such strong and likeable characters.

    I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  2. Takes Dystopian to a whole new level 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 30th Jan 2016

    First of all, it's rare for me to give a book 5 stars. I can only remember giving five stars to a couple series: JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit/The Lord Of The Rings and Rothfuss' The Name Of The Wind.

    That being said, Marcus Damanda's Salvation State - Book 1 easily rates 4 1/2 stars and is one of the best dystopian futures I've ever read. If the right people get word of this story, we should see this as a movie. Mark my word.

    After reading the prologue, I could not put this book down. At first I thought this might turn into a "preachy" story due to the setup after the prologue.

    Boy was I wrong! I am delighted I gave the story a chance to unfold!

    Damanda has created a world where an ideology has been corrupted and used to oppress. A chilling vision of where today's politics could devolve.

    Damanda writes characters that are believable; a rare commodity in the current fiction market.

    He created his protagonist flawed and relatable. She's a "normal" human being; like a friend who has their faults but genuinely wants to do right.

    Instead of writing characters that are "evil just because", he writes his antagonist characters so that we can understand their motivation. They make seemingly logical decisions born out of their desire to "do the right thing" according to their world view.

    Don't get me wrong. There are characters you are going to love to hate. But my point is these characters are not simply evil, they are fleshed out, complete and believable.

    The Salvation State is a thought-provoking tale and eerily relevant to the current state of America. I can easily give this a "must read".

    I am going to have a difficult time waiting for the next installment to this thrilling series.


  3. Gripping read for teens and adults! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 29th Jan 2016

    I see that others have adequately summarized the premise of this fantastic book, so I won’t repeat that. This is a great read for adults and teens alike. Like so many women, the heroine, Rebecca, underestimates her own fortitude. As the story unfolds, she learns to reach deep into herself to survive and eventually begin to thrive in her new situation. I look forward to seeing her continue to learn about inner and outer strength in the sequel. Daniel, the young male hero, provides a nice foil to Rebecca. Where she lived her previous life with strong Christian faith and ritual, he was raised to doubt and question everything, and knows nothing of the trappings of religion. They will surely bring both of their life views to the fight as this story goes forward, and I truly can’t wait to see how their relationship develops in this regard.

    This will one day make a fantastic movie series! I will be first in line to see it!


  4. Sensuous Reviews 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Jan 2016

    There are very few times when I am not reading at least one book in my life. Recently I have spent my time reading books over again while waiting for something new to catch my attention. Even with numerous books available, I hadn't found anything I really wanted to read and not put down in many months. Yesterday, however, I started reading The Salvation State by Marcus Damanda and was drawn into a future world that refused to let me go until I finished. Rebecca and Daniel are both very well written characters, you can't help liking them and wanting them to succeed. The other characters surrounding them, gave greater life to the main characters, bringing more depth to their stories. this book will be one I am sure I will re-read and add to my collection. Mr. Damanda has written a captivating novel, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work as soon as possible.


  5. I highly recommend it 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Jan 2016

    Wow!! Very well written and thought out. Engaging dystopian thriller! Was pulled into the story from the first page through to the end?! Waiting for book 2 and 3 now! I highly recommend this book. It made me think about which character would I be? Hope to see this series become movies! Well worth your time to read!


  6. THIS IS WHAT THE TRUTH IS: this book is amazing 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Jan 2016

    If you like Dystopian, I recommend this. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a major movie.
    I'm a fan of Damanda's understated, sinister writing style. There's no hyperbole or drama - he just writes what's happens. And what happens is extraordinary.
    Something has gone wrong in the world and parts of America are now governed by the Salvation State, an ultra-devout, uber-conservative set of rules for living in which indviduality is maligned as a threat. Rebecca is a reverend's daughter, smart, sporty and a little too savvy. She sees through the bull***t and won't be convinced by the lies. However, all she wants is that little bit of freedom we all crave. Skipping out of school. Meeting up with the occasional boy. Experimenting with a first kiss. This is what lands her in trouble - bigger trouble than she ever imagined.
    On the other hand, Daniel has done it tough. He's been suffering on the outskirts of society, finally ready to try and fit in. He needs to protect his mom and himself.
    It's too late. Both of them have achieved extraordinary results on their Solomon Tests and they've been noticed by Ruth and Matthew Black.
    The characters in this book have such power - you find yourself identifying with all of them in some way, no matter how well-meaning or evil. Everyone is flawed. Everyone is real. I found myself sympathising with even the most awful of characters. However, you will fall in love with Rebecca, I guarantee it. A heroine who is smart, tough and talks back. She's fantastic.
    This is a mind-blowing read that grabs you in the first scene and takes you on a tense journey through a range of people's perspectives. I am dying to know what happens to Rebecca and Daniel in future. Book 2, please!


  7. One Wild Ride: Dystopia, Feminism, Bad-assery! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 23rd Jan 2016

    Full disclosure: I’m not generally a fan of dystopian novels. But Marcus Demanda’s The Salvation State grabbed me from its bang-up opening and kept me riveted to the last page. There aren’t many books that have tempted me to encase my Kindle in a Zip-Lock baggie so I could read continue reading them in the bathtub, but that is exactly what I did today.

    Rebecca and Daniel, The Salvation State’s main characters, live in New America, a broken, dirty-bombed-out place where the Church has become the State. And the Church in question is a warped, fundamentalist pseudo-Christianity. Girls are especially oppressed: forbidden from wearing flattering clothing or make-up, pushed into loveless marriages, and expected to be subservient to their husbands. Physical punishment is a routine part of parenting. No one gets so much as a service job without church membership. Doubters are jailed—or worse. And you can get sent away from your family to a brutal “religious” reform school…for cutting school.

    Fifteen-year-old Rebecca has made just that mistake—and she’s also given some lip to her pastor father. Daniel’s family hasn’t darkened the door of the local mega-church in so long that his father has been imprisoned, their lights have been turned off, and their refrigerator is empty. But both teens are smart and daring enough that the dictatorial church-state wants to use them to further its grip on New America.

    How do you survive in such a grim world? Rebecca has the answer: know how to play the game…and when to be a total badass. And her feminist badass-ery is a joy to behold. Demanda deftly gets the reader inside Rebecca’s head as she ends up running for her life and her sanity. After all, there are places worse than the reform school. There is, for example, Angel Island!

    Demanda’s lesser characters are wonderful, too. There is the sweet but too-easily-manipulated Caroline; the reader sympathizes with her weakness and wants to take her by the shoulders and shake her at the same time. Rebecca’s loving, tragic mother is also a heart-breaker. A scene between her and Rebecca in the family’s attic is both a clever plot point and incredibly sad.

    The Salvation State has plenty of action. There are wild, frantic chases, and really imaginative James-Bond-level technology. But this novel thinks as it crashes through the underbrush. And it absolutely grabs your heart as it thinks!


  8. Great read! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Jan 2016

    Marcus Damanda is a powerful writer who will gather you in and give you an incredible ride. From the merciless opening scene, you are plunged into a landscape of treachery and corruption hiding under a facade of holiness. It's an America that will make you weep, one that is disturbingly too possible to dismiss as fiction. Courage, integrity, faith -- will only get you killed. Rebecca, a preacher's daughter, has lived a life of faith and obedience, but finds herself betrayed and isolated, branded a criminal and given to the state. Daniel, son of a pair of outcasts, lands on the same island. Here are the Forgotten, children to be bent and twisted to the ends of a faceless power, or to be destroyed. The Salvation State is fast-paced and gripping, and the characters reach into your heart. Don't miss it!


  9. AMAZING 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Jan 2016

    If you like Dystopian, I recommend this. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a major movie.
    I'm a fan of Damanda's understated, sinister writing style. There's no hyperbole or drama - he just writes what's happens. And what happens is extraordinary.
    Something has gone wrong in the world and parts of America are now governed by the Salvation State, an ultra-devout, uber-conservative set of rules for living in which indviduality is maligned as a threat. Rebecca is a reverend's daughter, smart, sporty and a little too savvy. She sees through the bull***t and won't be convinced by the lies. However, all she wants is that little bit of freedom we all crave. Skipping out of school. Meeting up with the occasional boy. Experimenting with a first kiss. This is what lands her in trouble - bigger trouble than she ever imagined.
    On the other hand, Daniel has done it tough. He's been suffering on the outskirts of society, finally ready to try and fit in. He needs to protect his mom and himself.
    It's too late. Both of them have achieved extraordinary results on their Solomon Tests and they've been noticed by Ruth and Matthew Black.
    The characters in this book have such power - you find yourself identifying with all of them in some way, no matter how well-meaning or evil. Everyone is flawed. Everyone is real. I found myself sympathising with even the most awful of characters. However, you will fall in love with Rebecca, I guarantee it. A heroine who is smart, tough and talks back. She's fantastic.
    This is a mind-blowing read that grabs you in the first scene and takes you on a tense journey through a range of people's perspectives. I am dying to know what happens to Rebecca and Daniel in future. Book 2, please!


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