This month is UK publication month for The Inexplicables! So WHAT you may ask IS THE SKINNY ON THIS ONE? Well, I’ll tell you, starting with an amended version of the flap copy.
[Aside: Why amended? Because I'm a control freak, basically. Also because people who read the stuff that's actually on the back of the book tend to freak out and email me questions with lots of exclamation points. But I think it's important to remember that (a). I, personally, did not write the flap copy, and (b). if you want proper answers to your exclamation pointy questions, it will be more expensive and time-consuming to just buy the book and read it, yes ... but ultimately you'll find that course of action more satisfying than emailing me with your demands.]
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Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but now he’s all grown up – and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the children’s home.
But Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a new place to live: for years, he’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply. Now he’s pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know – a kid who disappeared six months ago, and is almost certainly dead. If so, this old friend would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck’s the one who got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place.
Maybe the ghost is just a drug-fueled misfire of a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore. So he sneaks over the wall. Inside, he finds the wasteland of Seattle every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas.
And then there’s the monster. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human -- and not a rotter, either. This was something different. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicable.”
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I’d say that’s pretty much the meat of it – but that’s definitely not the whole story. Inside The Inexplicables you’ll also find gangland mayhem, dynamite and time bombs, back-door deals, undead fauna, malicious chemistry, forgotten cemeteries, decrepit towers with treasure inside, Maynard’s jail, missing soldiers, fabricated zombies … and a whole lot more.
It’s true, this is my first book in the franchise without a female lead – though Princess Angeline and Mercy Lynch play fairly prominent roles; and it’s true also that people are assuming this is a young adult book, due to the protagonist’s age. And that’s fine – I hope young readers pick it up and enjoy it. But really, this is from the same planet as Boneshaker – a book written for adults and/or anyone else, but with a young person front and center.
I have been told that the young person in question is a disturbing, yet strangely compelling, jackass. I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.
SO. If you’d like to read the first chapter of The Inexplicables, you can click right here. I’m not gonna lie – the first chapter is a little grim and weird, but I’m rather fond of it and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
So thank you to everyone for your time, your interest, and your readership. Thank you for everything.
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A previous version of this article appeared on Cherie Priest's blog, and you can see other posts on Cherie and her books on torbooks.co.uk here.