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PW #344: Young Adult Fantasy: ABOVEWATER

Friday, 4 November 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors: Mónica Bustamante Wagner & Kerbie Addis
Mentee: Amaris Glass
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 68,000


When sixteen-year-old Rilla’s twin brother disappears from their small island, the outcast girl risks waking forbidden legends to find him, but soon it’s clear she’s stirred up more evil than good. Now, to appease the vengeful darkness that’s arisen, the Islanders are demanding a sacrifice–Rilla’s own life.


The night chilled me with faded starshine and wet breezes. Shivering, I cursed the restlessness that had driven me outside. I’d lain awake for hours, tying my sheets in knots as memories elbowed me in the dark. Finally, I gave up trying. Joss disappeared a year ago today and I had to go searching, one last time.

The maze of Island paths spread out before me, behind me, around me. I began to run, trying to build a fire in my belly. Stars bit into the sky, scattered freckles of light that did little to show the way, yet I never stumbled, never took a wrong turn. The scent of olive leaves, the cry of the sea, the weight of the air on my skin––all of this fit into place inside me. I had a map etched in my bones and it never stopped speaking.

I was the girl who couldn’t get lost.

Joss found this maddening. He lost his way just by turning around too quickly; navigating the paths tangled him in knots only I could undo. I spent our first sixteen years feeling the steady pressure of here I am when we were together, the come find me when he was lost, the fist-squeeze of panic when he was in actual trouble. Maybe we’d shared one heart that had split in two when we were born; maybe that’s why we could never really be separated…until now.

Now, Joss was the boy who couldn’t be found.

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