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'Exiles' by Daniel Blyth

Book Blurb


In a distant galaxy, Bethany Kane has cheated death.

Now, she has to fight for life.


In an escape pod launched from a great starship, 15-year-old ChapterSister Bethany Aurelia Kane, believer in the Great Power, makes landfall on a windswept world known as The Edge – a planet light years from civilisation.


Battered and shaken, Beth soon finds she is not alone. The Edge is a penal colony where, under the leadership of Zachary Tal, fifty juvenile criminals and reprobates have pulled together a kind of society. They are living and working together in Town, a converted scientific base in the shadow of their crashed spaceship. They have crops, fresh water and electrical power – and are assisted by a contingent of mechanised Drones.


Storms, power failure, illness and death are just a few of the challenges the teenage exiles battle. As Beth accustoms herself to her new life on The Edge, she has to overcome her fears, learn new skills and earn the respect of leader Zach, the arrogant Colm, the resentful Mia and the others. But when a terrible, violent event shatters the colony’s existence, it seems nothing will ever be the same. Who among them is a killer? And just how isolated are they really?...


As the clock ticks towards a final revelation, Beth needs all her new skills and resourcefulness to stop The Edge from plunging into anarchy. And she has her own secret too – one which will prove decisive in the battle for survival





Book Extract



‘I hope you don’ mind, but … they burned your clothes.’


Beth spun around at the soft voice.


It was the red-haired girl, Maddi, smiling hesitantly. She was standing there with some clothes over her arm – a pair of sleek black trousers, a plain, round-necked white shirt and a battered, military-style, leather-look jacket. She was holding a pair of sturdy lace-up boots. ‘Hope these are your size.’


Beth didn’t quite know how to react. Then she realised Maddi was being kind and she nodded – briefly, awkwardly.


For the last hour she’d been kept in isolation in this bare room somewhere deep in one of the domes of Town. She’d been pointed towards a shower unit – inside it, brownish but warm water had pounded and massaged her body with surprisingly soothing force, and then hidden air-ducts had dried her with blasts of air. A mouthwash nozzle had bombarded her mouth with sweet, minty granules, making her teeth feel smooth and fresh. Confused thoughts bombarded her mind, and she tried to focus them by working out the distance between here and the site of her crashed pod, based on the speed of the jeep and the time they had taken – it had to be about twenty, maybe thirty kiloms.


Two fair, wispy-thin girls even younger than her, who had shyly introduced themselves as Cait and Livvy, had helped to dress her cuts and bruises. Her body, under a thin towel, was speckled with patches of white gauze, as if her skin were the board for some bizarre game. An older girl, Luciana, who they called Lulu, had examined her like a doctor – shining various instruments into her throat, ears and eyes and scanning the strength of her bones and muscles.


Then they had left her here.


‘I am not diseased,’ she said, somewhat resentfully, pulling the towel more tightly round her body.


‘Yeah, well. Y’know what people are like,’ said Maddi, putting the clothes down. ‘The Twelvies patch you up?’


‘Twelvies …? Oh, the two girls? Yes, they were very kind.’


Maddi tossed her a sealed plastic packet containing some very basic white underwear. ‘Sorry, don’ run to anything fashionable. You’ll … find they don’ really care much about that stuff here.’


Beth was grateful for the girl’s flippant comments, knowing she was trying to put her at her ease. ‘You have spare clothes lying around?’ she said, picking up the jacket and admiring it. The jacket was well-made – rough, but solid, with dull metallic buckles and metal studs which seemed built for action.






Author Bio


Daniel Blythe was born in Maidstone and attended Maidstone Grammar School and St John's College, Oxford, then Christ Church University, Canterbury. As well as being a writer he has worked as a tour guide, a languages tutor, a translator, a Lifelong Learning development worker and a tutor of Creative Writing.


He is the author of several novels for children and adults, as well as a writer of non-fiction on subjects as diverse as popular music, politics, collecting gadgets and games, parenting and the history of robotics. He has written several of the official Doctor Who books licensed by the BBC, including Autonomy. Daniel's first book with a teenage narrator was The Cut, which was followed by further novels Losing Faith and This is the Day. In 2012 his first supernatural fantasy novel for young readers, Shadow Runners, was published. Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (for age 9-12) was published in 2015 and a sequel Emerald Greene: Instruments of Darkness in 2017. He has written shorter 'reluctant reader' books called New Dawn, I Spy (nominated for the Leicester Reading Rampage Award 2018), Fascination, Kill Order, Hope and Truth and Kiss the Sky.


Daniel has worked as a visiting author in over 400 schools, and has taught on the MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He now mentors, advises and edits writers of all ages through Cornerstones UK and the Faber Academy and is a regular judge on the Novel Slam for the 'Off The Shelf' festival. Daniel lives in the Peak District, with his wife and their two student children.


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Zoé O'Farrell
Zoé O'Farrell
Sep 29, 2022

Thank you so much for taking part in the tour and for sharing this extract x

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