ALEXA UNDERWOOD’S near-perfect life has just been rudely interrupted. Abducted by her mentally unstable brother, the pampered college student is being taken to a remote commune in the Arizona desert. The self-appointed ruler of the compound is a maniacal man whose singular goal is to repopulate the new world following the Apocalypse. Or so he claims.
Brilliant and beautiful, Alexa is told that she has been chosen, along with other young women, to bear exceptional children. She is told it is a place of redemption for the worthy. But what Alexa finds at the compound is a rag-tag group of apprehensive people living in deplorable conditions under Thomas’s strict rule. She immediately suspects that they are hiding something in their blank-faced, hushed exchanges.
The reason they are there has nothing to do with the end of days. It has to do with the greed of three men who lack compunction. Men who do the unthinkable to women; they use them for monetary gain.
Stinging, bitter smoke clawed at my nostrils, dragging me from a sleep so deep I could have been in a coma. My mouth was dry and full of cobwebs, and my tongue felt like an Eggo waffle that had been forgotten in the freezer sometime last year. At first I thought my lips had bits of paper glued to them. Then I realized it was just my skin, as it peeled away in curly little shreds from the tender tissue underneath. As the smoke seeped into my lungs, some corner of my groggy brain realized that whatever was burning smelled like rubber, or maybe plastic with just a hint of kerosene. And it stank.
Very slowly I cracked my eyes open. Suspended above my head was a arched ceiling of bright blue. Dark, looming shapes reached across ominously, grasping for something unseeen. I felt oddly numb and more than a little disoriented.