When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.
But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods.
Book One | The Girl with The Gift
HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED, to the best of my shattered ability to recall it.
I do remember that I couldn't have been more lost and alone as I wandered the streets of this gray, crowded, and forsaken city. Where is my sister? Where are the others from the Resistance? I kept thinking, or maybe muttering the words like some homeless madman.
The New Order has already disfigured this once beautiful city beyond recognition. It seems like a decaying corpse swelling with mindless maggots. The suffocatingly low sky, the featureless buildings—even the faces of the nervously rushing people flooding around me—are as colorless and lifeless as the concrete under my feet.
I know the general populace has been efficiently brainwashed by the New Order, but these citizens seem a little too hushed, a little too urgent, a little too riveted to the scraps of propaganda clutched in their hands like prayer books.
Suddenly, my eyes spot a word in bold letters on the paper: EXECUTION.
And then the huge video displays hanging above the boulevard light up, and everything becomes clear to me. Every pedestrian stops and stands stock-still, and every head turns upward as if there has suddenly been an eclipse.
On the video screens, a hooded prisoner—small-framed, frail-looking—is kneeling on a starkly lit stage.
"Wisteria Allgood" blares a bone-chilling voice, "do you wish to confess to the use of the dark arts for the wicked purpose of undermining all that is good and proper in our society?",
This can't be happening. My heart is a big lump in my throat. Wisty? Did that voice really just say Wisteria Allgood? My siste's on an executioner's scaffold?r
I grab a slack-jawed adult by his dismally gray overcoat lapels."Where is this execution happening? Tell me right now!"
"The Courtyard of Justice" He blinks at me irritably, as if I've woken him from a deep sleep. "Where else?".
"Courtyard of Justice? Where's that?" I demand of the man, throwing my hands around his neck, nearly losing control of my own strength. I swear, I'm ready to throw this adult against a wall if I have to.
"Under the victory arch—down there," he gasps. He points at a boulevard that runs off to my left. "Let me go! I'll call the police!"
I shove him and take off running toward a massive ceremonial arch maybe a half mile away.
"You! Wait" he yells after me. !"Don't I know your face from somewhere?"
He does. Oh yes. And so would everyone else, if they took the time to notice that there was a wanted criminal running loose in their midst.
But his fellow citizen's eyes remain glued to the screen. They've got an insatiable appetite for malicious gossip of any kind and, of course, an equal taste for senseless death and destruction.
Even when the falsely condemned are kids. Just kids.
I can hear a distant roar now. The sound of hunger—for "justice," for blood.
I forge ahead into the pathetic herd of lemmings. I'm not going to let them take my sister from me. Not without a fight to the death anyway.
I round a corner, and then, across the top of the crowd, I see... Is that my sister, Wisty, up on the stage? She's hooded, dressed all in black, but standing now. Proudly. Brave as ever.
A man—if you would call him that—is on the stage with her. He's leaning on a crooked stick, his wickedly sharp black suit hanging strangely motionless in the wind that's begun to howl through the civic square. His angular face is glowing with smug self-satisfaction, as if he's just devoured a potful of whipping cream.
I know him; I despise him. The One Who Is The One. Quite possibly the most evil individual in the history of humanity.
Are there minutes or seconds left before this hideous execution? I have no way of knowing.
I knock people aside as I barrel through the thickening, or should I say sickening, throng. I can see a line of well-armed soldiers holding everyone back from the platform. If I can knock one of them down and snatch away a gun...
I look up at the stage just in time to see The One raise his knobby black stick and shake it menacingly at my sister. He has a look of absolute triumph.
"No"! I yell, but I'm unheard in the roaring crowd. They all know what's about to happen. I know, too. I just don't see how I can possibly stop it. There has to be a way.
"Nooo"! I scream. "You can't do this! This is cold-blooded murder!"
There's a flash—not of light but somehow of blackness—and she's gone. Wisty. My sister. My best friend in the world.
My little sister is dead.
Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson
Read by Elijah Wood, Spencer Locke, and Peter Giles
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