Publication date: April 28th 2013 (paperback)
Genre: YA Dystopian
In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and „The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from „The Day of the Chosen.” The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
Favorite childhood book?
The Velveteen Rabbit, it’s not only a beautiful story but also quite sad. Plus I love rabbits, I used to have one in college (that I snuck into my dorm room).
What is your writing process?
I usually create a very vague outline that gets dramatically changed as the story develops. I also create character pages, so I can keep everyone straight – personalities, physical traits, family lineage.
What do you like to do besides writing?
I love to read, which probably goes without saying. I also enjoy photography, video games, traveling and just hanging out with my friends.
How did you come up with creating Cabal, dystopian society in Aberrant? What inspired you?
The name itself, Cabal, comes from its definition. „A small group of secret plotters,” which I felt fitting for a dystopian society. I wanted the name to signify a revolution, because Cabal is not the perfect society that the government wishes and pretends it to be. I wanted Cabal to strive for Utopian but instead of being perfect, it was something else entirely.
The inspiration itself comes from most of us striving towards perfection. I don’t think there are many people that want a world without jobs, filled with homeless people that are starving. I think it’s easy to see what’s going on in society, what’s happening now and see a glimpse of the current world in its worst. It made me want to imagine a better world and then I realized how would this perfect world be flawed?
In few words, why should we read your book?
I believe Aberrant will appeal to readers who liked the suspense of The Hunger Games, the thrill-seeking tests of Divergent and the romance and unique abilities of Graceling.
We rounded the corner and my eyes caught sight of a line of young men stretching around council hall, extending for blocks. „What’s going on over there?” I asked.
Landon’s face perked up, a hint of a smile playing on his lips, „they’re here for you, Olivia.”
„Me?” I felt nervous and swallowed the bile rising in my throat.
Landon patted my back, as if he had the ability to reassure me. His touch was repulsive. I pulled away slightly from his grasp, my gaze still attached to the hundreds of young men lining up along the edge of the building and pushed back down into the street. „They’re submitting their applications to date you.”
„You’re joking?” My eyes wide and mouth agape, I couldn’t believe this was happening. „This is because of Joshua yesterday, isn’t it?” It had to be the reason they found it necessary to punish me.
Landon sighed. He seemed agitated with me, short-tempered. „We’ve told you, Olivia, you can’t be with Joshua.”
I rolled my eyes, „yes and you’ve also told me I have three years to decide. What’s all this!” I gestured towards the young men as I pushed them aside to walk through the main entrance, they were in my way.
„Hey! No cutting in line,” one of the young men yelled before his voice faltered off realizing I wasn’t there to apply. „Are you Olivia?” His voice echoed against the building as he took another step, further inching towards the foyer.
„It’s none of your damned business!” I shouted back, my eyes glaring as I knocked Landon hard with my elbow. I knew it wouldn’t win me any brownie points but I didn’t care. I was beyond pissed. My feet clanked over the marble flooring. In the center of the room a table had been set up where the young men were fast approaching, one after another. „You’re wasting your time,” I called back to the woman hosting the event as she recorded their information in an oversized book.
„This way,” Landon escorted me away from the line of bachelors towards the open door.
„Please, come in,” the older wiry-haired woman gestured us inside and shut the door promptly behind us. All the noise and commotion from the main foyer disappeared inside the room.