My choice today is Obsolete, by C. T. French, Book 1 in a series of dystopian novels.
Intro: I stood on the ridge above the small valley, far enough away that the stench was not so bothersome, watching flames lick wickedly toward the sky. From this angle, the huge pit resembled an ugly pockmark upon the dark-green grass, the stiff arms and legs of the bodies jutting at odd angles, some reaching upward as if seeking salvation, others resembling discarded dolls thrown into a trash bin. I watched the burial crew retreat from the pit, black smoke trailing them like a death shroud, carrying smoldering cinders and minute bits of cloth and flesh. The smell would be horrendous as they waited for the fire to finish its cremation. Afterward, they would dump lime into the pit and, if there was room, add more bodies tomorrow. Remembering the gauze mask, I ripped it away and threw it to the ground. I eyed it, thinking to pick it up, but decided, who would notice? A small bit of trash among a country full of dead bodies and animals. Even so, I should have thrown it into the fire before leaving.
Teaser: My heart quickened. Our future rested on this woman giving birth. (2%)
Blurb: Book 1 of the Obsolete series.
In a dystopian future, an epic battle between the sexes will determine who lives and who dies.
After the Blue Pox pandemic wipes out 99.99 percent of males and 99.95 percent of females, the majority under the age of 50,18-year-old Madison wanders the countryside, lost and alone. She joins forces with Katherine, a former anthropologist, in search of a safe place to live, and the two find a group of women gathered on the campus of a small college in East Tennessee. Katherine quickly establishes herself as leader and under the influence of Callie, a former prison guard, begins to imprison men, whom they refer to as the “others”, for what Madison perceives can only be nefarious reasons. When older and weaker prisoners start mysteriously disappearing, Madison suspects Callie and her band of deputies are killing them. After a pregnant woman joins their commune, Callie and Katherine, aware that females outnumber males and hoping to create a new world ruled by women, make plans to build their community and attain power. They devise a procreation policy, mating the younger women with the healthy male prisoners, and Madison must make a decision to either stay and become puppet to their plans or make her way alone in a desolate, violent world. But before she can do so, she meets Jonah, a young man captured by Callie, and Madison finds herself caught between her love and loyalty to Katherine and her attraction to Jonah. Madison is forced to make a harder decision: to stay and condone what Callie and Katherine are doing or risk her life and escape with Jonah.
What do you think? Would you keep reading? Now I’m off to see what the rest of you are sharing.