Untaken, by J.E. Anckorn
Genre: young-adult, science-fiction
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Re-Release: March 23, 2015
Cover Artist: Amy Chitulescu
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
It turns out that a real alien invasion is nothing like the Sci-fi shows 14-year-old Gracie loves. Not when it’s your own family who are swallowed whole by those big silver ships. Not if it could be you next.
In her search for her family, Gracie meets Brandon, a high school dropout who would never have been caught dead hanging out with a dork like Gracie before the world ended. Gracie isn’t too crazy about Brandon either, but he has one thing she doesn’t: A plan.
Brandon’s uncle has a cabin up in Maine, and If Gracie and Brandon can survive long enough to get there they can hide out until the Space Men pack up their ships and leave.
Until the army guys come to rescue them, says Brandon. Brandon is big into army guys. Gracie has to admit that Brandon’s Awesome Plan probably would have worked out great if wasn’t for Jake.
They found 5-year-old Jake, laying half-dead under the remains of someone’s ranch house. He’s a good kid, even if he won’t-or can’t- talk. But Jake has a secret, and when Gracie finds out what it is, the fragile new life they’ve started to forge looks set to break apart.
When the people you’ve been counting on to put the world back together start hunting you down, alien invaders are the least of your worries.
About The Author:
J. E. Anckorn has been an artist and writer ever since she began to surreptitiously doodle on school supplies instead of learning about practical things, like osmosis and mathematics.
After barely surviving a freak mathematical osmosis disaster, she set out to travel the world, living in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong before returning to her native Britain- just in time to marry an American and leave for the U.S.A.She still failed to learn anything about osmosis, but did manage to cultivate an accent that is unintelligible to almost everyone. (It happened through a mysterious net movement of information from the outside environment into her brain. If only there was a word for that!)
This led to her development of a new language, based almost entirely on polite yet uncomprehending nods.In between these adventures, she has worked as a toy designer, copywriter, and freelance illustrator.She lives in Boston, with a small grumpy dog, and a large, slightly less grumpy husband.
Find J.E. Anckorn Online:
If you’d seen the three of us picking our way along the edge of the
busted up highway, you’d likely have thought we were family.
Brandon, fifteen and the oldest, was rocking the “moody teen” look
and stalking alone way off in front. He scowled back every now and
then at Jake, whose little kid legs would have been too short to match
Brandon’s pace even if he’d tried.
And then there was me, Gracie, a year younger than Brandon, and stuck
between the two of them.
Brandon wasn’t my big brother. Jake wasn’t my little brother.
My real brothers and my mom and dad were taken by the Space Men.
We called them “the extraterrestrials” at first, which sounded more
scientific than “Space Men”, but the wise guys on the WBZ evening news
started calling them the “Space Men” and it kind of stuck.
That was after the first panic of them arriving, but before everything
ended. When it was still something people could joke about a little.
Jake’s mom and dad were taken, too, I guess, but Brandon’s dad was dead.
For sure dead, not just maybe-dead like the people who were taken. Brandon’s
mom was dead too, but that happened when he was a baby, and had nothing to
do with the Space Men, although it was still tough luck for Brandon.
Brandon said we had to form a unit for survival purposes. He’d often
says things like “form a unit for survival purposes” when anyone normal
would just say “Hey, let’s be friends and try and help each other.” Like,
when we found somewhere to sleep at night? We weren’t looking for a
place with a roof to keep the rain out and a door that shut so we wouldn’t
freeze our butts off, we were looking for a “defensible position.”
Brandon thought he was a grown-up, but he was just a kid too, even
though he talked like an army guy and acted all tough.
What we were defending against, were Drones.
If we spotted a Drone, we either had to get out of there as quick as we
could or, better yet, smash it up so it couldn’t let the Space Men know our
location. Or worse. That’s what Brandon said anyway. I didn’t know if we
could smash up a drone—they were probably made of some special Space
Men metal like their ships were. The army guys couldn’t shoot those ships
down and they were real army guys with jets and missiles and stuff, not just
some skinny kid who watched too many action movies.
Brandon said that Drones were “the primary threat.”
At first, there’d been many Drones around, and we had to be super
sneaky—sorry, Brandon—covert. We hadn’t seen any for weeks now,
though, which was good, but also scary. Sometimes it’s best if you can see
the bad stuff right in front of you, because when you don’t know where it
is… it could be anywhere.
That was another reason we stayed away from big towns, or just tried to
get past them as quickly as we could, sticking instead to the highways that
breezed on by.
I hated towns because they were frightening somehow, even without
Drones. I hated how sometimes I’d see a store, and half of it was all fresh
and new looking, and maybe there were still posters up for Slushies or
lottery tickets, or “SPECIAL ONE DAY ONLY SALES!”, and then the
other part was burst open and black, and all the good things from inside the
store were spilled out onto the road. There was no one around to pick them
up and set them back into their places, no one to care about “SPECIAL