by Scarlett Kol
A girl looking for a way out.
Being the daughter of New America’s leader, Mercury Masters has everything a girl could want. A glamorous life full of beautiful people, and the power to have anything she wants, except for one thing—to escape. Because Mercury’s perfect life comes with secrets to keep. Dangerous secrets that if made public would destroy her, her family, and her father’s reign. Then she meets Hawk.
A boy looking to be a hero.
Hawk, a handsome prep school dropout turned vigilante, has his own family secrets. Deadly secrets that have haunted him since he was fifteen. But instead of fighting the ghosts of his past, Hawk has assembled a group of misfit hackers and thieves to save the future from the corrupt government of New America and the mysterious virus that is killing off its citizens. But trying to do the right thing is tough when the person you really want to save is your enemy’s daughter.
A love that could kill them both.
Powerful forces keep them apart, but coming together could be the key to saving New America from destruction—even though it may cost both their lives.
A near-future YA biopunk retelling of Robin Hood.
Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Link to Goodreads:
Excerpt: The Rooftop
My breath started to come in short bursts. I clamped my palm over my mouth to hold it in, or at least slow it down. Hawk rolled closer to me and took my other hand, gripping it tight.
“It’ll be okay,” he whispered in my ear so quietly I wasn’t sure if he’d even said anything out loud or if I’d simply felt the words flit across my skin.
“She couldn’t have jumped, there’s no way out over there,” the guard on the dumpster yelled to his buddy, his voice far too close.
Metal rumbled under the guard’s boots. Back and forth. Pacing.
Fingers popped up on the edge of the roof. Thick fingers with bulging knuckles and a crooked black star tattoo. I started to shimmy back, but Hawk’s squeezed my hand and shook his head.
What was he doing? We needed to get out of here. We needed to—
“We’re chasing a girl, not a damn monkey. She probably went the other way,” the second guard yelled from farther down the alley.
“I swear I heard noise from this dumpster. I know she came this way,” the first guard responded.
“Then get down, check inside it, and let’s go. I still have to go back and look for my book. My ass will be on the line if I don’t find it.”
The fingers disappeared followed by a metal bang. More footsteps and the creak of the lid opening.
“If she’s in here the smell probably would’ve killed her by now. I think I’m going to puke.”
“See. You probably heard those dumb cats. Let’s get out of here.”
Two sets of footsteps faded into the distance. My lungs started breathing again.
Neither of us moved. We just lay there, still, listening to the noisy clamor of the city at nightfall. The dark, a blanket weighing heavy on our backs. The rush of the chase had drained from my body, but my mind still ran in circles at full speed. What were all those guards doing at an inner-city shelter? What would have happened to me if I’d been caught? Why was Hawk still holding my hand?
Book Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ +
Mercury Rises was perfect. I'm in love with this book and totally hooked on the story. It was that good I couldn't even pick a favourite character. You need this book in your life, and I need more, more, more!
Mercury wants to escape her life (for reasons that become known later in the book). She is willing to work hard to find a world that is for her, but her family are important and want her home. At the start of the book, we get a glimpse of her tasting freedom, but her father is the leader of the country, and his daughter running away is unacceptable. She is eventually found and brought back home. As this story unfolds Mercury realises the world she knows is tainted.
Hawk is the leader of a misfit rebel group. He is trying to help the poor and take from the rich; a modern day Robin Hood. Mercury may just be his downfall. She catches him in her house and turns his plans upside down. She's the daughter of the leader he is rebelling against. She's a threat but not in the way he expects.
Christophe has been in love with his best friend forever. He is closely entangled with her family and is losing himself in the world of politics. He is an intern to The Five, the leaders of the country. He works closely with Mercury's dad. He knows Mercury better than most but she is slowly slipping away. Can he juggle his career and remind Mercury why they were good together?
Hawks misfit crew have mad skills and all have great personalities. From Hackers to thieves they are all loveable in their own way. Even the tough ones.
Mercury is naive to a dystopian world. Hawk opens her eyes and now she can't close them. She is a great character. She's young (17) and trying to find her own place in the world. What she discovers is so much more.
The love triangle in this book was amazing. I am totally in love with all the corners.
My review and the synopsis do not do this book justice. The reason for this is because there are so many secrets in this story I don't want to give anything away.
5+ stars out of 5. This book couldn't have been any more perfect for me.
Interview Plus Bonus Scene!
Question One: What was your inspiration for writing Mercury Rises? This story actually came together in a really strange way. I had intended on writing a Robin Hood retelling, but I had plotted a cute contemporary YA romance instead. As I was starting to put the story together, I went for a walk downtown and saw this old hotel and a scene started to form in my head. I got back to my office and the majority of the first chapter came pouring out, but the girl in that story wasn’t the cute contemporary romance type. I then started reimagining how the Robin Hood story could go if this girl was my Maid Marian instead of the one I had originally envisioned. The virus plot line was a concept I had thought up years ago and suddenly all of these different ideas mixed and melded together into what Mercury is today.
Question Two: There are so many characters in this book I love. Who is your favourite character and why? My favorite character is Red. She’s snarky and brash, but she has this other side to her that I don’t think everyone typically sees.
Question Three: Christophe and Mercury were close when they were younger. Can you tell us more about their childhood? Christophe and Mercury have always had a close relationship. As their fathers have been partners in business for years, they have often been thrown together. Not surprisingly, a romance between the two began as they grew older, and as Christophe leaned on Mercury after the death of his mother. Christophe was always the overachiever. Popular, athlete, student government, anything to throw himself into and make him feel validated. Mercury would’ve been a bit of a drama queen. She’d be centre of attention just because of who her father was and her access to anything she wanted. Coupled with Mercury’s growing disdain for her father, her party girl ways would’ve been a form of rebellion against his conservative reign. Christophe and Mercury were a high school power couple. Christophe’s flair for the romantic and Mercury’s dramatic streak made for an electric, passionate relationship that would’ve been relationship goals for any of the students at Charlotte Hall. A close girlfriend of mine has asked for a Christophe/Mercury prequel love story, and maybe that might be something I need to look into!
Question Four: Will we be meeting Bill again in later books or can you tell us what happened to him. Did he get back on his feet? How does he feel about Mercury and did he receive her gift without any other consequence? I would love for Mercury and Bill to meet up again at some point. I have some ideas on how I would like this to happen, but it is still preliminary. Mercury’s gift would’ve allowed Bill to settle down and live a serene life, making peace with his own demons. He would’ve been allowed to accept the gift as losing it would’ve caused more questions than the Five would be willing to answer.
Question Five: Before Mercury's world began to get unbearable. What was her favourite thing about being 'Princess of the kingdom'? The excess. Parties, servants, and virtually anything she wanted. Eventually, as we see in the novel, Mercury realizes that these things aren’t worth the pain they cause, but while she could throw herself into fabulous clothes and fabulous friends to hide her pain, it was definitely a perk.
Question Six: What were Hawks impressions of Mercury when he saw her at the party? Maybe this would be better answered from that scene in Hawk’s point of view.
Step one complete. All essential personnel had been accounted for in this room. Now step two -- slip out of this hall and get into that office. After gliding through the front door without even a blink from a guard, the rest of this mission should be simple. No one suspected me. No one to try and stop me.
I craned my neck and scanned the back wall. Ratchett stood in position, shifting his weight from foot to foot. Don’t lose it now, man, we’re almost done. I dropped my head and focused on the far ballroom door, quickening my pace. Then…bam! My arm wrenched back, as a blurry purple missile tried to rip through me instead of simply going around.
I glanced down into the shocked face of none other than Mercury Masters, the first daughter of the Five. Adrenaline ripped through my blood, the room heating to boiling in an instant. Of anyone to see me, it had to be her. One of the only people in this room who might be able to expose me. Her wide-eyed stare pierced my brain. Never wavering. Never blinking. Analyzing. This girl. The one I’d watched from a far, like everyone else at Charlotte Hall, parading around with all her pretty self-important friends. The centre of the universe. A terrifying, beautiful threat to my existence.
“Sorry,” she said, as she shook her head and a few long dark curls fell soft over her bare shoulders. Her full red lips quivered slightly as if to say something else, but instead cast her eyes toward the floor and turned away.
“It’s all right, my fault,” I shouted over the noise, then tore off towards the door trying to shake the paralyzing effect of her stare and the image of kissing those perfect lips. Besides it would never happen, and getting involved with Mercury Masters would be end up being nothing but trouble.
Question Seven: I can't wait for more of this story. When can we expect book two? Nothing official at this point, but I am hoping to get something out as soon as possible.
Question Eight: Are you planning a newsletter to sign up to? Definitely! I just put the sign-up on my website (www.scarlettkol.com) and intend to send out my first one in the spring. I’m planning to keep it 4 a year so not to overwhelm people, and maybe an extra one now and again if I have exciting news that can’t wait.
About the Author
Scarlett Kol grew up in Northern Manitoba reading books and writing stories about creatures that make you want to sleep with the lights on. As an adult, she's still a little afraid of the dark. Scarlett now lives just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband and two boys, but if you need to find her she's likely freezing at the hockey rink.
· One (1) winner will receive a Stella and Dot "On the Mark" Arrow Necklace and a $20 Amazon gift card (INT)