It’s that time of year again. Everyone is going back to school and so is Tim Lebbon’s Lucy-Anne from London Eye, the first book is his new Toxic City series.
Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a military force known as Choppers. The rest of Britain believes that the city is now a toxic, uninhabited wasteland.
But Jack and his friends—some of whom lost family on what has become known as Doomsday—know that the reality is very different. At great risk, they have been gathering evidence about what is really happening in London—and it is incredible.
Because the handful of London’s survivors are changing. Developing strange, fantastic powers. Evolving.
Upon discovering that his mother is still alive inside London, Jack, his sister, and their three friends sneak into a city in ruins. Vast swathes have been bombed flat. Choppers cruise the streets, looking for survivors to experiment upon. The toxic city is filled with wonders and dangers that will challenge Jack and his friends… and perhaps kill them. But Jack knows that the truth must be revealed to the outside world or every survivor will die.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of London Eye to a lucky reader.
But part of her really hadn’t wanted to come. She was almost seventeen, and it had been six years since she’d last run riot in this little village school. Most of it looked the same, but … smaller. There was the main building she remembered well, one of the small windows on its tall tower still smashed from a stone she’d thrown herself. Strange that they hadn’t fixed that. No one ever went into the tower, so maybe they thought it was pointless. That smashed window made her feel strange, as if she was standing in the same place as the ghost of her smaller, younger self.
The playground still wasn’t big enough. There was no one on it now, but she tried to imagine a hundred kids rushing around on it, all filled with energy and excitement for the future.
None of them knew back then. How could they?
She walked slowly across the playground, hoping that someone would call her name and bring her back to the present. Perhaps if she waited here long enough one of her old friends would arrive, recognize her, come and give her a hug and start talking about the lives they were carving out for themselves.
But they’d likely arrive with their parents. And hers were dead.
The reunion had been talked about for six months. Someone had found her phone number and called––Alex, she thought his name was, though she could only remember him as a snotty-nosed little kid who’d always annoyed her. He hadn’t known about her parents, she was pretty sure, and she hadn’t volunteered the information. How could she? Sure, that sounds fun, and did you know my parents died in London on Doomsday? It would have been … uncouth.
So she had come, wondering what everyone would think or say when they found out. She’d see the usual awkward looks, the avoidance of the subject, and she guessed there’d be sympathy, too. But it wasn’t as if she’d be a subject of curiosity. So many people had died on Doomsday, when London fell, that everyone in the country knew someone who been a victim.
She climbed the steps to the school’s front door. It was open, even though it was almost seven p.m, and she wondered if Mr Nelmes was still the caretaker.
Lucy-Anne caught sight of herself in the door’s window. Her hair was spiked and dyed red. The denim jacket she wore was holed and old, and it had been her father’s. She looked pretty healthy, she thought. She ate pretty well, even though she was looking after herself.
Maybe they’d laugh at her.
She pushed angrily at the door and walked through, the smells inspiring so many memories, the sight of familiar corridors and doorways bringing a lump to her throat, and as she approached the main hall and heard the growing sound of people laughing and joking, she started to slow down.
Someone ran from the hall and hurried away along the corridor, nudging the door to the bathroom open with her shoulder. She looked unsteady on her feet. Maybe they’d already opened the wine.
Lucy-Anne looked through the partly-open door into the hall, and so many of her old friends were in there. She could have named them––not many of them had changed over the past few years––but she didn’t want to.
She didn’t want to name them.
They were only children. She’d grown up, because she’d had to. She was much older than these sixteen-year-old kids now. She no longer belonged in a school.
It had been a bad idea coming here, but by the time she followed her shadow back across the playground she was happy she was leaving.
The sun was setting behind her. She smiled at that. Without even intending to, she was walking towards London. That toxic city.
Meet Tim Lebbon!
Tim Lebbon is a New York Times–bestselling writer from South Wales. He has had over twenty novels published to date, as well as dozens of novellas and hundreds of short stories. Recent books include The Secret Journeys of Jack London series and The Map of Moments (coauthored with Christopher Golden), Echo City, The Island, and Bar None. He has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Scribe Award, and he has been a finalist for International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, and World Fantasy Awards. Fox 2000 recently acquired film rights to The Secret Journeys of Jack London, and Tim and Christopher Golden have delivered the screenplay. Visit Tim online at www.timlebbon.net and on Twitter @timlebbon.
Want to purchase Tim’s novels?
Secret Journeys of Jack London (with Christopher Golden)
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Go back to school with 30 authors while #giveaways ensue during #SchoolsIn (Sept 1-30) http://tinyurl.com/LESchoolsIn – #paranormal #contests #UF
Thank you Tim for taking part in Literary Escapism’s School’s in!
Tim is giving away a copy of London Eye . To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What were your feelings as you entered your first school reunion? If you haven’t had one yet, what are you looking forward to? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. (US/CA Only)
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All School’s In contests will remain open until October 7th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other School’s In contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the School’s In giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.