Release Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Children's
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush his school, killing his father and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.
All Tate knows—like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid—may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret interspecies conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it.
Walter Jury on his collaboration
with co-author Sarah Fine
Sarah and I work seamlessly together. After I came up with the idea and wrote a very extensive outline, our agents introduced us. We hit it off immediately, and it was clear from her writing and her response to my idea that she would be the perfect partner. It was fun to collaborate on writing this series, specifically working through macro world building and long-range character arcs/journeys. One of the elements that was difficult is the distance of our home locales. Sarah lives in New England and I live in the New York City area, so we started working together long distance—but were able to effectively work out a communication style that assisted each of our needs.
I think I am incredibly deferential to Sarah when it comes to details and minute world-building, whereas I feel like she has great respect for my overarching theme analysis and character arc breakdowns. It's really a fantastic combination and we really were able to take the bull by the horns in every instance where it was necessary to tackle an imminent challenge.
One of the more unforeseen challenges was post-sale to Putnam/Penguin. Our fantastic editor, Stacey Barney, really wanted to work closely to make sure every single mythological question had an answer that was seamlessly integrated. She wanted the story and mythology to be beyond reproach. I think she did a great job in that regard, but the challenge was how do two co-authors who live a large physical distance from one another, work with an editor who wants to take a hands-on approach? That took some logistical planning, but it turned out beautifully and it was a very successful partnership!
About the Authors
Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author of several young adult books, and when she's not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist.
Walter Jury was born in London and has a background in the film industry. He is a big enthusiast of Jamba Juice’s Protein Berry Workout smoothie, only with soy, never whey.