Age of Order
by Julian North
GENRE: Dystopian Young Adult/New Adult
What if the people who thought they were better than you… really were?
In this world, inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. And all people are not created equal.
Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.
Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.
The sky was vast. The glow of the city made all but the brightest stars invisible, but the black dome above us was no less magnificent for it. Alexander’s familiar trailed behind us like a flying metal dog.
“Thank you for agreeing to come with me,” he said.
“I’m surprised you asked me.”
We walked half a block before he answered. A soft breeze pushed us along, making our steps light and easy.
“I misjudged you when we first met. Not just you, but especially you. You reminded me of lessons I learned as I child… about looking within a person. And within myself. You certainly shouldn’t be surprised I asked you.”
“I’m not sure I understand. Why did you ask me, exactly?”
“Many reasons. But one is that you didn’t want to come.”
The street lights let me see the amused grin on his face. “Let me try to explain, if I can. I’m not as good with words as you are, and wary of giving offense.” He took another half a block to muster his thoughts. “Among the families I grew up with, and within my own, there is always the game. This competition to be more, have more, to seek position, status. I grew up living it. My father is a master of game, my sister… she is beyond that. In such a world, it is easy to forget there is another way.” I saw the moon in his irises. “It has been a very long time since I met someone who wanted nothing from me.”
Q & A with Julian North
Does editing count? The writing was relatively easy. Age of Order was a story that came from inside me, and it was itching to be told. I stopped writing most nights because my wife made me go to sleep. But editing--that’s another story. Hunting down spelling inconsistencies, confirming timelines, looking at word usage… and proofreading. Ugh. It’s not my strong area. Age of Order actually had three different external proofreaders. And I know there’s still probably another mistake out there, somewhere…
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I got to write what I was feeling. Age of Order was inspired by my experiences fighting to get my two young children into school in my adopted home of New York City. You could say that the book was born out of anger and frustration, then raised on glimmers of hope. What started out as a way to blow off steam evolved into a vessel to show the unfairness, inequality, and occasional brilliance I saw around me through my favorite medium: dystopian science-fiction.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
Cormac McCarthy’s The Road still haunts me ten years after I read it. That man knows emotion. Pierce Brown’s Red Rising books are a fantastic mix of story, character, action and great dialogue. Brown and George R.R. Martin are masters of dialogue. Martin’s characters might be more complex (or at least we get to know them really well because of his POV style), but Brown’s characters speak with eloquence that lingers.
What do your plans for future projects include?
If readers enjoy Age of Order, I’ll finish the entire story, which I think would be 3-4 books in total. I’ve written about half of the next book as I write this. But its final fate will likely depend on the reaction to Age of Order. There is also a free short story set in the same world as Age of Order available to people who sign up for my mailing list. I have way more story ideas than I have time to write. I’m itching to write a fantasy novel next…
Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I don’t get writer’s block (fingers crossed). I certainly get stuck, but I’m not “blocked.” Based on my own experiences, I think “writer’s block” is really a symptom of something else. The most obvious is that I didn’t do a very good job plotting out my story. Other issues that I do encounter is that I’m easily distracted… My advice is: (i) go somewhere without internet access and (ii) go to the movies and see something great. Emotions inspire.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?). Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from a diary of injustice. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. I hope you enjoy it.
Please visit my website at www.juliannorth.com and join my book club to receive a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.