Locked away because of her strange waking visions and her nightmares, Faye is seeing a disturbing vision of the world's impending destruction — even as the real world beyond her walls is actually falling apart, thanks to an oil crisis which has caused chaos and mass rioting.
Sara Wilson Etienne's Harbinger is perhaps the most topical of the dystopian young-adult books to come out lately, thanks to its twin themes of peak oil and apocalyptic madness. And to celebrate the book's release today, publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons has commissioned 24 artists to illustrate some of the scenes from the book. Because Faye is unable to communicate with anybody about her strange experiences, these artists are helping to give her a voice.
Here's an exclusive look at one of those paintings, by artist Andrea Offermann, and the scene which it illustrates:
My hands. My hands were covered in red. Not a bright stop-sign red or an orangey clown red. It was the terrible brown red of blood. The whorls of my fingerprints stood bold against the deep crimson. I'd fallen out of bed before, lots of times, but this? This was new. What's going on?
I looked over at Maya's bed, but she wasn't in it. Instead, she was sprawled, unmoving, on the floor on the other side of the room. The same red smudged and streaked the floor between us.
I stared down at my red hands.
No. I couldn't have. I crawled toward her, trying to make out the rise and fall of her chest. Daring myself to touch her foot. To wake her up. But I couldn't make myself.
And here's the cover and author's note for Harbinger:
Harbinger is a story of two worlds eroding: Faye's inner world, crumbling under the weight of hallucinations and insomnia, and her outer world, being ripped apart by an oil crisis. Faye begins to truly fall apart when she's sent away from her home, locked-up and stripped of her belongings, and left in the dark.
At Holbrook Academy, Faye loses herself in a sea of visions and cryptic symbols, dragging her new-found friends with her. Soon she understands that the world has been on the path to destruction for a very long time. But when she finds the answer to who and what is plaguing the world, she is left with a question. Should she choose to save us?
To see more of the beautiful art that's been released so far in association with Harbinger, check out the Holbrook Academy website. You can also read interviews with the artists over on author Sara Wilson Etienne's website. Harbinger is out today.