Break free this summer with Aden Polydoros’ PROJECT PANDORA!
Conspiracies, spy thrillers, and teenage rebellion collide in Aden Polydoros‘ Project Pandora, a wild new adventure hitting shelves next month!
The novel follows Tyler Bennett, a teen in the foster system who begins to experience the inexplicable: memory lapses, bruised and bloody body parts, and a burner phone he can’t seem to leave the room without among them. It’s clear that something is controlling Tyler’s life in strange ways. When he meets a girl affected by the same issues, the two set off on the hunt to stop the people control them and break free. Of course, fighting the powers that be is never an easy task!
Thanks to Entangled Teen, we have an exclusive excerpt from Project Pandora! The scene follows a girl named Elizabeth, who may be a bit over her head in the company of a handsome but unusual boy who calls himself Hades. On top of that, it seems Hades just got the call to hunt down Tyler right in front of her.
Take a look!
“Why come to a party if you’re not going to enjoy yourself?”
“It’s a fundraiser,” Elizabeth said, deciding not to point out that more than a few women in attendance were currently checking him out.
“Does this look like a fundraiser to you?” Hades asked.
“You have a point,” Elizabeth said. “Hades isn’t your real name, is it?”
“Who needs names?” Hades leaned in closer and lowered his voice to a soft, seductive murmur, as if sharing an intimate secret with her. “They’re proof of ownership, you know.” Staring into her eyes, he brushed a strand of hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. In the process, his fingertips stroked against her cheek.
He was close enough now that Elizabeth could smell him. His woodsy cologne only partially camouflaged his own natural scent—a hot, smoky fragrance like burnt spices and autumn bonfires. And spent gunpowder.
For some reason that aroma, when paired with those intense, almost violet eyes made her feel at the edge of a precipice. Nostalgia. A great revelation.
Feeling self-conscious for no reason at all, she looked down to avoid meeting his unwavering gaze. She noticed a black mark on the inner wrist of his left arm that his shirtsleeve partially concealed.
“You definitely don’t belong at this party,” she said, smiling.
“Why do you say that?”
“Your left arm.”
He looked down, then chuckled and drew back the sleeve. “Oh. You mean this?”
The mark she had seen was part of a larger tattoo that consisted of clusters of small black lines arranged in a row. For every group of four vertical lines, a single horizontal line cut through them.
“Are those tally marks?” she asked.
“Something like that.”
She counted them. There were three of those five-line clusters, and two vertical lines set apart from the rest. Seventeen tallies total.
“Why seventeen?” she asked.
“It’s the number of people I’ve killed,” Hades said with a warm smile.
Elizabeth laughed. “Funny. Let me guess, one for each birthday?”
“I am seventeen, but that’s not the right answer.”
As he reached for a second cream puff, she noticed a second tattoo, this time on his right wrist.
“Wait, what’s that one supposed to be?” she asked.
He glanced back at her. “What?”
She took his right arm, turned it upward, and tapped a finger against his smooth white skin. Like the other tattoo, this mark was rendered in black ink, small and inconspicuous. She had to turn her head to read it. A-02.
“An epitaph,” Hades said.
Just as Elizabeth was going to ask him what he meant by that, a phone rang. He paused, then retrieved a black cell phone from his pocket. It surprised her to see that he used a cheap flip phone, when nobody she knew carried around such an ancient relic.
“Pardon me, Elizabeth,” he said, flipped open the phone, and lifted it to his ear. His gaze flickered past her, around the room, then back again, and his smile faded into a cold line.
“One second, sir.” Hades lowered the phone, pressing his palm against the speaker to shield it from sound. “I need to take this call. Is there somewhere quieter?”
She led him through the crowds of people and under the ballroom’s massive crystal chandelier. Watching him from the corner of her eye, she noticed a peculiar quirk about the way he walked. While he allowed his left arm to swing freely, he kept his right arm at his side, steady, as if prepared to reach for something at his waist. She wondered if he suffered from an injury that restricted his mobility.
She walked through a pair of French doors and stopped at the balcony that overlooked the golfing green. The night air was crisp and cool, seasoned with the aromas of freshly cut grass and the roses that grew in terra-cotta urns along the balcony’s edge.
The ballroom chatter was just a murmur now, softer than the sound of the water sprinklers below.
“I’m still here, Zeusy,” Hades said, raising the cell phone to his ear once more. He rolled his eyes at something the caller said. “Don’t have an aneurysm just yet. I’m listening. Philadelphia?”
When she turned to go back inside, he gently touched her wrist and shook his head.
Stay, he mouthed.
She leaned against the balcony, waiting for him to finish the call. A light breeze nipped her bare shoulders, and she rubbed her arms to warm herself.
“I see,” Hades said. “Is he part of the project?”
As he listened to the person on the other line, there was a subtle change in his expression. His thickly lashed eyes narrowed, and his lips parted to reveal a hint of milk-white teeth. His smile became something different, something dangerous.
It was the smile of a panther on the prowl.
Goose bumps rose on Elizabeth’s arms. She had a feeling the chill she felt wasn’t just from the wind.
“I love sending messages,” Hades purred, resting a hand on the balcony’s edge.
Project Pandora hits stores on August 1, 2017. Pre-order the adventure now via Entangled Publishing and add it to your to-read list on Goodreads! Find out more about the book below.
About Project Pandora:
Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.
Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?
In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…
About Aden Polydoros:
Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US.