Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz are excited that their Second Book of Ore novel, Waybound, is now available from Disney-Hyperion! To celebrate, here is an excerpt from the first volume of the trilogy, The Foundry’s Edge. Take a look!
The day was worse than Phoebe had anticipated. Normally, she could endure Miss Castella’s annoying enthusiasm for punctuation, she could even stomach Mr. Pomeroy’s wretched frog-puke breath. But not today. Every class was like being trapped in a sauna. The renovations on the building were causing the air-cooling units to fail, which meant long stretches of sweltering muck interspersed with rare bursts of heavenly breeze.
They wheeled a bunch of brand new Flurrys into every classroom, but even the Foundry’s top-of-the line fans, chrome devices built to resemble spinning snowflakes, did little more than stir the air like a hot, boring soup.
As the end of the day oozed closer, Phoebe shuffled down one of the gleaming remodeled hallways toward Mrs. V ondell’s dreaded history class. She saw a boisterous group of girls and locked her eyes on the ground. Two or more geese were called a gaggle, she knew, but what was the term for two or more shallow, stuck-up, catty know-it-alls? A squall? A shriek?
Yeah, that sounded about right.
She wove through the crowd and snuck past the shriek of snots, hoping to go unnoticed. No such luck.
“Seriously, that can’t be for real.”
“I would just shave my head if I were her.”
“Was it cut by a drunk?”
“More like a blind man.”
This last dig came from Candice, and it stung the worst.
Back when they were kids, Phoebe and Candice had been inseparable. But when Phoebe needed her best friend most of all, Candice had abandoned her as if she thought tragedy was contagious or something.
Phoebe’s breath felt fiery in her nostrils, and her face tingled with humiliation and outrage. She raked a hand through her butchered hair and fussed with its ragged, uneven edge.
She strode into Mrs. Vondell’s classroom and flopped into her chair by the window, more irritated than ever that she had to sit directly behind Candice. As the waddling hippo that was Mrs. Vondell began her history lesson, Phoebe envisioned all the terrible accidents that might befall her ex–best friend.
Perhaps the workers would hit a weak spot in the roof, and the ceiling would collapse on her. Or maybe Candice’s necklace would get caught in the blades of a Flurry. But between the sweaty classroom and Mrs. Vondell’s monotonous voice dripping in her ear like a drug, Phoebe’s mind drifted.
“That’s correct. By 1646, the Alloy War had been going for sixteen years, claiming over thirty million lives,” Mrs. Vondell droned, her multiple chins wagging to and fro. “And on October twelfth of that year, Meridian brought about a cease-fire by introducing . . . the what?”
Nobody raised a hand, but Mrs. Vondell carried on as if she hadn’t noticed the class’s profound disinterest. She turned back to the enameled metal whiteboard, angling her ample rump to the class, and wrote the answer.
“The Ferro-nomic Treaty, which finally permitted international trade of Foundry goods. A free market emerged for the other nations of the world, who lacked our spirit of innovation.”
Phoebe’s eyelids were heavy. She knew Mrs. Vondell expected her students to regurgitate all this stuff word for word on the test, but the day was nearly at an end.
Candice’s muffled snort of laughter snapped Phoebe awake. She stared at the nauseating waves of perfect blond hair that that cascaded down Candice’s back. The girl tittered at some private joke and flung her locks with a showy toss of her head. A handful of her curls spilled across the frame of the open window.
And an immensely satisfying snipe sprang to her mind.
Continue reading Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Books of Ore