Ten years after his father’s mysterious death, 17-year-old Zach secretly returns to his wealthy hometown in search of answers. Why did his mother move him away and change his name, then go into hiding to die alone? Why did she forbid him to ever reveal his true identity or return home? Desperate to reconnect with this seemingly ideal place, Zach is troubled when his grade school friend Sutton commits suicide and no one seems to care. Zach foolishly tries to rekindle his childhood crush with Katie but encounters an ambitious teen with secrets of her own. Meanwhile her sister Ashley, a teenager on the fringe, intrigues him with whispers of a secret committee that runs the town and pressures kids into dangerous overachievement. Zach and Ashley find a hidden passage into the committee’s impenetrable headquarters—the college’s monolithic library that no one is allowed to enter. Inside they discover a dark connection to Ancient Greece and the Oracle at Delphi. Their suspicions are confirmed, but the conspiracy is more terrifying and dangerous than they imagined, sending them running for their lives and praying to get out alive.
Katie sips her soda and looks around. Our connection is pretty weak now—maybe from seeing Brian, but probably because of something I said. This whole thing was a mistake. I should have let the bait float by and not asked Katie out. I feel abandoned and surrounded at the same time.
Ashley’s voice invades my thoughts again. I try to swat it away, but it won’t shoo. Damn it! The curiosity is eating at me. Well, nothing to lose now. I turn to Katie and ask, “Do you know anything about the government?”
Katie stops scanning and fixes me with a look that warns against straying away from small talk.
I squirm a little but I can’t let it go. “I mean the local government, how it works?”
She shrugs. “Pretty much what we learned in civics. There’s a mayor and a town council and they make the decisions. If our parents want something done they go to the council meetings and figure it out.”
End of story.
I frown. “I mean the other government, the one that
makes the people decisions.”
Katie’s stare turns icy. “The other government?”
I squirm some more. Forget about small talk. People in this town don’t talk about anything real.
“You’re starting to sound like Ashley,” she says.
I shrug. I don’t care.
“Don’t listen to her, Zach. She almost got kicked out of school for writing a paper about how the town is run by a secret group that tells everyone what to do and how to live.”
I didn’t know that. Katie sees the surprise in my face.
“Yeah, they’re trying to ‘control’ her,” she scratches quotation marks in the air. “She had a nervous breakdown after that and was locked up for a month.”
I didn’t know that either, but I should have guessed it.
“Did she tell you she’s been on medication and seeing psychiatrists since she was, like, five? She stops taking her meds because she doesn’t like how they make her feel, then she goes bat-shit. My parents even took her to Europe for some kind of evaluation because the psychiatrists here can’t figure her out.”
I slump in my seat, feeling small, stupid, defeated.
But Katie continues the barrage. “And after all that, she still didn’t want to go back to the psychiatrist, didn’t want to take medication. But they made her. She can’t get a date because she’s foaming at the mouth all the time and scares boys away. Then she blames me for it.”
Katie shakes her head in disgust and glances around, this time to make sure no one is listening. She lowers her voice and leans closer to me, eyes hardening. “She’s insane, Zach. Start thinking like that and you just go over the edge. That’s what happened to Sutton.”
The note of warning in her voice and the mention of Sutton send a shock through me. I open my mouth to ask another question, but Katie cuts me off with a wave of her hand. The theater lights dim and a bucket of popcorn goes dancing across the huge movie screen. She gives the cartoon her full attention. Conversation over.
I look up at the screen, knowing that we’re about to see a gory slasher movie. But I don’t think it can be as scary as what I’ve just heard from Katie.
Chris Everheart is an award-winning author of books and short stories for middle-graders, young adults, and adults and an occasional filmmaker. A lifelong reluctant reader, TV junkie, and movie lover, Chris infuses the pacing and thrills of visual storytelling into all his stories. When not writing, he can be found hiking in the mountains near home, watching television, or learning about history, science, and archaeology. He’s a Minnesota native living in East Tennessee with his family.
Book: THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI
Genre: Thriller; YA; Conspiracy
Formats: Paperback; e-book
Length: 300 pages
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-League-Delphi-Chris-Everheart/dp/0985912502/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1344010243&sr=1-1
Autographed copies available here: http://www.yellowrocketmedia.com/products/the-league-of-delphi-autographed-copy