BREAKING THROUGH by d. Nichole King
– SYNOPSIS –
Two years after her brother Nate died during a Navy operation, aquator Nautia Olson’s nightmares began, and her ability to manipulate water became erratic. Anger, fear, joy, desire—they all trigger disaster.
Now, the Navy wants her for a top-secret mission, but Captain Riley Barton has his reservations. He’s read her file. He knows the damage she’s capable of, and yet—
If he can harness her ability—break through her walls—
– EXCERPT –
I can’t move. My arms, my legs, they won’t budge. It’s pitch-black, but I think I’m inside of something. Something long and small…a capsule, maybe? Stretched out above my head, my fingers touch cold metal. Whatever I’m inside of is only as long as I am. I wouldn’t have much wiggle room, even if I could move. I don’t know how I got here or how long I’ve been tied up. I do a quick mental scan, searching for any piece of information. Nothing. I can’t even recall my
own name. What I do know is I’m running out of oxygen. Each breath comes shorter, faster, and if I can’t control it soon, I’ll pass out before I figure out what’s going on. I close my eyes, suck in one deep breath, and let it out through puckered lips. Calm down. Relax. Slow your heart rate.
What I tell myself comes from memory, though I have no clue where it came from. Whatever it is, though, it works. Somehow, my body is trained to go into hibernation mode on mental command. Now I need to figure out how to get out of here. With my eyes still closed, I concentrate on the smell of my prison. The more I know about this box, the better my chances are of escaping. The tang of what I inhale reminds me of burnt metal and rubber. There’s another scent too, one I can’t place, even though my brain insists I know. I dig deeper, filing through blank spaces that aren’t supposed to be empty. I probably shouldn’t be spending precious energy on it, but something tells me this strange odor is important.
Bright light pours over my face, and my eyelids fly open. Above me, sunlight streams through a circular window. I don’t know how long it will last, so I quickly confirm that I am inside some sort of capsule with silver metal walls. I also confirm that I was right earlier: the tube is small, barely big enough to fit my body. The window sits exactly six
inches from the tip of my nose, though I have no idea how I know that. I see nothing above me except blue skies. I don’t hear anything outside either. I tug at the restraints holding me in place, but they don’t give. And then I feel something, something on the outside. The capsule I’m in is moving—upward. Shit.
Calm down. Relax. Slow your heart rate, I repeat to myself. It’s working. My body is responding—
Until I begin to free fall.
I’m not in it for long before the tube hits water. I know it’s water because of the buoyancy of the capsule. But I know because of something else too—I feel it. Surrounding me, the water gives off its own energy, almost as if it’s surrendering to me, willing me to control it. Which makes no sense.
Above me, the sunlight begins to refract as it struggles to break through the water now covering the tiny window. That’s when I realize I’m sinking. Deeper, deeper underwater.
As the light fades, the panic inside me rises. I try the calming mantra again, but nothing happens. Drops of water fall onto my forehead. The seal around my window creaks under the pressure of the water.
I’m going to drown.
I struggle against the restraints. Twisting my body. Pulling at my wrists and ankles. I yank and kick, but it’s in vain. I’m trapped.
“Fuck!” I scream.
Water sprays in from the seal, salty like the ocean, and suddenly I register where I am—in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of South Korea. Except, I still don’t know why I’m here or how I got here.
What I do know is that this is where I’m going to die.
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
d. Nichole King
Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.
She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now, she can’t stop.
When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.
– social media links –
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Mature readers due to sexual content.
I previously reviewed a short version of this story in the Beneath the Cape anthology. My opinion of D. Nichole King’s interesting novel has not changed. I loved the unique plot and the amazing characters.
The expanded story is simply beautiful! My favorite characters are still my favorites. Nautica, Riley, and Kray have such clearly defined roles along with great strengths. Their weaknesses help them grow as individuals.
I would have never guessed how involved Nautica’s story could be. There’s a bombshell near the end of this story. I actually went back and re-read parts to make sure I actually understood what I read. What a great twist to the story!
King crafted a set of well-developed characters whose talents were tied to their emotions. Without being in control of their anger or even their excitement, their talents became overwhelming. Nautica was crushed by the potential of her abilities. She couldn’t shine until she got out of her own way. And, here lies the message in this story. If you hide your talents or skills behind a wall, you can’t embrace your power. Lovely!
Magical elements and a government conspiracy makes for a great story line. Breaking Through is a wonderful story with a beautiful ending. I highly recommend it to everyone.
(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)
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