About the book:
Author: Hafsah Laziaf
Release date: October 29, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
Dena snorts after a moment. “So much for being able to protect yourself. Stop dreaming.”
I turn with a sigh and walk past her, clenching my teeth when the sound of her laugh grates on my nerves.
And because of that, neither of us is prepared when four figures jump from either side of the intersecting hall.
“Now we’re talking.” In a flash, Dena’s machete is in her hand, her back to me. I pull my daggers into either hand, an odd calm settling over me.
Dena and Gage were right—the Jute are all unnervingly beautiful. Enough to distract you. These men have silky scraps of cloth tied around their mouths and noses. Louen, I realize, to lessen the absorption of oxygen.
Slate said Jute aren’t harmed with one breath as humans are, but oxygen is dangerous nonetheless. Don’t they realize the air in the Tower isn’t oxygen? Maybe it’s a precaution, maybe there’s a way for the Chancellors to allow oxygen to work in here.
The Jute to my right lunges. He’s fast, but I’m faster. I dart to the side as another Jute swipes a kick to my legs and I barely leap out of the way. I throw a kick at the burlier one, and when he bends over with a gasp, I whack the back of his head with the hilt of my dagger. He falls with a groan, temporarily unconscious.
A lean arm wraps around my neck. The Jute chuckles in my ear and drags me back. My heels drag helplessly along the smooth ground. I dig my nails into his flesh, but I’m nothing against his brute strength. He swiftly shoves me against the wall, pressing a blade against my back. He releases my neck and I gasp desperately for air.
“Only cowards… kill… from behind,” I wheeze. He chuckles.
I gather as much strength as I can muster and shove him off me. Duck and swerve. I drop one dagger and use both hands to drive the length of my other one deep into his chest. Surprise flickers across his face, widens his gold eyes. There’s a clatter as his knife drops to the ground. He sputters and drops to his knees, then onto his back. Blood trickles between his fingers clawing at his chest. I watch as the life slowly leaves his eyes.
His chest stops moving. His eyes stop seeing.
I sink to the ground. The dead Jute’s white shirt is soaked in dark blood, more pouring from around the dagger still in him. The dagger with my name written on its hilt, like some disgusting joke.
I killed him. Who am I to take the life of another person? Julian taught me so much. But not this. Someone shuffles behind me. Dena struggles in front of me.
But I hear nothing. See nothing. Feel nothing.
I killed someone.
Sharp pain explodes in my back and I cry out. I’m thrown flat on my stomach and my limbs scream when an immovable weight collapses on me.
My chest heaves. I struggle to breathe. I don’t have my daggers. One is by the wall feet away, the other in the body of a corpse. I try to wiggle free, but the pain only increases. The bones in my back crunch beneath what feels like a boot and my lips part in a silent scream. I hear the swoosh of an unsheathing blade.
“She may need you alive, but she didn’t say all in one piece,” the Jute hisses.
And he falls on me.
Author Interview: Hafsah Laziaf
Q. If you had to describe yourself using three words, they would be…
A. Ambitious, self-conscious, shy
Q. ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. *it happens* Which literary characters would you want by your side?
A. Can I choose a character from my own book? Julian. Or Rowan. Not both, though. Eesh.
Q. I am a slogan and it says…
A. Hafsah – Blogger, Designer, Author
Q. What about writing captivates you the most?
A. More than an incredible plot (though it depends on the book), a beautiful writing style. Poetic prose – though not to the extent where I start yawning.
Q. Unbreathable is your upcoming release. How would you describe it in one sentence?
A. Unbreathable is a tale of love, redemption, and sacrifice, and one girl’s struggle to find her place in a world where she doesn’t belong.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing Unbreathable?
A. Figuring out the conflict. I’m the girl who can’t plot, so when Unbreathable was sparked by the line mentioned above, I had no idea how to continue the story. When I was halfway through, there were so many possibilities and directions the story could take. I loved that, but it was terrifying as well.
Q. What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
A. Hmm, I’m not sure! That everything about Unbreathable – the cover, the trailer, the marketing – was done by me.
Q. What book are you currently reading?
A. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Q. Can you share anything about what you’re working on at this time or what’s next?
A. I’m just getting started on the sequel to Unbreathable, though I’ll probably alternate between that and a new YA fantasy that I am so excited to share with you all.
Q. If Lissa and Julian were superheroes, what would their names be?
A. Oh. Julian is a little like Captain America, I guess, serious, quiet, and always thinking. Lissa… I’m not sure! You can decide for me 😉
About the author:
Doesn’t this sound great?! Hafsah is a great person! Get to know her and buy her book! Do it! (: