Use code DAD23 for 20% off + Free shipping on $45+ Shop Now!
By Kass Morgan
Read by Phoebe Strole
Read by Justin Torres
Formats and Prices
- Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
- ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD
- Trade Paperback $12.99 $16.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 6, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Also available from:
Book four in the New York Times bestselling series The 100. Now a hit TV show on the CW!
It’s been a month since the new dropships landed and the rest of the Colonists joined the hundred on the ground. The teens, once branded juvenile delinquents, are now leaders among their people. It should be a time for celebration and togetherness, but a new threat appears before long: a fanatical cult determined to grow its ranks and “heal” the war-ravaged planet…by eliminating everyone else on it.
After scores of their friends are captured, Clarke sets off to retrieve them, certain that she can come to an understanding with these strangers. Bellamy has a different plan; he won’t let anything–or anyone–get in the way of saving the people he loves. Meanwhile, in captivity and scared for their lives, Glass falls under the spell of the cult’s magnetic message, and Wells has to learn how to lead again. Unless the rescue party arrives soon, the teen captives will face a fate more terrifying than anything they could imagine.
If the hundred ever want to call this dangerous planet home, they’ll need to put aside their differences and fight to protect themselves and their world.
Clarke shivered as a gust of wind blew through the clearing, rustling the red and gold leaves that still clung to the trees. "Clarke," someone called faintly. It was a voice she'd imagined countless times since arriving on Earth. She'd heard it in the rushing creek. She'd heard it in the groaning branches. And most of all, she'd heard it in the wind.
But now she didn't have to tell herself that it was impossible. Warmth spread through her chest and Clarke turned to see her mother walking toward her, carrying a basket full of apples from the Earthborns' orchard.
"Have you tried one of these? They're amazing!" Mary Griffin set the basket down on one of the long wooden tables, picked up an apple, and tossed it to Clarke. "Three hundred years of genetic engineering and we never came close to growing anything like this back on the Colony."
Clarke smiled and took a bite, glancing around the bustling camp. All around them, Colonists and the Earthborns cheerfully prepared for their first joint celebration. Felix and his boyfriend, Eric, were carrying heavy bowls of vegetables grown in the Earthborns' gardens and prepared in their kitchens. Two Earthborns were showing Antonio how to weave branches into wreaths. And in the distance, Wells was sanding one of the new picnic tables with Molly, who'd recently started training with an Earthborn woodworker.
From the sight of them all now, it was hard to believe how much hardship and heartache they'd all endured over the past few months. Clarke had been one of the original one hundred teenagers who'd been sent to Earth to see whether humans could survive on the radiated planet. But their dropship had crashed, severing contact with the Colony. While the hundred had struggled to survive on Earth, the remaining Colonists realized their life support system had failed and they were running out of time. As oxygen levels dwindled, and panic spread, they fought their way to the dropships, which, unfortunately, could only hold a fraction of them. Clarke and the other members of the hundred had been stunned when several dropships full of Colonists landed on Earth. Less surprising: Vice Chancellor Rhodes engaged in a brutal campaign to seize power from the teens, who had become the de facto leaders of the Colonists on the ground. Among other casualties, it resulted in the death of Sasha Walgrove, Wells's girlfriend and the daughter of the peaceful Earthborns' leader, Max, igniting tension between the groups. But they'd eventually come together to defeat a dangerous enemy—the rogue faction of violent Earthborns who wanted to destroy the Colonists—and now everyone seemed to be doing their best to work together. Rhodes had resigned as Vice Chancellor and he helped form a new Council, comprised of both Colonists and Earthborns.
Today wasn't just the first joint celebration between the groups: It was the first time the new Council would appear together before their newly united people. Clarke's boyfriend, Bellamy, was one of the new Council members, and had even been asked to give a speech.
"It looks like everything is coming together," Clarke's mother said, watching a young Colonist help two Earthborn girls lay the tables with rough tin plates and wooden cutlery. "What should I be doing?"
"You've been doing more than enough. Just try to relax." Clarke took a step back and drank in the familiar sight of her mother's warm smile. Though it had been a month since they'd been reunited, she couldn't stop marveling that her parents hadn't been floated back on the Colony as punishment for treason, as she'd been told. They'd been sent to Earth instead, where they'd faced countless dangers and finally made their way back to her. The two doctors had since established themselves as vital members of the camp, helping rebuild after the attacks by the violent Earthborn faction, working with Dr. Lahiri to heal those who were injured, and, along with Clarke, Wells, and Bellamy, tightening the bonds between the Colonists and their peaceful Earthborn neighbors.
For the first time Clarke could remember, life had begun to feel peaceful, and full of hope. After months of fear and suffering, it finally felt appropriate to celebrate.
Clarke's father strode across the clearing toward the rough-hewn tables, pausing to wave at Jacob, an Earthborn farmer he was friendly with, then turned back to fix Clarke with a huge grin. His left arm was crooked around a bundle of brightly colored corn.
"Jacob says the rain will hold off long enough to get a good view of the moon when it comes up." David Griffin laid the corncobs on the table and thoughtfully scratched his bushy new beard, peering into the sky as if he could already see it. "Apparently, it'll be red along the horizon. Jacob called it a Hunter's Moon, but it sounds like what our ancestors called a harvest moon."
As a child, Clarke had sometimes grown weary of his endless Earth lectures, but now, after a year in anguished mourning for the parents she believed to be dead, his eager chatter made her heart swell with delight and gratitude.
Yet as he spoke, Clarke's gaze shifted toward the tree line where, in the distance, a familiar, tall figure was striding out of the forest with his bow slung across one shoulder. "You know, I kind of like the sound of Hunter's Moon," Clarke said distractedly, a smile spreading across her face.
Bellamy's pace slowed as he entered the clearing, scanning the camp. Even after everything they'd been through together, knowing that he was looking for her made Clarke's heart flutter. No matter what this wild, dangerous planet threw at them, they'd face it together, survive it together.
As he came closer, she saw the bundle hanging on his back. It was an enormous bird with splayed neon feathers and a long, spindly neck. By the looks of it, it would feed half the group tonight. A surge of pride fizzed through her. Although their camp had grown to more than four hundred people, including a number of the Colony's well-trained guards, Bellamy was still far and away the best hunter.
"Is that a turkey?" Clarke's father asked, nearly knocking over a table in his hurry to get a better look.
"We saw them in the woods," her mother said, appearing at Clarke's side. She raised a hand to shield her eyes from the sun as she watched Bellamy approach. "Northwest of here, last winter. I thought they were peacocks, with those blue feathers. Either way, they were too wily for us to catch one."
"Bellamy can catch anything," Clarke said, then blushed when her mother raised a knowing eyebrow.
Clarke had been a little worried about introducing Bellamy to her parents, unsure how they'd react to anyone other than her upstanding Phoenician ex-boyfriend, Wells. But to her relief, they'd warmed to Bellamy right away. Their own traumas made them sympathetic and even protective of Bellamy when he spent the night in Clarke's family's cabin, plagued by debilitating nightmares that tore him from sleep, rendering him a trembling, sweating mess—dreams about firing squads, blindfolds fused to his face, hearing Clarke's and Octavia's screams rattle his bones. On nights like those, her parents scrambled to mix herbal drafts to help him sleep while Clarke held his hand, neither of them ever uttering a word of caution to Clarke.
Both were waving cheerfully to Bellamy right now, yet Clarke felt her shoulders tensing. There was something off about his step. His face was pale and he kept looking over his shoulder, eyes wild and panicked.
Clarke's father's smile fell as Bellamy drew close. He reached for the bird and Bellamy dropped it into his outstretched arms without so much as a thank-you.
"Clarke," Bellamy said. His breath was ragged, as though he had run here. "I need to talk to you."
Before she could respond, he grabbed her elbow and pulled her past the fire pit to the edge of the ring of newly built cabins. She stumbled slightly on a jutting root and had to catch her balance quickly to keep from being dragged behind him.
"Bellamy, stop." Clarke wrenched her arm free.
The glassy look briefly left his eyes. "I'm sorry. Are you okay?" he said, sounding momentarily more like himself.
Clarke nodded. "Yes, fine. What's going on?"
The frantic look returned as he surveyed the camp. "Where's Octavia?"
"She's heading back with the kids right now." Octavia had taken the younger children to play at the creek for the afternoon, to keep them from interfering with the preparations. Clarke pointed to the line of children holding hands while they crossed the clearing to the tables, black-haired Octavia leading the pack. "You see?"
Bellamy relaxed a fraction at the sight of his sister, but then, as his eyes met Clarke's, his face darkened again. "I noticed something strange while I was out hunting."
Clarke bit her lip, stifling a sigh. This wasn't the first time he'd said those words this week. It wasn't even the tenth. But she squeezed his hand and nodded. "Tell me."
He shifted his weight from side to side, a bead of sweat trickling out from underneath his dark, tousled hair. "A week or so ago, I saw a pile of leaves on the deer path, on the way to Mount Weather. It seemed… unnatural."
"Unnatural," Clarke repeated, trying her best to remain patient. "A pile of leaves. In the woods, in autumn."
"A huge pile of leaves. Four times bigger than any of the others around it. Big enough for someone to hide in." He started pacing, talking more to himself than to Clarke. "I didn't stop to check it out. I should've stopped. Why didn't I stop?"
"Okay…" Clarke said slowly. "Let's go back and look at it now."
"It's gone," Bellamy said, running his fingers through his already unruly hair. "I ignored it. And today, it's gone. Like someone was using it for something, but they don't need it anymore."
His expression, a mixture of anxiety and guilt, made her heart ache. She knew what this was about. After the dropships had landed, Vice Chancellor Rhodes had tried to execute Bellamy for crimes he'd supposedly committed back on the ship. Just two months ago, he'd been forced to say an agonizing good-bye to the people he loved before being blindfolded and dragged out to meet a firing squad. He'd looked death straight in the eye, believing he was about to abandon Octavia and destroy Clarke. But his imminent execution had been derailed by the sudden, brutal Earthborn attack. Though Rhodes had pardoned Bellamy, those events had taken their toll on him. The bouts of paranoia that followed weren't surprising, but instead of getting better, Bellamy seemed to be growing worse.
"And then you add this to all the other stuff," he went on, his voice louder, more frenzied. "The wheel ruts by the river. The voices I heard in the trees—"
"We talked about this," Clarke cut him off as she wrapped her arms around his waist. "The wheel ruts could have come from the village; Max's people have wagons. And the voices—"
"I heard them." He started to pull away but Clarke wouldn't let him.
"I know you did," she said, tightening her hold.
He slumped, resting his chin on her head.
"I don't want to cause a scene…" Bellamy swallowed. The word again went unspoken. "But I'm telling you. Something isn't right. I felt it before and I'm feeling it now. We have to warn everyone."
Clarke glanced over her shoulder at all the people milling about the camp: Lila and Graham walking past with buckets of water, teasing a younger boy struggling with his load; Earthborn kids giggling as they ran from their village with more food for the table; guards chatting as they traded patrol positions.
"We need to warn them before this… celebration." He waved his hand dismissively. "Whatever this is."
"The Harvest Feast," Clarke said. She loved the idea of participating in a tradition that went back hundreds of years, before the Cataclysm—the nuclear war that nearly destroyed the Earth and forced the first Colonists into space to save the human race. "Max said it's been celebrated here for generations, and it'll be nice to take a moment to—"
"It's what that splinter group of Earthborns is waiting for," Bellamy interjected, growing louder. "If I were going to attack us, today would be the day. All of us together. Sitting ducks."
A little boy skipped out of his cabin, then, seeing Bellamy, blanched and ducked back inside.
Clarke took Bellamy's hands, held them while they shook, and looked him in the eye. "I trust you," she said. "I trust that you saw what you saw."
He nodded, listening, though he was still breathing heavily.
"But you need to trust me too. You are safe here. We are safe. The truce we struck last month is holding firm. Max says that splinter group of Earthborns moved off south as soon as they lost the fight, and there hasn't been one sighting of them since."
"I know," Bellamy said. "But it's more than that leaf pile. I have this feeling on the back of my neck…"
"Then we'll replace it with a different feeling." Clarke rose onto her toes and kissed the spot under Bellamy's jaw before trailing around to the back of his neck.
"It's not that simple," he said, though she could feel him finally starting to relax.
She leaned back and smiled up at him. "Come on, today is a happy day, Bel. It's your first big event as a member of the Council. Think about your speech. Focus on enjoying all the food you helped provide."
"The Council," he said, closing his eyes and letting out a breath. "Right. I forgot about the damn speech."
"You'll be fine," Clarke said, stretching up again to brush his rough cheek with her lips. "You're good on your feet."
"True." He looped his arms around her waist, grinning as he drew her closer. "I'm good off my feet too."
She laughed, thwapping him. "Yes, magnificent. Now come help me get this dinner together before you meet up with the Council. We can celebrate privately later."
He walked behind her, his arms still wrapped around her waist, his breath warm against her neck. "Thank you," he murmured.
"For what?" she asked lightly, trying to hide the fact that her heart was a drumbeat of mounting worry.
She might have talked him down today. And yesterday. And the night before.
But she could no longer ignore the fact that Bellamy was getting worse.
Wells's back muscles burned as he heaved the last barrel of cider into the cart. After days of preparation for the Harvest Feast, his hands were cracked and raw, his feet swollen and aching. Every inch of him was in pain.
And all he could think was: more. More pain. More work. Anything to distract from the dark thoughts that infected his mind like rot. Anything to make him forget.
An Earthborn woman carrying a baby in a sling walked by and smiled at Wells. He nodded politely back, bracing himself as a memory slammed into him like a meteor: Sasha dangling a stalk of wheat for the same baby to play with while the mother hung laundry to dry outside her cabin. Sasha's black hair swinging forward, green eyes flashing as she teased Wells for being more afraid of babies than of facing Rhodes and his troops in battle.
Wells gritted his teeth and crouched to lift the cart, the painful weight of it obliterating the memory; then he pulled the load down the central village path to the edge of the forest, where the others were milling about with their own cargo.
Red-haired Paul, off duty but still wearing his guard uniform, stood on a boulder, overseeing the Earthborn villagers and Colonists who'd volunteered to bring supplies down to the camp for tonight's feast. "Okay, folks, I've done a thorough patrol of the woods and the coast is clear. But let's keep things moving, just in case." He clapped and pointed down the now well-trodden forest path. "Look alive now, and maintain constant awareness."
Wells watched as a few of the villagers shot Paul bemused looks. Paul was a relatively new arrival, one of the Colonists who'd been on a dropship that had landed off course. His group had made its way to camp just after their bloody battle with a violent faction of Earthborns had ended in a truce.
Wells had vaguely known Paul back on the Colony. Affable and energetic, he'd always struck Wells as more of a dependable, competent soldier than a leader, but things had clearly changed in the past year. Whatever had happened to Paul's band of survivors between their crash landing and their arrival at camp, it had made him their unofficial captain, and he still assumed that air of responsibility.
"Those of you carrying heavy loads, take care not to strain yourself. If you're injured, you'll be an easy target for the enemy."
Wells rolled his eyes. The dangerous Earthborns were long gone. Paul was just frustrated to have missed all the action, and was overcompensating for it now. Wells had no patience for that, not after he'd witnessed the real price of battle.
Paul frowned slightly. "Graham, what are you doing with that knife? You're not hunting today."
"Says who?" Graham said, pulling the long knife from its sheath and twirling it in Paul's direction. For a moment, Wells considered intervening. Although Graham had settled down over the past few months, Wells would never forget the violent gleam in his eyes when he tried to convince the original hundred to kill Octavia for stealing medicine.
But before Wells could act, Graham snorted, resheathing his knife, and sauntered off, nodding at Eric, who was coming from the other direction.
Eric walked up to Wells. "Need help with this?" He motioned toward the cart. "You don't want to strain yourself and become an easy target for the enemy," he said drily.
Wells forced a laugh. "Sure, thanks. I'm just going to grab some more firewood and then I'll be right behind you."
He turned and headed for the woodpile behind the far row of cabins, smile dropping away, his jaw heavy with the effort of pretending. Everything about him felt heavy these days, each step weighted with grief. But he kept walking anyway, lifted the ax from its perch, and split logs until he had a sizable pile of wood to carry. He stacked it neatly, ignoring the splinters in his palms, wrapped it all in a back sling, and hoisted it onto his shoulders.
The village had emptied out while he was chopping; they'd all left to join the others to eat and celebrate: the harvest, a fresh start, a bigger community, a newfound peace.
Wells exhaled, his shoulders slumping. The straps of the sling cut through his shirt into his skin as he looked around at the vacant valley. This was good. He'd get to the camp a little late but with plenty of wood for the stoves and the bonfire. He'd stay by the fire and keep it stoked. That would be his job tonight, a perfect excuse to avoid the feast, the speeches, the hundreds of familiar faces, all of them thinking about the people they wished were with them tonight.
Their loved ones back on the Colony… all dead because of Wells.
He'd been the one to loosen the airlock back on the ship, dooming the hundreds of people who couldn't find seats on the dropships to a slow, suffocating death—his own father, the Chancellor, included. He'd done it to save Clarke, but still, every time he caught sight of his own reflection, he recoiled from it. Every action he took led to destruction and death. If the other Colonists knew what he'd done, they wouldn't just turn him away from today's Harvest Feast tables—they'd cast him out of their community entirely. And he would deserve it.
He exhaled again, and felt himself wobbling, suddenly weak. He turned to steady the heavy load on his back and saw that one of the cabins had its door ajar.
It was Max's cabin. Sasha's home.
Wells had only known Sasha for a few weeks, but it felt like years of vivid memories had built up during that short time. He'd especially loved being with her in the village. She hadn't just been the Earthborn leader's daughter—she'd been part of the community's life force. She was the one who'd first volunteered to gather intelligence on the hundred, even though the mission put her life in danger. She was the first to lend a helping hand, offer a sympathetic shoulder, or voice an unpopular opinion on behalf of the less powerful. She was useful, she was valued, she was loved, and now she was gone.
Wells dropped his sling, ignoring the clatter of the firewood, and stumbled like a sleepwalker to the doorway. He hadn't been inside the cabin for nearly a month, avoiding both memories and interactions with the grieving Earthborns for as long as possible. But now there was no one around, and the cabin was drawing him in like a magnet.
His eyes searched the dim interior, taking in a table crammed with scraps of electronics, a small kitchen space, Max's sleeping quarters… and there, in the back, Sasha's corner.
Her bed, her quilt, a bundle of dried flowers, a drawing of a bird scratched into the wooden wall. All still there.
"I couldn't bring myself to move any of it," came a deep, gravelly voice behind Wells.
He turned to see Max standing a foot away, peering past him with an inscrutable expression. His beard was neatly trimmed, his best clothes neatly darned, all ready for his official role at tonight's festivities. But right now he didn't look like the leader of the Earthborns and a member of the new, united Council. He looked like a wounded man—a father still in the freshest wave of grief.
"She drew that bird when she was five, you know. I thought it was pretty good for that age. For any age." He let out a little laugh. "Maybe in the old world, she could have been an artist."
"She could have been a lot of things," Wells said softly.
Max nodded, then pressed a hand against the wall of the cabin for balance, as if something inside of him had just cracked.
I shouldn't be here, Wells thought, but before he could make an excuse to leave, Max straightened and walked into the cabin, motioning for Wells to follow.
"I prepared a few words to start the feast, but of course, I left them all the way back here," Max said, riffling through his makeshift desk for a little scrap of paper crammed with scribbled words. "The spots at the table are filling up fast. You might want to get over there."
"It doesn't matter. I'm not even sure I'm going." Wells stared at his boots but felt Max's eyes lingering on him.
"You have as much reason to be at that table as anybody, Wells," the older man said. His voice was quiet but firm as stone. "These people… our people… are together because of you. Alive because of you."
Wells's eyes shot to Sasha's corner. Max glanced over his shoulder at it, following Wells's gaze.
"She'll be there too in a way, you know," Max said, his voice softening slightly. "The Harvest Feast was her favorite holiday." He stepped forward, pressing a hand to Wells's shoulder. "She'd want you to enjoy it."
Wells felt his eyes stinging. He cast them down and nodded. Max squeezed his shoulder and let go.
"I'll be sitting up at the head of the table with the rest of the Council," he said, striding out. "I'll save you a seat beside me. You wouldn't want to miss Bellamy's speech, right?"
Despite himself, Wells smiled at the thought of his brother, the brand-new Councilor, giving a speech to hundreds of people. They'd only recently discovered that they were half brothers, but their relationship was evolving quickly, moving from begrudging mutual respect to true loyalty and affection.
Wells followed Max out of the cabin and shut the door gently behind him, letting his gaze linger on the little bird. It was hard to believe that a child had carved it. The young Sasha had captured the animal in mid-flight, making it appear light and joyful, just like she looked on the rare occasion when she set aside her responsibilities and let herself be free. He'd been privileged, he realized, to see that side of her—to watch her shriek with delight as she plunged into the lake from a far greater height than Wells would ever dare. To see her fierce green eyes mellow with tenderness after a kiss. Wells's carelessness had robbed them of a lifetime of these moments, but it couldn't take away the memories stored deep within his heart.
He might not have the right to celebrate tonight, not after all he'd done, all he had to answer for—but he did have plenty left to be thankful about.
Silence wrapped around their bed like an extra blanket. This side of the camp had emptied out as everyone left to help with preparation for the Harvest Feast. But Glass had spent the afternoon here, in their little cabin nestled at the edge of the clearing, distracting Luke and being distracted. This was a rare stolen moment for them. Since Luke had recovered from a near-fatal leg wound, he'd become busier than ever. He left their cabin at dawn and returned long after sunset, generally exhausted and with a slight limp that always made Glass's heart twinge.
Luke tried to perch on an elbow, but Glass held him down, kissing his shoulder, his bicep, his chest, then letting her mouth trail teasingly lower.
He let out a smiling groan. "I've got to get to my shift."
She kissed his chin, his neck. "Not yet."
"You keep making me late." He traced her spine with his fingertips, his expression uncomplaining.
"They won't mind," Glass said, nestling closer. "You get more done in your shifts than anybody else. You've built half this camp." She tilted her head to the side, surveying him with a proud smile. "My brilliant engineer."
- On Sale
- Dec 6, 2016
- Hachette Audio