So if you’ve been following me anywhere on social media over the past month, you’ll probably have seen me expressing my love for Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin. Today, this wonderful book is released in the UK, and I’m bringing you an excerpt from it as part of the blog tour with Titan Books! Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour and pick up a copy!
The population sign at the leaning harp of Godot Bridge boomed: WELCOME TO BLACK WATER CITY, WE’RE WELL AGAIN! POPULATION 10,076. It had been 74 that morning, and the paint was still wet. The number hadn’t taken a significant dive downward in quite some time. It flickered week to week—three up here, three down there—marking the revolving door on the city. Nell took small reassurance from it; chances were that the babies had arrived safely, maybe had even been born without missing any parts. Or maybe it would be just a missing finger or toe or a cavity somewhere innocuous—lower back was common and easily repaired. They’d be due a good life in the Pasture; a whole body could be a ticket out of the Pale. The number would waver but would never plunge deep again.
Every time the number on the sign rose, though, their city gained strength. Glasses would be raised in the three taverns; the bands would play later. For all the gray and gloom, the people who remained in the city were happy and eager and strong. Their world was small, but they were content to try to make it bigger, one brick at a time.
By the looks of it, the construction workers were being let out an hour early, too.
The girls found themselves cycling amid the daily exodus from the site of the giant woman. Strong, stony-eyed folk, decked out in flannel and denim, hard hats under their arms, marked out with neon vests and heavy boots, strode toward the city in clusters. The women wore their hair in efficient braids; the men were largely bearded. They’d a style of their own, a culture developing all along the skirts and curves of the monument. Their kinetic limbs were bigger and gaudier than the rest of the civilians part statement, part function. Their smart biorobotic arms and legs needed to support more movement, lift heavier things.
Altogether around a thousand people worked on the statue and would work on the next when this one was finally done. Some were older than Ruby’s and Nell’s fathers, some were just about their age, a couple here and there were younger. They were a vast collective, a village almost, working together to erect the closest thing their island had to a beacon. These folks had hope. Some sang their way home, others chatted. The news of the two births had spread.
The giant woman was Nell’s titanic sister; her plans had been Nell’s mother’s contribution to Black Water City. Like any sister, Nell wasn’t sure if she loved her or hated her and was almost certain she’d never live up to her. Best to admire her from a safe distance. The scale of her importance was staggering when she got too close. Nell’s achievements—or striking lack thereof —were shameful in the shadow of what her parents had made.
About the Book:
Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.
About the author:
Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Her first book, SPARE AND FOUND PARTS, is out now.
lots of love,