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THE REPLICANT PRINCE, Young Adult Fantasy – K. R. Raye


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  • Author Name:  K. R. Raye
  • Novel Title:  The Replicant Prince
  • Genre:  Young Adult Fantasy 
  • Comparables:  The Replicant Prince is a YA version of Amari and The Night Brothers by B. B. Alston crossed with a less-dark An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.  Think “Black teenage Jason Bourne meets Star Wars – A New Hope.”  
  • Hook Line:  On a distant planet, a beloved prince gets ambushed and suffers from baffling memory loss. After discovering an illicit doppelganger, he must explore a dangerous land to expose the perpetrator before he’s banished from his idyllic kingdom. 
  • Short Pitch:  Surviving a surprise attack, sixteen-year-old Taj finds himself in a hospital. His little sister Amira and best friend Wan Ko swear he’s the Prince of Paradise, but he inexplicably can’t remember anything. The bigger problem, they all see another Prince Taj during a live broadcast from the palace. What’s worse, replication is illegal in their Mesopotamian-like kingdom and punishable by immediate banishment to the perilous Badlands.

    Unsure if he’s the real prince or the replicant, and surrounded by a palace full of suspects, Taj, Amira, and Wan Ko are forced to trek through the harrowing Badlands to find answers. Only by fending off fantastical deadly creatures, fighting a murderous clan, and enduring the harsh environments, can they track down a professor of genetics to uncover the truth. 

    Crippled by his faulty memories and an unknown assailant, Taj races against time, death, and the loss of Paradise to find the mastermind and determine who is the Replicant Prince.
     
  • Prose Sample: 

Day Zero: Ambush

Someone is following me through the woods. “Who’s there?” I ask, completely still. My ears try to pinpoint the sounds of footsteps and distinguish them from the balmy wind rustling the trees.

Far above the canopy, the Ribbon Galaxy swirls, its inky black, navy, and amethyst colors intertwine with its colorful stars. Two of the three crescent moons disappear behind a bank of puffy cumulus clouds. The remaining sliver of moonlight intensifies the murky shadows, making everything appear darker, more ominous. I glance about to get my bearings, but nothing’s familiar.

Sensing someone behind me, I spin around. My eyes squint to track any elusive shadows but when I look closer, nothing’s there.

“Taj?”

I tear away from the menacing gloom and race through the trees toward the voice, dodging low-hanging branches and thick foliage. Crashing through the trees, I screech to a halt and teeter on the edge of a fast-moving creek, my calves straining to stop as my arms windmill like crazy.

Just as I regain my balance, but before I can exhale, a thick branch hurtles toward my head. Too late, my hands react to block.  But it connects solidly.

Splinters scrape skin while the aromas of maple with a hint of pine overwhelm my nostrils until I can almost taste syrup. Stars dance across my vision as the ground tilts. Toppling slowly, then ever faster like a downed tree, I collapse inches from the creek bed, my head breaking its fall on a rock. Blood trickles from my numb temple…onto my limp hand…and into the stream.

My eyes focus on the water rushing over the river rocks then flutter shut.

           

Day One: Waking

Intense pain ravages across my nerve endings like voracious teenagers at a buffet.  Open your eyes!  They comply, but the effort comes at a cost.  Lightning slices through my brain. I try to grab my head, but my arms are unresponsive, disconnected.

What the…?

Instead of screaming in agony, I bite my lip and wait. My eyes watering as they adjust and center on the white ceiling. One-one thousand.  Two-one thousand. Three-one thousand. 

Determined to take my mind off the excruciating headache, I let my eyes canvas the surroundings while I regulate my breathing.

Where am I?

As the shadows recede, dim images flicker into focus in the sterile room. Smells of lavender and medicine tickle my nose. Steady heartbeats of a monitor chirp beside my head. The slow drip of an IV worms into my left arm. Crisp white sheets and a mint green blanket cover the lower two-thirds of my body.

A hospital! Why am I in a hospital bed?

Alarm settles inside my tightening chest.  Then I feel something even worse: dread creeping up my spine from an unshakable sensation that someone is watching me.

  • Bio: K. R. Raye lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.  Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing.
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