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Publisher's Summary

In Mavis’s dystopian world, starvation, sacrifice, and poverty haunt a country trying to recover from The Great Patriotic War. Protected by a peacekeeping force, the nation struggles to coax profits out of a sprawling industrial complex to pay wartime reparations. In this world, the future of every citizen is decided on their 16th birthday during a single exam, The Selection. They either join Defense, Productivity, or Leadership.

Mavis is assigned to a chemical plant to solve a productivity paradox and struggles with her colleagues as they race to meet the reparations deadline. Thrown into her new role, with little support, Mavis assembles a team and tries to understand why productivity is dropping. Mavis must figure out who her friends are, and how does Truman, a soldier who seems interested in her, fit into her life. Yet Mavis is burdened by having to leave her ill little sister behind. As Mavis investigates the problem, she discovers a conspiracy that threatens the nation just as unexplained sightings spike in the surrounding forest.

This young adult (YA) dystopian novel combines the teaching of science, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills with wrenching decisions, betrayal, heartbreak, love, and the bond between two sisters that will change the future of mankind.

Q&A with Author Kris Safarova

Q: Why did you write this book?

Safarova: I write what I know and what I wish people had written for me when I was starting out in life. The way strategy consultants solve problems is very different. Yet, this skill is not widely taught. Imagine if we taught these skills to everyone and at an earlier age? I know more people will find these topics interesting and learn these skills if I could find a way to weave them into an engaging story.

Q: What do you hope the books achieve?

Safarova: I want to get more people interested in business and teach them to solve problems in a better way. Listeners who don’t have an interest in critical thinking, problem solving, and business may realize they learned a lot, and also enjoyed the journey. And listeners who are intentionally building these skills will find this series helped them become better at solving problems.

Q: What inspired the story?

Safarova: I lived in the former USSR and I adapted events from my own life. When I was three my parents were evicted on a less than 12 hours notice, in the middle of Russian winter. I remember lifting my legs high enough to make each step because the snow was so deep that night, as we tried to find a place to stay. That is the first memory I have of physically suffering.

Mavis’s cappuccino scene is based on my own experience. I was 21 when I first tasted cappuccino and I was blown away by how tasty it was. At the time I barely had money to pay rent, so I was skipping lunch and dinner on most days.

Leaving my 12-year old sister in Russia was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Yet, it was the right thing because I am now fortunately able to help my family. My little sister and I now work together and I could not be prouder of her. The bond between Mavis and Corolla is autobiographical.

Q: Was the strong female characters and themes of class segregation and climate change intentional

Safarova: I wrote what I knew, and it was easier to channel my emotions and ideas through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl because I had been one. Strip away the dystopian elements and everything in the story is happening today.

Q: What’s next for Mavis?

Safarova: The story of Mavis and her sister, Corolla, will continue. I am working on a prequel to explain the events that led to The Great Patriotic War.

©2020 Firmsconsulting LLC (P)2021 Firmsconsulting LLC

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