by M.P. Attardo
Kindle Edition, 331 pages
Published March 5th 2013
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Intermix: to mix together, blend
North America, paragon of diversity, is gone. From its ashes, a new nation has arisen – Renatus – where the government segregates the surviving population into races, forbidding interracial marriage, mating, and love.
Eighteen-year-old Nazirah Nation is a pariah, an intermix, born of people from different races. When her parents are murdered in the name of justice, Nazirah grudgingly joins the growing rebellion fighting against the despotic government.
Overwhelmed with grief, consumed by guilt, Nazirah craves vengeance as a substitute for absolution. But on her journey to find the girl she once was, Nazirah must learn the hard way that nothing … no one … is purely black or white. Like her, every human is intermix, shades and hues of complex emotions. And those who can take everything away are also the ones who can give everything back.
Intermix Nation is my first book, my firstborn. Somehow, this economics major (me) turned angsty millennial turned “writer” has coaxed (under extreme duress) the beast from concept to cradle.
But what kind of beast has been birthed, so unorthodoxly?
“Only time and God know the answer to that question.”
-Solomon Salaahi (Intermix Nation, Chapter Nineteen)
Joking aside …
I’m not sure if I’m on Katrina’s hit list, but it certainly felt like I was when she prompted me with the guest post topic of “What beauty liberties, if any, are allowed in this dystopian novel? What’s a fashionista to do?”
Beauty liberties? Dystopian novel?
(JK, K, I actually adore you)
At first I had no answer for her. This isn’t a book about fashion or trends or styles. This is a book about the choices we make, and about the choices that make us.
But, when I think harder about it … I find that K’s query goes much deeper than skin deep.
Intermix Nation is actually a story completely composed of beauty liberties. The vibrant world of Renatus, North America several centuries into the future, divided into four territories by race … the central capital, growing fat on glut and greed … the buzzing, beating intermix, backbone and lifeblood of the country, children born of parents from different races … every image, every narrative, every character has personally made my mind hum, my heart race, my pulse quicken …
Giving Nazirah Nation a voice helped me find mine. Making her flawed and grieving and lusting and loving and hating … making her human …
What could be more beautiful?
Nikolaus looks between her and Adamek cautiously, clearly worried that one of them, maybe both, will snap. “Do not question me,” he says. “I am your brother, and I am your Commander. I am sick of your selfishness.” He walks past her to the door, holding it open and scowling at the nosy rebels listening outside.
But Nazirah isn’t done yet. “How could you let him stay here?” she hisses, glaring at Adamek. She is addressing him now, spitting slander. “This disgusting, racist snake who is contaminating me with his presence?” Her eyes blaze. “This … murderer!”
Adamek stares hard at Nazirah before sharing a brief look with Niko. Adamek nods, walking towards the open door. He stops in front of Nazirah, who is suddenly aware of how tall he is. She hadn’t noticed in the prison because he was sitting the entire time, but he is only a few inches shorter than Nikolaus. Nazirah refuses to feel small and weak next to him, and holds her head high. Adamek bends down. He whispers something in Nazirah’s ear and then straightens and strolls out of the room.
Nikolaus waits by the door, not really paying attention. Nazirah distantly hears him tell her that they will finish discussing this later, that he needs to get back to work, that she needs to go to class. But Nazirah is not concentrating on him. She is concentrating on what Adamek has just whispered, his words repeating over and over in her mind.
“And don’t you forget it.”