The Special Ones
He keeps us here because we're Special. Esther is one of the Special Ones - four people who live under his protection in a remote farmhouse. The Special Ones are not allowed to leave, but why would they want to? Here, they are safe from toxic modern life, safe from a meaningless existence, safe in their endless work. He watches them every moment of every day, ready to punish them if they forget who they are - all while broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows he will renew her if she stops being Special, and that renewal almost certainly means death. Yet she also knows she's a fake. She has no ancient wisdom, no genuine advice to offer her followers. But like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance - if she wants to survive long enough to escape.
Em Bailey was born in Melbourne, Australia and used to work as a new-media designer for a children's television production house. Now she is a full-time author. The Special Ones is her second novel for teenagers. Her first novel, Shift, won the teens' choice Gold Inky Award in Australia and was shortlisted for a number of other awards, including CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers and the Aurealis YA Fiction Award. When she's not writing, Em is generally getting lost, losing things, reading, hanging out with her friends and family, and listening to podcasts. Although her books veer to the creepy, Em is a wimp when it comes to scary stuff and always locks her doors at night.