I Town - Book One
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Induction Town generates electricity for the Trintico Corporate Society, an oasis of civilization in the vast post-petroleum wastelands. The people of I Town turn calories into voltage on treadwheels.
Five hundred feet in diameter, half that in breadth. One hundred tons. In a sporting arena the treadwheel would cover the field, end zones, sidelines, and the seats around them. The weight of thousands of people walking inside drove it. (1-2)
Body weight is the ultimate commodity. Big is beautiful because big is valuable to society. As demand from Fluxton, the Capital of Trintico, increases so does the minimum weight requirement to walk, to earn an living, and to get bigger. The Ironclads consume many thousands of calories a day and wear armor and chainmail to make themselves even heavier. But the rich diet is killing them. Driven to maintain the social machine of the corporate society, they ignore the warning signs.
The walkers of Wheel Six adopted the new condition as the status quo because they had little other choice—whatever was going on out there was going on out there; their job remained the same, to walk. (289)
Jackson is a skinny kid barely surviving one crime at a time. If he can survive one more felonious caper, maybe he can earn enough to get a legitimate job selling heavy books to walkers. When he meets the perfect girl he knows better than to fall for her. She's too much like the mother who turned her back on him and his father because of their insignificant statures.
Shevi is a big girl, but only just big enough to keep a place on the treadwheel and not without the help of the cute guy who provided her with a hefty book to read while she walks. She needs to keep her job to help her mother pay the rent after her father's sudden death. She has a bright future, betrothed into one of the big Ironclad families, trying to eat enough to please her future in-laws. If she can just keep it together until the wedding, she'll be set for life. But thoughts of the book boy won't leave her alone.
Mr. Myrtle is a small man with big ambitions. If the two ill-suited teens can't stay on their proper sides of the social divide, he'll be glad to motivate them. Anything to stay in good with the wealthy and powerful of I Town.
I Town is the first book of a four-book teen romance series in a self-imposed dystopia full of steampunk gadgetry and a science fiction look at the post-petroleum world.