Voted 5th best YA ebook in 2012 out of 58 on Editors & Preditors
Outworld Apocalypse was published by Noble Romance Publishing for a few months. Rights reverted to the author when the company went out of business.
Watch the Book Trailer (TM)
Anastacia Newman and her mother have sacrificed everything to save Dawn's End, a fantastical world, accessible through magic portals, that exists in an alternate reality beyond our own. Now Earth, the Outworld, is dying and Anastacia may be as well. When natural and man-made catastrophes cascade, Anastacia must convince the people of Dawn's End to help her save her family and friends from the ravages of merciless environmental forces. But she can't save everyone. How can Anastacia decide when to abandon hope for her world and who to leave behind?
5.0 out of 5 stars - Thought provoking read
By Julie Elizabeth Powell
This third story in the series takes a different turn in that rather than Dawn's End being in trouble, it is Earth.
There is still the fantasy element with familiar characters in the centre of things but this time the author uses her words as a cautionary tale, one with frighteningly real consequences.
Again it is a well written story, although I do prefer the intriguing world of fantasy in the previous two books. However, it is definitely worth reading.
Tony Parsons rated it 5 STARS
A very well written book. Never a dull moment. Great story line, easy to read/follow plot, no grammar errors or out of story line sequence, a lot of unexpected twist/turns, & great characters. I can’t imagine anyone or important PPL taking on something of this magnitude. It would make a great paranormal or schifi movie. An easy rating of 5 stars.
Snippets of reviews
"Dawn's End, Outworld Apocalypse is the final and perhaps best book of Bonnie Ferrante's well written three part series."
Niki Tee - Light, fun read - stands on its own!
"Dawn's End: Outworld Apocalypse was a good read. I recommend it!"
"This is fantasy and creativity taken to a whole nother level."
For Elvin, in memory
Everything felt wrong. Trying to figure out why, Anastacia stared at the computer screen, until her eyes itched with fatigue. She had tossed and turned until well after midnight before finally giving up and switching on her laptop. Quietly, while her cousin, Julie, slept in the other bed, Anastacia set the computer on her lap, plugged in her earbuds, and went on the internet.
A comment Anastacia's stepfather had made about climate change transforming North America into a dustbowl had stuck in her mind and burrowed deep beneath its surface. When she'd left Thunder Bay, in northern Ontario, she had seen barely any snow on the ground. Not how it should be in February. Now, here she was in Whistler, British Columbia, one of the ski capitals of the world. Without a great amount of manmade snow, the downhill skiing season would not have happened this year.
In the wintery days of her childhood, snow had been abundant. Her memories were not merely the result of a child's exaggerated perspective. Neighborhoods had often run out of places to put the snow before the spring melt. But, now, cross-country skiing was impossible. Summers had grown increasingly dry, and hot as well. Were these weather changes the result of global warming?
The laptop screen cast a weak light around the hotel room. Periodically, Anastacia heard voices in the hall and a room door open and shut. Everyone seemed to be having a great holiday, but she couldn't get rid of a sense of doom. Perhaps spending time with Julie had triggered uncomfortable memories of her hospitalization in Lucerne four years earlier during her visit to Switzerland for Julie's wedding.
After hours of clicking on links and reading articles about climate change, Anastacia's neck ached, and her legs felt numb from the weight of the computer. What she found online shocked and frightened her.
In 2005, Natural News had said, within the next hundred years, global warming would cause massive drought, covering over fifty percent of the earth's surface and threatening the lives of millions. She had discussed the news report with her stepfather.
"A hundred years is not so long," her stepfather had said. "Your grandchildren, maybe even your children, will still be alive."
Anastacia had put the disturbing discussion out of her mind. But seeing how little natural snow had fallen in Whistler this season had renewed her concern about climate change. In light of recent events, experts had reassessed their predictions about global warming; they now expected catastrophe to come more rapidly. According to the Drought Monitor, almost fifty million people currently lived under exceptional drought conditions, and many more were living through a moderate to extreme drought. Anastacia chewed anxiously on her lower lip as she examined the red, orange, and yellow map of the globe, shocked at the widespread disaster.
Wildfires had devastated the central United States in 2011 and 2012. In Texas alone, 3.6 million acres had burned. Anastacia tried to swallow the lump in her throat as she watched the videos—acres of blackened forest, beautiful homes ablaze, water bombers dropping chemicals onto fires so huge they made the aircrafts look like toys in the sky, and horizons engulfed in orange flames. The earth was so dry that some major cities experienced dust storms.
The United States had used 148 trillion gallons of fresh water in 2011, an unsustainable amount. Thirty-six states faced water shortages. Experts predicted California would run out of water by 2030, New Mexico by 2020. In spite of the preciousness of this essential and irreplaceable resource, almost half of the lakes and rivers were too polluted to drink from. Half. Anastacia's mouth dropped open at the thought.
Sixty years of little to no rainfall had triggered the starvation of millions in Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Rates of civil war doubled in areas of drought. Anastacia had watched the water level of Lake Superior in Canada drop steadily for years, leaving boathouses meters away from the shore. When the Great Lakes could no longer supply enough water for both Canada and the United States, would there be war between the neighboring countries?
The most recent storms that struck the Eastern Seaboard, including Hurricane Irene, which devastated the North Carolina coast, had been among the fiercest and most damaging in decades. All over North America, cities faced extremes in weather—stronger winds, brutal storms, more hurricanes and tornadoes, increased flooding, heavy snowfall followed by early melting, and blisteringly hot summer days. During storms, trees and utility poles frequently fell on electrical lines, causing power outages in Thunder Bay. No tornadoes had hit urban Thunder Bay yet, but the strong recurring winds were dangerous enough.
Anastacia's stepfather finally agreed to install air-conditioning, but he did so begrudgingly.
"We're only contributing to the problem, you know," he said.
It seemed the same day they stopped using central heating they switched on the air conditioner. In the course of one dramatic spring day, the temperature varied thirty degrees Centigrade. Anastacia wore a sunhat in the afternoon and a woolen toque in the evening.
Anastacia knew damage to the environment was global. In China, eighty percent of the major rivers were now lifeless from pollution. She wondered if this was how the Chinese could make and sell boatloads of department store products so cheaply. She had heard that the Chinese government allowed manufacturers to dump tons of toxins into the environment in pursuit of profit. China wasn't the only country doing this; they just did it openly and without apology. Westerners eagerly bought the cheap items, ensuring the system continued.
After clicking on page after page of dire warnings and compiled environmental data, Anastacia's head buzzed with fear. What she read seemed like the premise for a science-fiction movie—no, a horror movie. But the situation was all too real. Each new fact hit her like a punch to the gut. Earth was heading for an apocalypse within her lifetime.
Unknown to everyone, even her family and closest friends, Anastacia had already helped avert the end of the world. When she was sixteen years old, she had found herself in Dawn's End, an obscure and secret place accessible only by magic. While there, she, with the help of Dawn's End companions, had fought off an oncoming apocalypse that nearly engulfed both worlds. But the dangers she had faced in Dawn's End paled in comparison to the intensive global disaster that now threatened to destroy her planet.
The inhabitants of Dawn's End included humans, talking beasts, races of people who were part human and part animal, and a wide variety of mythical creatures including faeries and lilyverns, who were part human and part plant. They all lived in harmony with nature and considered Outworlders—their term for people from Anastacia's world—to be foolish and self-destructive. In Dawn's End, half-bird people coexisted in peace with half-bear people. But, in Anastacia's world, humans could not coexist peacefully with one another, and now they were destroying their planet. Perhaps the residents of Dawn's End had been right to try to block all influence from the Outworld. She was amazed now that they had trusted her to come to their aid.
She suspected the major reason they trusted her was that her mother, Nicole, had once saved Dawn's End as well and had given birth to Anastacia there.
However, Nicole's early death from cancer aroused suspicion that her activities in Dawn's End may have caused deadly cell mutations. Anastacia did not know yet whether her journey beyond the door had poisoned her as well. She feared she could suffer the same fate as her mother.
"Durward! Durward, come here!" Bedad shouted from the laboratory. He brushed his long curls, limp with steam, out of his eyes. "I've got it! I couldn't have done it without your last input."
Durward entered the room and rubbed his long, narrow nose. His golden hair was a mass of unruly half-curls and tangles. He always looked as though he had just crawled out of bed.
Bedad's spotlessly clean laboratory smelled of ammonia, sulfur dioxide, lemongrass, and lilyvern root. Magic bristled in the air. The room had no glass windows, only slotted openings for fresh air. On the counter, along one wall, rested a jumble of small coal-burning heaters, animal horns, vials, spoons, metal scales, tongs, gauze, knives, wooden containers, crystals of various colors, dishes, and silver stirrers. A long, wooden table, covered with flasks, beakers, and tubes holding various substances, sat in the center of the room.
"Look!" Bedad held up a vial containing green liquid with a trembling hand. "Now all we have to do is deliver it."
Bedad carefully placed the tube in a stand and offered his fist to Durward. Awkwardly, Durward bumped the fist with his own. This strange ritual was one of the ways Bedad felt connected to Anastacia the Bold from the Outworld. It was she who had taught Bedad the significance of the gesture.
Once the people of Dawn's End learned that Anastacia's mother, Nicole, had died, possibly as a result of spending time in their world, they became concerned for Anastacia's future. Durward, one of the companions who helped Anastacia save Dawn's End from destruction, immediately began searching for an antidote for the cell mutations that consuming food, water, or air in Dawn's End could trigger in Outworlders. Fortunately, time flowed faster in Dawn's End than in the Outworld, making it more likely Durward could complete his research for a cure before Anastacia fell ill.
When he became Durward's apprentice, Bedad made it his foremost life goal to help create a potion that would protect Anastacia from an early demise. She had not only saved his world, but she had risked her life to come to his individual aid. Her ready wit, warm personality, and quiet courage had left him awestruck. He would consider it his greatest life achievement if he could ensure her good health. He absorbed everything Durward and other magicians taught him. Before long, the student had surpassed his teachers in skill.
Bedad ran his hand through his curls. "I'm so glad you were here when I finally completed it. Now, we just have to get it to her."
Durward scratched behind his ear, creating yet another blond cowlick.
"I know the perfect person to bring it to Anastacia"—he pointed at Bedad—"You."
"Me?" Bedad grinned as he scratched his scruffy facial hair.
Durward gestured toward the shelves of drying plants, bottles, and boxes. "Of course you should go. You've been going back and forth to the Outworld for years, collecting samples. You're more familiar with the Outworld than any of us."
"Yes, but . . . ."
Durward lifted his eyebrows. "I know you want to see Anastacia."
Bedad feigned interest in a bit of powder on the counter and didn't answer.
"Besides, your triple-crystal bracelet holds power three times longer than mine. It may take you a while to find her."
Dawn's End could only be reached by magic through invisible portals that faded and strengthened according to their own patterns. Opening a portal was difficult and exhausting, and one could accomplish the task only by using a crystal-powered panther bracelet.
Several such bracelets existed, each possessing almost limitless power in the magical world of Dawn's End. But, once the bracelets entered the Outworld, their power drained quickly. The longer the wearer spent in the Outworld, the more power drained from the bracelet. Eventually, a fully-powered, golden panther bracelet would turn copper-colored and become useless.
In most circumstances, once the bracelet's power had drained completely, the wearer would be unable to open a portal to return to Dawn's End. Since many of Dawn's End's sentient inhabitants were not human and could not blend into Outworld society, becoming trapped on the wrong side of the door posed an enormous risk. Even for humans like Bedad, the prospect of getting stuck in the Outworld was frightening. But Bedad was willing to take any risk to help Anastacia.
"I didn't want to see her before I completed the potion," Bedad said. "I couldn't look into her eyes knowing what she sacrificed for me."
Bedad bit his lip, remembering the cave, the boiling caldron, the screams, the blood—and Anastacia, steadfast and bold, refusing to surrender.
Durward corrected him. "For all of us."
"I was too ashamed to face Anastacia before," said Bedad. "But now I have good news." He raised his arms in the air and jumped around the room. "Good news! Good news."
He paused and grinned at Durward. "By the way, I'm not worried about my bracelet losing power and trapping me in the Outworld."
"Don't be so—"
"No, I made a spell that gives each of the three stones in the bracelet ten times the duration it already had." He rubbed his left eyebrow with his thumb. "I'm hoping that means I can stay outside of Dawn's End safely three hundred times longer than before."
"Three hundred times the duration." Durward's brow furrowed. "But that may work against you."
"If you know the power will last for weeks, or months, you may be unaware when it is about to turn copper color. You'll forget to check it. The bracelet could become drained and trap you in Anastacia's world while you're distracted by other matters."
"I thought of that," said Bedad. "I cast a spell so that the bracelet will signal me with an increasing headache when it starts to weaken. The shorter the time left, the stronger the pain."
Durward nodded. "Good. Pain is hard to ignore. Still, I was worried when you went for short excursions to gather plants and chemicals. I'll be even more concerned when you are gone for a long period. As will your parents. The Outworld is a perilous place. The people are dangerous, and the environment as well." He bent closer to a jar of chartreuse leaves and squinted, trying to identify the contents.
"I know. But Ellsworth and Lissa know how important this is to me. To all of us." Bedad paused and slowly licked his lips. "We owe Anastacia. She took tremendous risks to save Dawn's End. I can't fail her."
Durward pointed at Bedad. "Don't fail yourself either. If you can't find her, or the potion doesn't seem to be working, come back. We'll try again."
"But Anastacia could already be sick," said Bedad. "She could already be—"
Bedad nodded, swallowing the lump in his throat. He forced the worry from his mind.
"Before I go, I want you to check my work."
He walked over to the wooden counter and picked up a pile of papers covered in words, numbers, and diagrams. "Please make sure I haven't made any mistakes." He held out the pages to Durward.
Durward clasped the younger man's upper arm. "Of course."
Durward's hand seemed surprisingly small. Bedad realized he had not only grown taller than his mentor, but filled out as well. He hoped his shoulders were strong enough to carry the hope of all Dawn's End—that the debt to Anastacia and her mother, Nicole, could be lessened.
Durward took the pile of papers, sat on a stool, and began to read. Bedad left the laboratory, knowing it was best for his mentor to work alone. He mustn't try to influence him in any way.
More than once over the course of the next few days, as Durward checked Bedad's calculations, light flashed from the lab, and the ground shook. Bedad had to steel himself not to run in to investigate. He was sure, pretty sure, the procedure he had used to create the potion was not hazardous. He chewed off two fingernails before he realized he had returned to the once-abandoned habit. Pacing back and forth outside the laboratory, he wore a trail of flattened grass.
Periodically, Durward would emerge for food or exercise. He gave Bedad an encouraging smile but said nothing. Bedad choked back his questions. Patience was a valued trait that he was struggling to cultivate.
On the fifth day, Durward emerged. His wild, golden hair was in need of a wash, and his hands were stained green and orange. He stretched and gave his scalp a thorough scratch.
Bedad stopped pacing and stared into his mentor's blue-gold eyes. He held his breath.
Durward's long face broke into a huge smile. He nodded.