At Bethel Woods Orphanage, the fifty-three children of the year-six class have just inherited a secret: for one hour a day, for the year, they have free run of a hidden gymnasium. The rules are simple: no one but the fifty-three of them may enter, no foreign objects may be brought into the gym, and staying in the gym even a second beyond the allotted time will result in a breach of contract. And when the contract is breached, they lose the gym.
Nine other classes have gone before them, and each has left behind the rules for the games they played. With each progressive class, the rules built and grew ever more complex—and dangerous. How is Seth, this year's class leader, going to one-up the previous years?
Hours is a science fiction audiobook novella written, narrated, and produced by FallingUp frontman Jessy Ribordy. The story was originally released episodically, so each chapter ends with a dramatic cliff hanger and a tease of things to come.
This book provides examples of:
- Arc Symbol: The symbol drawn next to the first Finn's name keeps cropping up in odd places.
- Arc Words: "Shimmerings"
- Child Prodigy: Seth in particular, but all the children of Bethel Woods qualify.
- Gravity Screw: Trees planted in the Waving World grow "up" relative to who planted them, regardless of regular gravity.
- Living Memory / Our Ghosts Are Different
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Averted. Right from the start, the narrator assures us the effect of the Miracle Machine is happening in reality, not a dream state.
- Narnia Time: Time spent in the Waving World varies from real-world time dramatically, with important events taking up more of the hour than mundane events.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Seth is the introverted, but brilliant Blue, while his younger brother Pete is the extroverted, go-getter Red.
- Scare Chord: notable for being uncommon in audiobooks.
- Telepathy: Of the "speak and listen" variety, without the ability to read minds.
- The Album of the Book / Concept Album: Also called "Hours", the album names each song after a chapter from the book, although the songs themselves do not seem bound to information from the chapter who's name they share. The album is performed and produced by Falling Up.