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Generation Icarus

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#1: Air Born 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? For me, it was flying.

I should have been more careful what I wished for…


Seventeen-year-old Tyler is smart, good-looking, and destined to be a fighter pilot. He's mapped out his life and knows exactly where he's headed.

Until, high in the Californian sky, he suddenly undergoes a terrifying transformation. The video instantly goes viral. Now, everyone wants a piece of him, including the sinister Evolutionary Corporation and the Angelist religious cult.


With nowhere to hide, scared and confused, Tyler goes on the run. All he has are his wits and the clothes on his back. Oh, and two enormous birdlike wings…


But he’s not alone. Around the world, others like him see the footage of his accident. Driven by instinct, they band together, trying to understand their new bodies and their new reality. How has this happened? Why them? Why now?


With corporate mercenaries, bounty hunters, wannabe influencers, and religious fanatics breathing down their necks, they have only one way to survive.



YA urban science fiction. Contains medium violence and language. Suitable for ages 12 and up. Early editions published as First Flight. For more information on the history of the series, please see below.

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The 2017-2020 editions of Generation Icarus are sold out. New releases with brand new cover designs are being released over 2023-2024! Sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss the launch dates, scroll on for the blurbs, or click here to jump to the history of the series!

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#2: Take Flight - OUT NOW!

Notable Book Award Winner 2019

We don't know where we came from or how we got here, but we know who we are. We’re the Flight. And we thought it was just the seven of us against the world.

But now we know we might find even more of us out there … if we ever get out of here.

We can’t run – but we can fly.

After surviving hunters in the woods, the desert, and then in the air above Los Angeles, the Flight had thought they were finally safe. They couldn't have been more wrong.​

When Evolutionary Corporation helicopters snatch the teenage Icari from their mountainous retreat, only Condor and Kestrel manage to escape. With nowhere else to turn and desperate to save their friends, the two flee across country, seeking sanctuary with the new Angelist megachurch - and the mysterious white winged Angel.​ But not even she, or her most fervent faithful, can keep them safe for long.

Imprisoned in a nightmare, the Flight realize they are nothing more than lab rats to an internationally powerful research & development corporation determined to squeeze every drop of data from their bodies, no matter the cost. Then, a shocking bond is revealed which could change everything.​ Assuming the Flight live long enough to understand how…

Pushed to the limits of endurance, can they survive the extremes of science and corporate greed? Find out now in the second stage of the Flight's adventure, Generation Icarus!

The 2018 Stream Press edition of Take Flight featured a piece of writing from the fanfic competition winner Jaimi Lutes of Colorado, USA!

Early edition published as Second Chance.

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#3: Sun Strike - Returning 2024

The Flight, grief-stricken, exhausted and starving, are increasingly demonised as they struggle to survive. The police and the sinister Evolutionaries are closing in, and social media is rife with conspiracy theories and prejudice.


Meanwhile, emotional relationships grow strained and ever more complex, and the pull of family threatens the stability of the group, just as new Icari make contact.


Trying to take control of their future, the Flight use social media to ask for help. But as events spin out of control and a deadly virus threatens, their only way forward is to uncover the truth hidden in their pasts. 


Can the Flight finally find their place in the world, and be accepted for who they are?

Inspired by the early editions of Generation Icarus books 3 & 4: Third Time Lucky and Final Stand.

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In 2011, J L Pawley completed the first draft of the first book in the Generation Icarus series. After receiving a rejection letter from a major publisher that indicated manuscripts were not accepted for consideration unless they had been reviewed by a professional manuscript assessor, she set about finding one.

The assessor she contacted happened to be an author in her own right, who was in the process of setting up her own publishing company. After the assessment was complete, she offered to publish the books herself.

The 2012 original version of the First Flight book cover

Unfortunately, just as the first tiny print run of First Flight rolled off the press in December 2012, the company closed down. So, with a half-published book, J L Pawley was unable to seek publication with any other company, and decided to re-publish herself under her own label. Nineteenth House Publishing was born.

After another round of professional editing and book design, the Nineteenth House Publishing edition of First Flight was released in 2013earning an award from Readers Favorite. The Second Chance, Third Time Lucky, and Final Stand, along with the Icarus Origins companion novellas detailing the back stories of the main characters, followed over the next two years. The final book came out in December 2015.

Thumbnail images of the original editions of Generation Icarus novels and novellas.

Along the way, J L Pawley also posted the series on the ebook streaming site Wattpad, with special Wattpad-edition covers. The first two books reached #2 and #3 in Science Fiction, and the series earned over a million reads between 2014-2015.


Thumbnail versions of the Wattpad ebook edition Generation Icarus novel covers.

Then, in early 2016, the series was noticed by the Eunoia Publishing Group. The director and editors promptly offered J L Pawley a publishing contract under the Steam Press imprint. As part of the deal, the original version of the series was withdrawn from Amazon and Wattpad, ready for redevelopment.

After a year of reworking, rewriting, and reediting, the books were given new titles to reflect the updated story within. Air Born was launched by Steam Press in Auckland in September 2017, followed by Take Flight in November 2018. Russian translations of Air Born and Take Flight were released soon after, as well as a traditional Mandarin Chinese translation of Air Born. However, partly due to the challenges caused by the COVID pandemic, the third book Sun Strike was delayed, and had a limited release online in December 2020.

In early 2023, the rights to Generation Icarus were re-acquired by J L Pawley and Nineteenth House Publishing. The Steam Press editions were sold out, but the books are undergoing a design makeover. The new edition of Air Born was re-released on November 19, 2023, and the new releases of Take Flight and Sun Strike are coming in 2024!

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