Toward the end of the school year everyone at Oak Hill Academy becomes involved in a complex, week-long game called Elimination. The object is for each participant to ""kill"" as many of the others as possible by tagging them, until the sole survivor becomes the winner. Eighth-grader Zoe is not fond of the game and likes it even less when new student Christina joins in and subtly begins to alter the rules. Soon it becomes evident to Zoe that some things about the new girl are very strange, e.g., the way parts of her body turn into areas of shimmering light, her powerful influence on the younger students (who become veritable zombies after Christina tags them), and her effect on Zoe's own classmates, who become violently ill when tagged. No one believes Zoe's concerns until teachers begin to disappear, but by then it's too late. Zoe plays the deadly game against Christina--but can anyone really win? Dexter (The Gilded Cat, 1992, etc.) creates vivid characters and places them in a situation fraught with danger and dread; there is no letup in this page-turner until the final confrontation between the two girls. The resolution is both unexpected and wholly rewarding. A real winner.