Three teens are tricked into using their phenomenal cosmic powers for immoral purposes.
Quin, Shinobu and John are finally ready to be inducted into the secret society of Seekers. Though they are only teenagers, they have trained since they were children to fight with the Seeker weapon, the whipsword, and to avoid the dreaded mind-destroying disruptor. Somehow, horrifyingly, John fails his final test and is sent away. John, however, already knows the secret that's been kept from Quin and Shinobu: The Seekers are no heroes. Quin has spent her life desperate for her father's approval and is horrified to realize what a monster he's always been. With their lives toppled, the three would-be fighters are separated, traveling with magical speed from rural Scotland to a noir Hong Kong stocked with opium dens. The childhood friends are now at odds, though with chapters alternating with each protagonist, the characters have the opportunity to show all their perspectives. In an adventure packed with drug abuse, self-harm, amnesia and betrayal, one erstwhile Seeker aims to control another. It's a thinly drawn tangle of a setting, with portable televisions and cellphones alongside steampunk-style airships and sci-fi “airlifts.” Nor do the heroes escape lazy stereotyping. For biracial Shinobu, for example, becoming "more Japanese" translates to "things like manners and honor." A relationship triangle completes the picture (as it's packed with pseudo-sexual violence, it's difficult to call it a love triangle).
Ellipsis-laden dialogue makes even death-defying, CGI-ready adventures drag. (Science fantasy. 14-16)