Trust Ben Bova to come up with something tricky: a juvenile rehabilitation center regulated by a computer that gives the boys every chance--except to escape. After tripping the wires on his first tries, sixteen-year-old Danny Roman concentrates on taking the measure of the all-seeing SPECS, and reading, electronics and arithmetic are not academic. But, flight in sight, he opts for something more solid, following the example of girlfriend Laurie who's left the slum for secretary respectability and fulfilling the hopes of director Joe Tenny, a do-gooder who's hard to dislike. Any more than the book which, however obvious its intentions, moves on a steady beam of challenge and response, chance discovery and logical deduction (when the Christmas tree lights overload the circuits, Danny sees the way out). A sci-finesse of a social problem that puts a premium on effort and expertise.