After witnessing a secret bio-experiment at school, Bailey is sent to a juvenile center in the Adirondacks, where she finds unexpected allies in trying to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy.
Chandler’s fast-moving YA thriller is a sort of teenage X-Files minus any Scully-Mulder sexual tension. It’s a throwback of sorts to the more innocent days of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators (Nancy Drew would be a little too retro). Bailey, a New York state high schooler of Mohawk descent, lingers after class and glimpses weird guys in moon suits injecting some kind of chemical into the cafeteria lunches. Railroaded on charges of trespassing and vandalism to keep her quiet and separated from her family, she’s sent to Pine Farm in the Adirondacks, a rather poorly guarded supervisory center for detained juveniles—in this case, a multicultural assembly of young people also saw too much regarding government surveillance, robotics, mind control, and vast underground bases. Pine Farm happens to be adjacent to a chief staging area for such nefarious military/National Security Agency/Black-Ops stuff. With her newfound allies inside and outside the facility, Bailey tries to reveal the astonishing truth...which, in true X Files sequel-baiting fashion, is never revealed in full (it may or may not involve aliens). Readers above the targeted age demographic may find that a lot of the puzzle falls into place rather conveniently for the headstrong heroine, though it is interesting to note the timely gee-whiz element provided by modern technology: namely, remote-controlled flying camera-drones, here occupying the pivotal gadget role.
Breezy sci-fi intrigue for the young set who (unlike the heroine) won’t ask inconvenient questions.