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Cutting-edge technology combines with the dark side of the human soul to create the potential for terrifying destruction.

Born to a poor Bulgarian family, Eva Rozen is alternately abused and neglected by her parents. Her older sister, Gergana, is the only consistent source of love and affection. So when Gergana is murdered, Eva’s lifeline crumbles. Elsewhere, Marta Cruz suffers from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling disease. When her mother dies, Marta spends a summer with her grandmother in San Juan, learning the healing remedies found in the dying rainforest. Young Jim Ecco and his dog, Ringer, live in a cushy Pasadena suburb, but Jim’s life is anything but easy because of his abusive, controlling father. Jim’s simmering rage erupts and changes his life forever. Eva, Marta and Jim end up in the same school in East Los Angeles as members of the Hidden Scholar Program, a foundation that provides a top-tier education free to brilliant but poverty-stricken children. The three become close friends, although their relationship becomes strained when Jim and Marta begin a romance. Sixteen years after their first meeting, Eva has become one of the world’s wealthiest women thanks to her brilliant nanotechnology research. She asks Marta and Jim to become her business partners, but the darkness that warps Eva’s mind pulls the three friends—and the world—into imminent peril. Steinman’s novel combines engrossing sci-fi elements, riveting thrills and a fascinating study of the human mind. The main characters are complex and likable—even dark and twisted Eva. Without taking the reader out of the story’s flow, flashbacks explore each character’s past in detail and lay the groundwork for the plot’s twists and turns. The result is an exceptional tale that’s suspenseful, gritty and endearing.

A terrific sci-fi thriller that grips the reader from beginning to end.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2012
Page count: 382pp
Publisher: Alloy Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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