A Victorian-era thriller focusing on the Tainted, people with special physical and mental powers, in a secret agency protecting Queen and country.
Felicity Cole, 16, is the daughter of Greek immigrants who settled in Whitechapel in London. Her brother, Nate, is feared as one of the Tainted, people who possess special abilities expressed in a variety of ways. When a man kills Felicity’s boyfriend, Kit, Felicity beats him up and kills the servant who comes to his aid. It is only afterward that she realizes that she moved faster and was far stronger than she should have been: It’s not only her brother who is Tainted. Felicity is whisked away to Greybourne Academy, where she meets others like herself—and where they are trained to be spies and assassins. Will she be able to leave her old life behind, hard as it was, and begin a new one? Foster (A Brilliant Deception, 2015, etc.) creates an alternate world with a fast-paced plot, interesting characters (including the requisite mean girl), and a refreshingly well-adjusted male love interest with whom Felicity develops a healthy relationship. The book includes diversity in terms of England’s European immigrants.
Readers who enjoy action with plenty of twists and turns will find it hard to put this one down. (Fiction. 12-18)