Humdrum medium-future yarn, from the author of The Hormone Jungle, about a group of gene-tailored children coming to terms with each other, their environment, and the grandiose aspirations of their creator. The kids, all with enhanced, rearranged genetic material and abilities, meet on a patch of waste ground to build an elaborate tree-house. Ryder has very acute senses and a perfect memory (so perfect that he frequently gets lost in it) and ordinary parents who worry about Dr. Florida, the genius behind all this biological wizardry. Small, tough Jack, the least modified, comes from a broken home composed largely of unsavory, boorish brothers. Dark-skinned Beth nurtures by singing and has ailing parents. Cody is the muscular, aggressive offspring of two lesbians. And genius Marshall fears his overbearing and demanding mother. Meanwhile, in his orbiting laboratory, Florida (he cherishes all life) creates the sparkhounds: tough, aggressive electrical-energy creatures designed to populate Jupiter's atmosphere. A space accident liberates the sparkhounds, who fall upon the Moon, threatening the colonies there and perhaps endangering the Earth. Static, superficial, undramatic; needs propellant. It's becoming apparent that Reed's exceptional debut, The Leeshore, was something of a fluke.