What happens when designer babies don’t turn out the way their designers intended?
In the very near future, humanity is suffering. “There wasn’t / enough food or medicine / to go around. We were made / to be the solution.” Trans teen Alex and their nine siblings were created to be saviors of the human race by Project Apogee. Each had their own special area of expertise, and all excelled at first; then Alex didn’t. When the 10 kids returned from their foster parents’ houses at age 7 for tests, Alex didn’t satisfy Dr. Pinker and was told they wouldn’t be let back in. Their sister Anto hints that part of the reason was that Alex was too girly. Alex is comfortable with their feminine side and with being free from the Project. They lose touch with the other nine, until at 15 they all return to Apogee for more testing and learn they have lost their abilities. Alex is invited back for further study, and they go in hopes of saving their siblings from Dr. Pinker. Debut trans novelist Duran has created a page-turning science fiction narrative in blank verse that simultaneously sensitively and realistically displays the feelings of a trans teen. Any outsider will identify with Alex’s feelings of otherness and failure and cheer when their otherness is the key to success.
Aimed at reluctant readers, this will satisfy the voracious reader too. (Verse novel. 12-18)