Author: LM Preston
Release: Feb 2010
Synopsis: For most kids, a trip to space camp is a trip of a lifetime, for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. Lucky for him, he was engineered to survive, thrive, and dominate. Without realizing he is being trained to conquer worlds, and manipulated under the guise of a camp, he unfolds the plot too late for a change of fate.
When I started the book, I was struck by the likability of the characters. They are well developed and very real in terms of their behavior and attitudes. They are typical teens, except for the science surrounding and ultimately controlling their lives. Aadi is a born leader and others are attracted to him because of his abilties and charisma. Others are angered by these very qualities and seek to destroy him. I found him to be a boy who isn’t totally comfortable with his position, but grudgingly learns to use what he discovers is his genetic makeup to be a success and survive against all odds.
The story initially reminded me of Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, in terms of the basic premise. Both stories involve boys who are caught up in “training” they don’t know is actually practice for a real war. That is where the similarities end though. Aadi’s story develops amid struggles for friendship, learning to understand girls, and why his parents sent him to this camp. As a team, the teens learn they aren’t really attending camp and there are dark secrets the hosting company is trying to hide. In the end, the kids are fighting for their very lives and we don’t know what happens- there must be a sequel! I need to know what happens to the others……quite a fun read!