Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.
Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.
While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...
My Take: I really enjoyed this story. The book is an easy read which will appeal to the reluctant reader. It's also a different approach to geeky-high-school-girl-turns-special. For one thing, Clio is not the most talented, beautiful, or the usual suspects. She is special because of her relationship with a colonel.
I must admit that I really liked the army conspiracy idea. One man with too much power and access to people who wants to try out his theories in human experimentation. Anybody else thing of Mengele? Only problem is that he dies before the chromosomal difference matures. So who is really behind the campus?
The characters are well developed and friendships follow a natural pattern. The major questions are answered in the book which brings a nice closure to the story. However, there are a couple of hanging conflicts that are clearly and purposely left unanswered, opening the door for another book using the same characters which I look forward to reading. I'll be interested to see how each of the characters gifts develop.
Recommend this one, particularly for the reluctant yet somewhat advanced reader.