Dave Kalstein, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (322p) ISBN 978-0-312-34096-4

The Stansbury School's class of 2036—"flagship editions of youth"—are "bred... for top-of-the-line performance," poised to matriculate at the best colleges and destined to dominate the private and public sectors. After a 12-year regimen of chemical enhancement, conditioning and ideology inside Stansbury's high-rise virtual prison, in the megalopolis of San Angeles, these co-ed high school students, known as "specimens" in Kalstein's cautionary debut, emerge a master race of ninja-assassin geniuses: unnaturally tall, lethal and intelligent—at the cost of imagination and individualism. The story hinges on two students, both full-ride scholarship orphans, who form an unlikely partnership after six recent Stansbury graduates are murdered. Valedictorian Thomas Oliver Goldsmith has put his "blue collar work ethic and indomitable will" behind Stansbury's mission, while Winston Cooley, a rebellious malcontent, refuses to swallow the mandated drugs or the school's supposedly high-minded ideals. When Cooley unwittingly ends up at the scene of an alum's murder, the school's administration puts Goldsmith on the case. For Stansbury, the scandal could jeopardize the school's chances to receive a $1 trillion-a-year research grant from the government. For Cooley, his very freedom is at stake. Kalstein's action-packed comment on the price of "progress," the absurdity of hypercompetitive education and the myth of meritocracy hurtles to a satisfying if predictable conclusion. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/21/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Show other formats
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-0157-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-0724-2
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-4111-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4332-0726-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-0725-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4668-7964-5
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.