cover image Scorpion Shards

Scorpion Shards

Neal Shusterman. Tor Books, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85506-2

As in The Eyes of Kid Midas, Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination, makes it stunningly believable. His cast here might be a diseased and delinquent version of D.C. Comics' Justice League of America--each of six 15-year-olds suffers from a bizarre affliction that carries with it supernatural powers--and each affliction seems a gross distortion of a typical adolescent problem. Irresistible Michael, overwhelmed by lust, provokes killing fury in jealous men; Tory is being consumed by acne and poisons everything she touches; and so forth. Shusterman's unique vision, suspenseful pacing and empathy with teens' not-so-nice emotions will draw readers into this fabulous tale just as inexorably as its protagonists are impelled to find one another and discover the source of their malaises. A spellbinder. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)