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...
As Solid opens, Clio Kaid is headed into her first day at a military "summer camp" for children who were secretly given gene therapy in utero 18 years ago. When the government realized what this scientist had done, they immediately contacted all the subjects to come in for testing and monitoring. There don't seem to be any problems, but no one knows for sure. Clio quickly falls in with a friendly group of kids and they enjoy spending time getting to know each other. The exercises, classes and checkups seem pretty routine - nothing special - until Clio accidentally overhears someone talking about the kids and their "talents". As she starts to pay more attention, she unearths more secrets - with the help of her friends.
Solid was a quick, enjoyable read. I liked Clio as the narrator, she was a genuinely sweet character who wasn't obnoxiously smart or obsessing over boys. The storyline was engaging but the real plot didn't happen until quite a way through the book, then it was wrapped up too quickly. Ms. Workinger really gave us a sense of Clio and her friends - their histories and personalities, and I enjoyed "meeting" each and every one of them. I was disappointed that she did not go more into the abilities of the kids. We got that some could turn invisible, or were great at sports, or something do do with art. What are the ramifications of these abilities? How was the government planning to exploit these talents?
The storyline has the potential to delve deeper as the series continues and I would be interested to see where Ms. Workinger takes her characters next.
Paperback: 228 pages
Relase Date: July 9, 2010
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