From Publishers Weekly
Despite Luiken's intriguing premise, she leaves too many unanswered questions to completely pull off this science fiction story. Angel Eastland, a feisty 17-year-old, knows something is going on in the town of Chinchaga. After she meets Mike, who shares her violet eyes and quick brain, she eventually realizes that they are somehow linked, and teams up with him to discover the truth about her town. Though the mystery is slow to unfold, Luiken drops well-placed hints ("Did you know him Before?... Or should I say After? Get it?" Angel's friend asks her after they meet Mike). Actually, the year is 2098, and Angel and Mike are among a few surviving genetically improved children born under the secret government project, Renaissance. (Another clever touch: the names of the Renaissance babies connect [Mike + Angel = Michelangelo].) Chinchaga is an elaborate Historical Immersion class made to resemble life in 1987, and Angel and Mike seem to be the only two who have never seen life outside. They decide to escape, but the project leader, Dr. Frank, is just as determined to stop them. Unfortunately, Luiken uses clunky psychoanalysis to clarify some mysteries, such as the reason behind Dr. Frank's cruelty (he was jealous of his handsome younger brother), and never fully explains others. The Historical Immersion class seems too complicated to be believed, and, despite many suspenseful moments along the way, Luiken's novel does not quite succeed in transporting readers back to the future. Ages 12-up. (Jan).
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-12. Angel Eastman is a mediocre student living in Canada in 1987--at least that's what it seems. But in this futuristic novel, nothing is quite what it appears to be. When Angel meets Michael Vallant, a boy she hates without knowing why, the mystery slowly starts to unravel: it's not really 1987, it's 2089; and Michael and Angel are part of the Renaissance Project, an experiment with genetic engineering. They've been kept as test subjects in a museum that replicates late-twentieth-century life. The superhuman teens band together to try and discover what's going on, including who would rather kill them than let them know the truth. At times the plot seems unnecessarily convoluted, and characters and subplots are dropped in and out of the story at random. In general, though, this provides a light, entertaining read that may help interest students in the timely topic. Marta SegalCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved