This first-rate YA thriller follows lead character Hildegard and her unlikely comrades -- Grace and David -- from their survival-of-the-fittest beginning at the isolated Alaskan military school to discovery of a startling secret about their own genetic pasts.
In the process, they must cope with grueling physical training and draconian interpersonal conditions that often pit them against both peers and sadistic instructors. It's a fascinating read that moves fast and features acerbic, clever repartee among the intrepid trio as they struggle against both their hostile far-north environment and a harsh boot camp-like school setting.
Hildegard reluctantly assumes a leadership role as they fight to survive day to day and discover the true reason their parents have shipped them off to such a dreadful place. What common condition binds these extraordinary teens together, and what will they discover about their enigmatic shared beginnings and their tentative, danger-filled future?
Clever characterizations and outstanding writing elevate this Young Adult novel far above other stories in its genre ... At well over three hundred pages, the book nevertheless holds a reader's rapt attention from mysterious beginning to climactic finish. KIA is a storytelling triumph by standout writer Charalambides. We'll be on the lookout for more adventure-packed, character-driven work by this accomplished British author.
Publishers Daily Reviews.