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Prodigy by Dave Kalstein


by Dave Kalstein

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In "Prodigy", ultra-elite Stansbury students are poised for spectacular success, but when several alumni are murdered, investigation reveals conspiracy high up on the school’s food chain. Unfortunately, while the prologue is intriguing, the remainder of the book reads like a bad screenplay, perhaps not surprising given the author’s film background. Huge, clumsy chunks of exposition appear regularly, the viewpoint sometimes changes abruptly, and there are a few too many lascivious descriptions of the well-developed female students in their little schoolgirl uniforms.

The book's worst offense, however, is its logical inconsistency, resulting in a case of “lazy science fiction.” The school’s success literally and entirely depends on the daily “meds” they give to all students, but the school administrators conveniently don’t check to make sure the students actually take the meds. Students shoot up their ultra-nutritional meals with laser syringes (=advanced technology), yet the school conveniently uses simple urinalysis (=non-advanced technology) for drug testing without checking DNA or even just watching the students to make sure the urine they submit is their own. The students already study at a graduate school level or beyond, but somehow their main motivation in life is to become freshmen at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. ( )
  amysisson | Jul 1, 2007 |
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From a distance, Stansbury Tower seemed proud.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312340966, Hardcover)

"If the characters from Less Than Zero and The Secret History woke up in a novel by Philip K. Dick, they'd get along famously with the precocious students of Stansbury."
-Dustin Thomason, bestselling author of The Rule of Four

A thriller set in the future at an ultra-elite prep school that asks: what is the price of perfection?

In the year 2036, the world's best boarding school is the Stansbury School. The students, better known as specimens, are screened at a young age and then given twelve years of the finest education -- and developmental drug regiment --available.
Stansbury graduates -- physically and mentally -- are in a class all by themselves. Four out of five go onto Harvard, Yale or Princeton; twenty out of the top thirty Forbes 500 companies have Stansbury CEOs, eight graduates have become U. S. Senators, and two sit on the Supreme Court. 
But when a string of alumni are murdered, school officials -- looking to avoid a public relations disaster -- decide to keep the police in the dark. 
They discreetly ask the school's Valedictorian to solve the mystery, but he discovers that the most obvious culprit (the school's resident chemically imbalanced delinquent -- and the Valedictorian's nemesis) is being framed.
Together, the two unlikely allies uncover a massive conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the Stansbury administration and the United States government.
A riveting thriller about America's obsession with genius and the potential of youth, Prodigy is not only a chilling vision of the very near future, it's an authentic coming-of-age story for the 21st Century.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:10 -0400)

Being a kid can really stink. And no one knows this better than Greg Heffley, who finds himself thrust into high school where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving.

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