"I'm the Idea Girl, the one who can always think of something to do."
Angel Eastland knows she's different. It's not just her violet eyes that set her apart. She's smarter than her classmates and more athletically gifted. Her only real competition is Michael Vallant, who also has violet eyes -- eyes that tell her they're connected, in a way she can't figure out.
Michael understands Angel. He knows her dreams, her nightmares, and her most secret fears. Together they begin to realize that nothing around them is what it seems. Someone is watching them, night and day. They have just one desperate chance to escape, one chance to find their true destiny, but their enemies are powerful -- and will do anything to stop them.
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 .) 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. .