2012. 394p. 978-1-59514-595-6.
Gr 7 Up–Genetically bred to be immortal, Pia has never been outside Little Cam, the research compound where she was born. Hidden beneath the jungle cover of an Amazon rainforest and surrounded by electric fencing and security monitors, she spends her days studying and being groomed to become the leader of a new race of immortals, including taking a battery of “Wickham tests” designed to make her callous to human weaknesses. As her 17th birthday approaches, questions about the outside world are squelched by lead scientist Uncle Paolo and his staff. The arrival of free-spirited Dr. Harriet Fields and her gift of a world map compels Pia to seize an opportunity to squeeze through broken fencing to explore her environs. In the jungle she meets Eio, an English-speaking 18-year-old Ai’oan village boy conceived from a liaison between one of the scientists and his mother. Tension mounts as Pia jeopardizes security for outings with Eio and the villagers and becomes emboldened to investigate sinister truths about a long-ago accident at Little Cam. Details about the magical leaves of the native Kapok tree and their role in developing five generations of immortals ties the setting to the plot and serves to explain Pia’s physical anomalies. Pia frequently waffles between loyalty to her Little Cam family and Eio’s warnings about their motives, believably reflecting the naïveté of a sheltered teen. Readers will be thrilled with the page-turning adventure/survival scenes in a descriptive and imaginative setting, and will root for Pia and Eio to the end.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Genetically engineered Pia is "perfect": she's fast, has impenetrable skin, and she's immortal. But she has never left the confines of her Amazon jungle compound. Escaping one day, she meets and falls in love with villager Eio and soon uncovers the alarming origins of her perfection. Khoury presents a fully realized protagonist in a disturbing world where science and humanity clash.

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