Publication Date: August 2009
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Autumn 2009 Kids' Indie Next List
“Five children who are stolen from their homes (and made to forget it) are raised to teenagers by a tall blonde woman calling herself their governess. She bestows special gifts upon them, magically amplifying what seem to be their natural abilities but, in truth, preying on their greatest weaknesses and insecurities. A fast-paced, suspenseful novel.”
-- Elizabeth Bluemle, Flying Pig Boooks, Shelburne, VT
On a single night, five children suddenly vanish from their homes in Paris, Glasgow, Rome, and London. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers make an impressive entrance at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and intrigue follow the Faust children to the elite Manhattan Marlowe School, where their very presence brings unexplainable misfortune. Using ?gifts? given to them by Madame Vileroy, these mysterious teenagers rise to suspicious heights at Marlowe. Though at first their abilities seem almost childlike in their simplicity, they soon learn that their newfound talents for cheating, stealing, hiding, and lying are far more potent than they had ever imagined ? and far more addictive. Ignoring the side effects of pursuing their individual obsessions, bargaining with the very devil in their midst as they claw their way to the top, these five ambitious teens draw ever nearer to their goals . . . until two of them uncover a secret even more shocking than their own most unforgivable sins. Dialing up the ancient dilemma of indulgence versus redemption, this modern-day retelling of the Faustian bargain story, set in twenty-first-century Manhattan, provides a look into the cutthroat world of high-school competition that is both bitingly funny and scorchingly wicked.