Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paranormal Pick: Havoc

Havoc (Book 2, The Deviants)
by Jeff Sampson
Balzer + Bray
352 pages

The sequel to Vesper, Havoc, just released January 24 is a sure teen paranormal thriller that will leave readers wanting more--never fear, the third installment due out later in 2012.

Picking up where Vesper (Book 1) left off, Emily Webb is just learning to master her super-powers; she is Emily by day, dangerous and daring werewolf Emily by night. She and her friend football jock Dalton run wild each night breaking into BioZenith, the company responsible for "turning" them. They want to find answers: why are we different? What makes us werewolves? Why did the company make us this way?

Human friend Megan is still angry with Emily about dissing her and spending too much time with Dalton and Spencer (another wolf friend). Emily discovers she's the Alpha dog, the leader, and is secretly thrilled. Normally, Daytime Emily is a timid geek girl who hangs back, hiding behind everyone else--but not anymore. Nighttime wolf Emily is fierce and exciting.

Spencer finds the other girl werewolf; their class president Tracie who is worried that she is just sick and has no idea that she's a wolf yet. Dalton's dad is hiding BioZenith secrets and the kids break into his study and discover a hidden "Mission Impossible" high-tech computer that is ridiculously easy for Spencer to hack into. Another trip to BioZenith reveals Tracie's new powers and some gory science experiments gone wrong. BioZenith is developing new technology but using human children as lab rats and horribly disfiguring and killing them in the process!

When Dalton disappears into thin air, Emily delves deeper into BioZenith's files and discovers a horrifying secret from her own past: what if her mother isn't really dead? What if she's still inside BioZenith somewhere? Is she being held captive? Is Dalton somewhere in there, too?

Book 3 will have Emily and her pack joined by some new friends with their own super-powers. BioZenith, look out!

Taut action and the fast-paced plot driven by a feisty female protagonist will have teen paranormal fans cheering for more. They won't have to wait long; book 3 is out later this year.

Recommended grades 9-up. The publisher says grade 8 and up, but mean girl name calling and scientific gore in the lab and the mention of "mates" and "mating" (even if they are wolves) make me recommend this book for high school.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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