Cosmo Hill, nosponsor, orphan at Clarissa Frayne. Guinea pig for new chemicals and medicines. One of hundreds of thousands who long to be free of the dreadful orphanages. He has one friend, Ziploc. Well, if you could call him a friend. He was a nosponser like the rest of them, and the only one with the audacity to talk more than needed. If anything, Ziploc would get him into more trouble than he already was.
And that's exactly what happens. When Ziploc, chained to Cosmo, jumps off a building to avoid being taken back to Clarissa Frayne, Cosmo is pulled with him. With the accident comes terrible consequences - Ziploc dies almost immediately from the force of the impact. But Cosmo...Cosmo is different. He's alive, yes, but he's also seeing things. The little blue creatures around him are sucking the life out of him - he can see the life flowing through their small bodies and back into the sky. It is then that the Supernaturalists come to Cosmo's rescue, saving his life and killing many of the life-sucking Parasites. Cosmo soon discovers that he and only a few other people can see these blue Parasites, and he is pulled right into a mystery that he never would have dreamed existed.
If you've read my review for Colfer's newer novel, Airman, you know that I'm a fan. This was my second Colfer book and once again, I was thoroughly impressed. I picked it up because I needed a filler for my free time, unsure of what I would find behind the cover of the book or if I would like it. However, I found within the first twenty pages that I loved it. Not only is it written fantastically well, but it has an atmosphere that was entirely unexpected. It takes place in a futuristic world, one where you would expect people to be living large. A world where everything is perfect. Where everyone has jobs and everyone is happy. At least, that's what you would believe if you lived in the upper class of society. But this book takes place in the slums, where food is scarce, clothes are torn and used thin. Where children are trying to survive and gangs are strong and hard and cold.
The characters are believable, even with their strange, futuristic attributes and/or their flaws. Stephan is by far my favorite. Dark, handsome, tall...trying to be a leader but unsure of how exactly to help those around him. He loves his friends with a sacrificial love and only wants to rid the world of the Parasites that are sucking the life out of us all.
And the writing... Colfer is one of those writers who knows what he's doing. He's got the story structure, the characters - and the style. He is his own voice, and his voice carries like a shout in the mountains - one that echoes and echoes and echoes. One that will always be remembered.
I encourage you to read this book.