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In this gripping dystopian satire, ex-marine Sargent Whitmore has a plan to make millions while protecting children from the self-destructing modern world. He turns an old Mediterranean monastery into a combined impenetrable fortress and school, and enrolls 100 filthy-rich children, most of them already well-known for legal troubles, drug problems and paparazzi run-ins. Once there, everyone is cut off from the outside world, fed only canned news stories about wars and natural disasters. When things inevitably go horribly wrong, young hacker "Killer" Stade, physician assistant Cassie, drug and sex-crazed Sylvie and monastery-raised orphan Benny all attempt heroics, but remain deeply flawed. Reed (The Baby Merchant) displays unflinching willingness to explore all the facets of all of the characters, and her refusal to paint anyone as a simple villain makes this far more than a typical disaster novel. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.