The Supernaturalist, by Eoin Colfer (Hyperion Miramax, 2004)

In the future, in a place called Satellite City, it’s a very bad time and place to be an unwanted orphan. Cosmo Hill finds this out the hard way, when he’s sent to live at the Clarissa Frayne Institute, an orphanage which defrays costs by using its residents as human guinea pigs, testing everything from drugs to antiperspirants, from food to music. With only three ways to escape the cycle of test-to-destruction (death, adoption, or escape), Cosmo focuses on the most likely of the three: escape. However, even after he’s made his break for freedom, he’s still not entirely in the clear. Critically injured in the attempt, he’s found and granted shelter by an odd group of rebels known as the Supernaturalists. Like Cosmo, they can see the bizarre Parasites, supernatural predators feeding on the life energy of select individuals. And just like that, Cosmo is dragged into a war between the Supernaturalists and the Parasites, dodging highly-trained crack response teams of paralegals and other menaces along the way. But there’s more going on in Satellite City than anyone realized, and before it’s all over, Cosmo and friends will be forced to make some hard choices in order to save the world.

Described as part Blade Runner, part Charles Dickens, The Supernaturalist is a dystopian science fiction adventure with a flavor all its own. Coming from the creator of the Artemis Fowl books, its plots twists and imaginative scenarios help to create an unpredictable story in a memorable setting.

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