“I saw a shape emerge, a figure crouched on all fours, points of its spine protruding along the length of its back, and dark lines running down the sides of its neck. Its eyes were wide and round, the whites visible around the whole circumference of its pupils. It was a horrible face.”
Seventeen-year-old Noah Bolton is having the time of his life. His job at the biotech giant, Pridapt Incorporated, has not only earned him a college scholarship and the admiration of his peers, it has also gained him the eye of Zoe Halpern, the most popular girl at school.
But, behind the perks, Noah discovers a disturbing pattern of secrecy. There is a cover-up of side-effects from the company’s latest miracle drug, and hidden research in the restricted East Wing laboratory, where something monstrous crawls in the dark. Will Noah simply look the other way, or will he risk his status, his future, and even his life to bring the truth to light?
DANTE ROSSETTI 2017 Book Awards for Young Adult Fiction Short List
Preview the First Chapter
Chapter One: Pridapt Incorporated
It was a monster. I knew that much. Why else would they be hiding it? So I thought every morning as I walked past the only laboratory door my keycard would not open. Four years I had been working at Pridapt Incorporated, with unfettered access to all the research labs except for the one behind the steel gray doors of the East Wing. Of course, it was not unreasonable of them to keep secrets; research facilities always do—novel ideas, patented techniques and formulas. I was merely a part-time lab assistant after all, hired at thirteen thanks to my mother, one of Pridapt’s PhD researchers. But I worked on every other project; why not this one? They could trust me. I wouldn’t have told anyone. Besides, whom would I have told? It’s not like I went out much. I loved working there, running experiments in the lab, seeing science in action. I would never have jeopardized my employment there. But rules were rules, I supposed. I satisfied my frustration that morning, as I did every morning, by fantasizing about the horrific thing that must be lying there hidden from view.