Alex Warner’s life hasn’t been a great success – so maybe it’s better that he can’t remember any of it, even the fire that killed his family, the one he was blamed for setting. Still, a horrifying attack by werewolves in a city park is a new and violent low, until Mitsuru, a woman with odd red eyes and tremendous powers, intervenes, turning Alex’s world upside down.
Alex wakes to find himself in a hospital bed in a very different place: the Academy, a school in a hidden, fog-shrouded city named Central, where teenagers with remarkable abilities train to become Operators like Mitsuru, soldiers who use their amazing and frightening powers to fight Witches, Weir, and each other. And Alex is the Academy’s newest student.
In a class of students who can read minds, turn to stone, and sort through possible futures – and staff who can control emotions, set fires with thought, and level mountain sides on a whim – Alex is quickly in over his head. Worse, he has caught the interest of both the cartels vying for control of Central – the fragmented and aristocratic Hegemony, and the ruthless and dictatorial Black Sun. Alex is forced to make his way through a school populated by telepaths, vampires, and most puzzling of all, a number of girls who seem interested in him: Emily, lovely and almost powerless, with orders to make Alex fall in love with her; Anastasia, a Machiavellian heiress trapped in the body of a adolescent; and Eerie, only half-human and not entirely sane, but strangely captivating.
All the while, an elite cadre of Operators drawn from the staff of the Academy – the Auditors – fight brutal battles against the Witches and rebellious cartels, as Alex attempts to navigate the Byzantine politics of Central in the hopes of survival, passing grades, and possibly even a girlfriend.
(Latest version – 8-8-2013. Includes a rewrite by the Author and a complete copy edit by a professional proofer, removing virtually all typos and grammatical errors.)