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by John Saul
Release date: 1992
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror

They call it The Academy.

Housed in a secluded, cliff-top mansion overlooking the rugged and picturesque Pacific coast, it is a school for special children. Children gifted — or cursed — with extraordinary minds. Children soon to come under the influence of an intelligence even more brilliant than their own — and unspeakably evil. For within this mind a dark, ingenious plan is taking form. A hellish experiment meant to probe the ultimate limits of the human brain.

Computer whiz kid Adam Aldrich lives for his exploration of virtual reality. Lured ever deeper into his video fantasy world, he does not imagine that his reality will soon become a living nightmare. Until the moment he sees the blinding light. Adam's fate will be called a tragic midnight accident. But is it something far worse?

Amy Carlson, serious and shy, is fascinated by human behavior. But when she volunteers for an experiment in choice making, she unknowingly narrows her own options. When Amy's fate is sealed, will it be suicide — or murder?

For Josh MacCallum, brilliant but lonely, Amy's cry for help leads to a frightening knowledge. Soon Josh will suspect that Amy's desperate plea comes from the depths of darkness, from a blackness so horrifying that not even he with his genius-lever IQ could envision it. Soon Josh will uncover the terrifying truth about The Academy.

And he will come to understand that no one will believe him. Not unless he can pit his young mind against an intellect so powerful, so evil, so cunning, that nothing can resists its seductive invitation — into the shadows...

updated 2010-09-07

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