This is a haunting, darkly illustrated story. The series starter is an interesting twist on the high school outcast plotline. Brent Marks is a loner with unique abilities that no one quite understands. Marks' fascinating and mysterious background is introduced slowly by Weldele's bleak, blue and green illustrations which beautifully compliment the character's inner turmoil. Although Pariah ends with a cliffhanger, obviously setting readers up for book two, the story stands on its own as a modern-day witch hunt that will have readers simultaneously empathizing with Marks and itching for the next installment.

High school outcast Brent Marks is a “Vitro,” one of a small group of teens who are the results of a genetic mutation experiment. Although Marks has no supernatural powers, he has an intelligence so far beyond the capacity of un-enhanced humans that he is able to build creations with his hands as quickly as he can imagine them. Everyone knows that Marks is a "Vitro" and the label makes him feel distant from others. Marks is just barely blending in, until one day the media accuses the Vitros of carrying out a terrorist attack. As Marks' living situation takes a turn for the worse he realizes that he must flee his home forever. (SEA LION BOOKS, July 2011, $3.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Janine Johnston