The storyline takes off at the high school football game when a player from the home team takes out an opposing player, but it is done in such a way that the player is hospitalized with severe enough injuries that he ends up in a coma. He is treated at the local hospital rather than the company operated hospital, and his doctor recommends the mother sue.
Mrs. Tanner is appalled that the boy who hurt the the player is treated like a hero, and soon it comes out that the athletes attend a sports clinic where they are given treatments to correct deficiencies and state of the art training. Their friend's husband suggests to Blake Tanner that his son go to the sports clinic because the doctor cured his son's asthma and he started growing bigger and stronger, almost immediately. Blake thinks its a great idea and enrolls Mark.
In he meantime, Mark starts hanging around with their daughter who he knew in California before they were transferred. Her boyfriend is the offending football player. She tells Mark he used to be nice but now he isn't and she breaks up with him after an incident where he manhandled her. He then jumps on Mark and is pulled off by several people, then he takes off and is not seen again, like the other football player no one ever saw again, and whose father was given a better promotion and transferred soon after.
Mrs. Tanner is beginning to get suspicious and starts asking questions, and then the mother of the football player confides in her that she is afraid. Soon she, too, disappears. The company line is that the strain was too much for her and she had to be hospitalized.
The rest of the book delves into Mrs. Tanner's investigation into the sports center, and the subtle changes taking place in her son since he started going to the sports center and now plays football. He is getting bigger, his facial features are changing and becoming more pronounced. He has lost all interest in the rabbits, that he loved, and finally they all died, from broken necks. He kills his dog, from whom he was inseparable and he gets belligerent towards his mother. The sessions at the sports center show why his attitude has changed towards his mother, and that it is deliberate as they want his mother out of the way. Her questions are a problem that must be addressed. Even his sister is worried about him.
It also focuses on the behind-the-scenes efforts to contain the growing problem of the boys at the sports center who are increasingly getting out of control and changing. One by one they they end up hospitalized until you find out the horrible truth of what they have turned the boys into.
Best part of story, including ending:
It was well written and held my interest and the story speaks to drug testing on humans and the potential unforeseen effects it can have.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when he and his mother are trying to escape the company men who are after them. I liked it because no matter what, she was still his mother and still loved her son.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that he was persistent in trying to find ways to avoid fulfilling his father's athletic dream by trying to do something that would be an acceptable alternative.