Ace, May 2004, 23.95, 336 pp.
In the distant future energy is needed to keep the expansion of the human race into the galaxy going. Power parks on uninhabited planets are built to supply that need. On the planet Virmund, a colony of lost children is discovered but nowhere on that orb are any adults. The Extra Solar Corporation, responsible for the building of the power park, takes back one of the children, keeps her in isolation, and runs medical tests for fourteen months.
Isabel Burke, a priest in the order of Magdalene, is appointed as guardian for the child. However from the time she makes contact with the child, she is also put in isolation, unable to communicate in person with anyone from the outside. Thanks to the help of a gentle worker in the complex, Isabel is able to make contact with her ex-lover. Simon who has a lot of political clout is also a highly regarded physician. He discovers that Oa is over hundred years old but acts and thinks like a child and the powers that be want the secret of her inability to grow old. A group flies to Virmund to find out what is keeping the children young and killing the adults on the planet.
Louise Marley has written a science fiction novel that deals with current social issues such as women becoming priests in the Catholic Church. The mystery of the children on Virmund is handled in a believable way using scientific methods based on research used today. The children who have no desire to be Peter Pans want to experience the wonders of aging.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner