by Walter Jury and Sarah Fine
Series: Scan #1
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Published May 1st 2014 by Putnam Juvenile
Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.
All Tate knows--like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid--may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret inter-species conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it. A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.
She squints at the almost transparent film over my index finger, a thin strip of plastic I fetched from my room on our way down here. “And that is…”
“His fingerprint.” I slide my finger into an opening in the control panel next to the door, then use my other hand to punch in my dad’s code, which took me six solid months of hacking to figure out. “It’s his fault, really. He’s the one who started teaching me chemistry when I was still in kindergarten.”
“Is that why you’re so good at it?” she asks, lifting my hand to the light. She’s a senior, and though she breezes through every other subject, I’m tutoring her in chemistry.
“I guess. It’s not that hard.”
Christina rolls her eyes as I carefully slip the transparent tape off my finger and place it in a little plastic case I pull from my pocket.
“Really.” I say. “Take this here, for instance.” I wave the plastic case at her face before putting it away again. “When you touch something, your skin leaves behind all sorts of stuff – amino acids, isoagglutinogen, potassium, and a bunch of other compounds. You can’t see any of it, of course, and it can be wiped away easily. But it’s there and available if you know how to find and use it. All it took to gather the fingerprint was a lightbulb, some foil, a bit of superglue, this strip of tape, and some vodka.”
She gives me this raised-eyebrow look. “Vodka?”
I shrug. “Okay, maybe vodka was just the beverage of choice for the evening.”