Orphans of Chaos
by John C. Wright (Published by Tor)
Nominated for Best Novel in 2005
John C. Wright burst onto the SF scene with the Golden Age trilogy. His next project was the ambitious fantasy sequence, The Last Guardians of Everness.
Wright’s new fantasy is a tale about five orphans raised in a strict British boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. The students at the school do not age, while the world around them does.
The children begin to make sinister discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter around him; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls where none had previously been; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the inexplicable universe: and they should not be able to co-exist under the same laws of nature. Why is it that they can?
The orphans have been kidnapped from their true parents, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings no more human than they are: pagan gods or fairy-queens, Cyclopes, sea-monsters, witches, or things even stranger than this. The children must experiment with, and learn to control, their strange abilities in order to escape their captors.