Only gradually revealing this familiar premise, Terence Blacker weaves a deliciously mysterious and suspenseful story about Thomas Wisdom, who--like Adam in Robert Cormier's classic I Am the Cheese and Jonas in Lois Lowry's The Giver--begins to notice little hints that there is a secret at the heart of his perfect family and ends by uncovering a worldwide conspiracy. Unlike Adam's mental-hospital prison and Jonah's regimented society, Thomas's world is ordinary and comfortable, and life with his nice parents and kind big sister is excellent. Except he has begun to wonder if his tooperfect family might be concealing something. "They're CIA agents!" concludes his outrageously geeky friend Gip, and proves it by finding a transmitter in the toilet tank and a mysterious page of numbers hidden in Thomas's father's computer files. Thomas is skeptical, until he goes with his family on holiday to California and has a strange quasireligious experience in the desert that shakes up his ideas about what's going on. And then another revelation about himself shocks him to the core. But Thomas, unlike Adam, has free will in the situation. Who are these beings who call themselves "angels"--his so-called father, mother, sister, other people in his life, even the dog? And how can Thomas fight against this pervasive niceness with its overbearing plans for humanity?