The near future is progressively free from discrimination based on race, class, and sexual orientation. But in a world populated by the gifted, fifteen-year-old Alejandro Aragon (Alé) is part of the only remaining minority—he’s a Deficient. Powerless. The one that accelerated genetics left behind.

Alé knows that he’ll need a miracle to graduate and pursue his dream of a legal career in the capital. His only ally is his best friend Yalamba, an outspoken and exceptionally gifted artist renowned for her unique ability to draw things into existence. But when she’s kidnapped in a hate crime against her ability, it appears that Alé has every motive and no believable alibi.

To prove his innocence and track down the real culprit, Alé teams up with the other outcasts in school, who each have their own reasons for getting involved. But the deeper they dig, the more they fear Yalamba’s kidnapping is linked to a string of unsolved murders against the exceptionally gifted.

With time running out, Alé must discover who he really is if he and his new friends plan to track down the culprit, clear his name, and rescue Yalamba—all before she herself is drawn out of existence.
Deficient by Michael Solis
Michael Solis
ISBN Numbers:
Hardcover:  978-1-64397-349-4
Softcover:   978-1-64397-350-0
Ebook:         978-1-64397-351-7
LCCN: 2022941268

Page Count: 230 
Release Date: 9/12/2023
Teen Fiction | Science Fiction
Book Information
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“A clever premise skillfully executed. Solis creates a vivid, fantastical world populated by fully-drawn, relatable characters, and a compelling storyline that never flags. Deficient is a thoroughly entertaining read and an impressive first novel.
—Ross LaManna, Screenwriter (Rush Hour)
Deficient is a unique spin on superhero stories. I can see where Solis drew his inspiration from, having grown up in the shadow of the super-human world of professional wrestling. His book is about finding yourself, even when you feel powerless, and fighting for what you believe in. It’s a message everyone can relate to. The book is a must read.
—Kenny Casanova, author of Don't Call Me Chico and former professional wrestler
Deficient is a page-turner to be read while riding on a rollercoaster of emotions. A gripping tale from start to finish!
—Kael O'Phelan, Author of The Elemental Guardians series
“[Deficient] is a speculative novel about what the future could look like if humans were to evolve, from the perspective of an underdog who has been left behind. This page-turning adult novel is made for the screen.
—Trina Vargo, Author of Shenanigans and President of the US-Ireland Alliance
Deficient takes us on a wild ride from the first page! Solis' debut novel moves fast, providing twists and turns in every chapter. Through his characters and their interactions, Solis explores themes from adventure, to family tension, to love and relationships, crafting a compelling plot that readers of Ender's Game and Gattaca will enjoy.
—Christine Galib, Author of Etched in Stone
“a stunning debut. A compelling whodunit set against the backdrop of an immersive dystopian future [and] delivers a truly fresh twist on its genre—with page-turning results.
—C.S. Farrelly, author of The Shepherd’s Calculus
“An attention-grabbing plot-driven story that tackles themes of belonging.
Kirkus Reviews
Deficient is a superb debut novel and a great story of true friendship with strong and relatable characters. From the first few pages, I just wanted to keep reading more!
—Dija Ayodele, author of Black Skin
“Michael Solis’s debut novel is equal parts intrigue, adventure and a heaping helping of heart. Deficient is a breezy novel that is easy to pick up, exciting to get into and impossible to put down…definitely on my top reads of the year.
—Matti McLean, author of Nicky Faces Catastrophe... and Survives?!
“Solis has created a marvelous world filled with unforgettable characters in this debut work.
—LibraryThing Early Reviewers
“The concept of Deficient is so creative…it flips the superhero genre on its head. When I finished the book, I only wanted more.
—Moshin A., Goodreads Reviewer
“a page-turner to be read while riding on a rollercoaster of emotions. A gripping tale from start to finish!
—Kari K., Goodreads Reviewer
“Solis bursts onto the scene as a thrilling debut… Amidst the electrifying adventure, the novel subtly imparts a powerful lesson about embracing one's uniqueness and finding strength in the face of adversity.
—Quinton, Goodreads Reviewer
Book Information, Awards & Press
Nominee: 2024 PEN/Hemingway Award, Best Debut Novel
Nominee: 2024 American Library Association's Stonewall Award
Ebook, Audiobook
“This is a seriously awesome debut!
—Caitlin, Goodreads Reviewer
“a brilliantly paced sci-fi action-adventure story that follows a teenage outsider named Alejandro on a quest to find his missing best friend.
—Lauren Steinheimer, Writer
“a superb debut novel filled with humor, suspense, action, mystery, and many surprises. The ideas in the book have a lot of potential as a series, and the story will appeal to many beyond its core young adult audience. Well done, and worth the read!
—Queer Sci-fi
Nominee: 2024 Pushcart Prize