Edward Bulwer-Lytton's book is ostensibly a work of Science Fiction. It deals with an underground race of advanced beings, masters of Vril energy - a strange power that can both heal and destroy - who intend to leave their subterranean existence and conquer the world. But the book has been seen by many as a barely concealed account of Hidden Wisdom, a theory that has attracted many strange bed-fellows, including the French author Louis Jacolliot, the Polish explorer Ferdinand Ossendowsky, and Adolf Hitler.
Kenya Curtis is only eight years old, but she knows that she's different, even if she can't put her finger on how or why. It's not because she's black - most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are, too. Maybe it's because she calls her father - a housepainter-slash-philosopher - "Baba" or because her parents' friends gather to pour out libations "from the Creator, for the Martyrs" and discuss "the community".