What if scientists could find a solution to the shortage of viable transplant organs? What if they could create an animal specifically for the purpose of breeding it to harvest organs for terminally ill humans? And what if altruism turns to greed? Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of alien-invasion thrillers, Infected and Contagious, turned these questions into a timely horror story about gene manipulation. I love a good medical thriller and I was excited when I received an advance reading copy of Ancestor from Read it forward, a program run by Random House. Sigler hooked me on page one.
Genada, a biotech firm, hires a research team to explore xenotransplantation. Headed by Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf, the group tries to create a mammal ancestor, whose organs can be transplanted in humans without rejection. The government wants to shut them down so they take their experiments off the radar by moving to a remote island in Lake Superior. A herd of cows is implanted with computer designed embryos and things go bad quickly. The fetuses are growing abnormally large and the government is closing in. It's a race to escape the predators, both animal and human.
Ancestor was written in 2006 and originally released as a free MP3 podcast. I never heard the podcast but evidently the book expands the story, the character development and updates the science. There's just enough science to satisfy without slowing the relentless pace and Sigler keeps the suspense high throughout. This is a fun, exciting read that also offers some food for thought. I was sleep deprived until I finished it and I'm eagerly awaiting Scott Sigler's next book.
Publisher: Crown Publishers (May 2010)
Hardcover: 432 Pages
Gail Pruszkowski writes as Gale Stanley. Her work has been published in the "Cup of Comfort" Anthologies and her first paranormal romance, Call of the Wilds is available now from SirenBookstrand. Mating Call will be released in November 2010.
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