Long, but it is very much worth the time

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plappen's review of Gene Pool: Unnatural Selection - RA Finlayson

★★★★★
Gene Pool: Unnatural Selection - RA Finlayson

“Long, but it is very much worth the time”

Written on: 18/08/2013 by plappen (81 reviews written)

Gene Pool: Unnatural Selection, R.A. Finlayson, Amazon Digital Services (B008OHZVIW), 2012

This book is about a world totally changed by genetic engineering.

GeneTech is, by far, the biggest company in the world. Human youth treatments, that make people look younger than they really are, are common. The world of agriculture harvesting has been turned upside down by XenoMats. Imagine genetically-created, dwarf size, green gorillas with tentacles instead of arms that are bred to pick produce in the fields. Commercial buildings are no longer built with steel and concrete. They are made of genetically created material based on the bones of this animal or the shell of that animal.

Amade Bertrand is a New York Times reporter who has gotten a tip about strange happenings at GeneTech. She wonders why there has never, ever been a negative story about GeneTech in the press. It is because Whitfield Gray, GeneTech's head of PR, has been given, by GeneTech, a genetically-enhanced ability to bend anyone to his will, to make anyone do anything he wants. Is the fact that Amade is falling in love with him real or coerced?

For years, the Church of Traditional Biblical Values has been very vocal in its opposition to genetic engineering in general. A very secret plan is hatched to get a dose of the influence drug, and inject it in the Leader of the Church. His influence will turn America back on the path toward God. It is led by Colonel Ron Savage, who goes up against general Sutherland, GeneTech's Head of Security. The two are ex-military, and have a long and unpleasant history together. A full-blown military assault is unleashed against a complex of buildings that are full of the latest in high-tech and genetically engineered safeguards.

The author does a very good job at making the characters not all bad or all good. There is no well-defined "good guy" or "bad guy." This story takes place only a few decades from now, it's very plausible, and more than a little spooky. The reader will not go wrong with this book; it's a first-rate piece of storytelling.

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