What if you held the key to agelessness?
Zoe Kincaid is a twenty-year-old woman trapped in a teenager's body. She's always been small and underdeveloped but doctors have never been able to find a reason, until now. A world renowned geneticist believes that Zoe's situation is caused by a rare genetic complication that has only appeared in one other person. The next step would be to map and study Zoe's genome and identify the exact genetic marker causing her condition. Not only does it lead her to hope that she may one day live as a normal adult, but it could also mean prolonging her beloved grandfather's life. But as soon as Zoe is diagnosed and shown to be physically stunted at the age of fourteen, officials step in. Although she herself is an adult, the physical results have led lawyers to suggest that Zoe is indeed only fourteen and thus unable to make decisions on her own. With her parents strongly against further testing, Zoe has no choice but to join up with the Network, a secret group intent on research without the burdensome oversight of government.
Meanwhile, a government agency desperately seeks out that very same group. To date almost thirty researchers, doctors, and patients have disappeared without a trace - with one exception. A scientist is murdered by his own research subjects in his own lab and the Network's calling card is left behind.
In her latest, Kira Peikoff tackles some interesting ideas and conundrums in the medical field. The first, of course, being the medical fountain of youth.
Genetic testing, while making great strides, is still a new frontier in the medical field. Scientists are still working to identify the function of most of the human genome so it's not too far fetched to imagine that something in there is capable of turning on and off the physical aging process. And yet there's a HUGE part of the pharmaceutical and medical industry built up around age management - not to mention the political ramifications of a population that's suddenly able to halt the aging (and dying) process.
Which leads directly to the other biggest issue in Peikoff's No Time To Die, oversight - or checks and balances - in medical research. It's a touchy subject to be sure.
I'm likely not the only reader to become somewhat infuriated at Zoe's story and the idea that while she's apparently old enough to be accepted into college she's still somehow only fourteen? It seemed like a stretch at some times and I'm not sure I'm completely sold on the idea. Considering it's a driving force in Zoe's plot it was, for me, a point that didn't work so well in the book.
But the Network, that did work!
No Time To Die wasn't a totally smooth ride - I did have issues with some aspects of the plot. In general, though, Peikoff's latest was both fast-paced (always a good thing in a thriller) and compelling (dirty review word - I use them a lot). It was also accessible reading for a layman! Peikoff does a great job making the science believable without going over the top with the medical jargon.
Thanks to the publisher, I'm able to offer up a copy of Peikoff's latest to one of you. To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, September 29. Open US only and no PO boxes please.
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