Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan + a Giveaway

Good morning, everyone! I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Stephen P. Kiernan's fiction debut, The Curiosity, today.

Dr. Erastus Carthage has made a groundbreaking discovery: with the right method, cells that have been flash frozen can be resuscitated - for a short period of time. Dr. Kate Philo leads a team in the Arctic to find and bring back samples preserved in just such ice to be part of the experiment. When they discover a man frozen in an iceberg, though, everything changes. Now they have something more than krill and shrimp to experiment on. Something that will interest everyday people. The question is, even though they have the technology to raise this man from the dead, should they?

Considering there literally are banks of cryogenically frozen folks awaiting their day of revival, this is the kind of story that's definitely not too far off from reality. Kiernan's debut raises a lot of interesting ethical questions along these lines. Carthage essentially treats the man as another experiment, referring to him as Subject One even after the man has woken and they've learned his name. Carthage even renames the program after Lazarus, in part to inflame protestors who have denounced him and the experiment as man playing God.

We get the story from four different perspectives: Kate Philo, Daniel Dixon - a reporter lucky enough to be on hand when Philo's team makes her discovery, Carthage, and the man himself - Judge Jeremiah Rice, who drowned while participating in a scientific expedition in 1906.

Philo becomes Jeremiah's friend and then something more, serving as his advocate at times and one of the few on the team who initially and continually humanizes him rather than treating him as an experiment. And Jeremiah's perspective is one of the most interesting in the story. Not only do we get his feelings on the experiment and being treated as a "curiosity" but his perspective on the changes that have happened in the world since his death. Even something as simple as a grocery store and his awe at the amount of produce available - something completely unthinkable in his time. His first taste of an orange, though, is disappointing. Bland and tasteless compared to the oranges he remembers from his lifetime (yet another example of the even if we can, should we question since mass produced and out of season produce does suffer in flavor compared to in season).

The first thing that struck me about this book was Kiernan's writing style and language. Quite simply, the writing in this story is amazingly vivid! After that first page, I expected that this was going to be a superb and special read - and it definitely did live up to those expectations.

I highly, highly recommend The Curiosity. I'll also be very much looking forward to Kiernan's next fiction outing!

Rating: 5/5

To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Stephen Kiernan, you can visit his website here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Now for the giveaway! I've got an extra copy I'm offering up for grabs here - US only please. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before end of day August 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


traveler said...

thanks for your extensive and great review which was captivating and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

Sounds intriguing. Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for the giveaway!

nfmgirl said...

I was supposed to be on this tour, but I never got my book. I was really looking forward to reading it. Please count me in!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"amazingly vivid" is an amazingly vivid description - it gives me a great feel for the writing in this book. Sounds like a fantastic read!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Amanda said...

I've been reading such great reviews of The Curiosity and the cover is fantastic. I agree that the idea of a man frozen in time isn't such a wild idea. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!


Kim@Time2Read said...

This one sounds interesting, and a nice break from my usual reads.