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Publisher's Summary

In 2027, destroying an embryo is considered first-degree murder. Fertility clinics still exist, giving hope and new life to thousands of infertile families, but they have to pass rigorous inspections by the United States Department of Embryo Preservation. Fail an inspection, and you will be prosecuted.
Brilliant young doctor Arianna Drake seems to be thriving in the spotlight: her small clinic surpasses every government requirement, and its popularity has spiked—a sudden, rapid growth that leaves the DEP chief mystified. When he discovers Arianna’s radical past as a supporter of an infamous scientist, he sends undercover agent Trent Rowe to investigate her for possible illegal activity. The secret he finally uncovers will deeply move him—and jeopardize them both.
©2012 Kira Peikoff (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
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Critic Reviews

“Taut, energetic, and imaginative... A remarkable debut!” (Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Fragile)
“Risky, daring. This story reminded me of the best of Margaret Atwood: a chilling and tangible portrait of the near future, where the best and the worst of humanity is challenged at every turn.” (James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Altar of Eden)
“A compelling and thought-provoking thriller…this frighteningly plausible novel will keep you turning the pages all night long. A stunning debut.” (Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Impact)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Deborah on 03-09-12

Compelling, entertaining and impossible to put dow

Any additional comments?

This story is extraordinarily engaging and compelling. It takes an issue (embryonic stem cell research & treatments) that is often the subject of theoretical political debate, and brings the issue to life with a dramatic plot that expands in detail on the dictatorial government actions that would follow in practice from a formal, legal codification of the principle that life begins at conception. The political system of the year 2027 is a kind of theocratic fascism, in which the events of the plot unfold.

One sees the senseless persecution of characters who are subject to the cruel oppression of government agencies such as the Department of Embryo Protection (DEP) and the Department of Embryo and Fetus Protection (DEFP). The reader becomes enraged upon seeing the blind fanaticism of the devout government agents who act to protect embryos -- five day old clusters of undifferentiated cells that merely have the *potential* to become people -- at the expense of threatening to destroy the lives of *actual* people such as the heroine, Arianna Drake, who desperately fights to save her own life as the villainous Agent Dopp of the DEP fights with equal fervor to prevent her from doing so.

Ms. Peikoff shows us, through the logical unfolding of events, the deadly senselessness of an irrational mystic creed imposed by force on man, who by his nature must depend on reason to survive. She also shows us an inspiring picture of the heroism and unyielding persuit of values that rational men (and women) are capable of. And she does this while telling a damn good story with a well integrated plot and interesting characters. I'm now a Kira Peikoff fan and I can't wait to read her next book.

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5 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By LA on 09-30-17

Very compelling plot.

The plot kept me coming back, ultimately finishing this audio book in a very short time.

The psychological conflicts faced by the characters were powerful illustrations of those faced by people I know in my own life.

Very enjoyable.

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