Living Proof

  • by Kira Peikoff
  • Narrated by Mia Barron
  • 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

“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

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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- Deborah

Empty, like pretense, personifiled and exposed

Living Proof, the new novel by first time novelist, Kira Peikoff is a, sometimes, valiant effort to express some of the key concepts of rational thinking in a novel format. The problem is the story falls way short of good writing and infinitely short of they hype that preceded my decision to take a chance on a new author.

The book’s number one sin is it never gives me as the reader any reason to suspend my disbelief. I bought the book, I should be an easy mark as I didn’t buy a book not to enjoy it, and yet, somehow the author failed to convince me that anything in her book bears the slightest relationship to reality.

The book sets up a straw man argument between scientists who believe that embryonic stem cell research can heal degenerative diseases and less than one-dimensional Christians who believe killing embryos is equivalent to infanticide. And the point of this straw man argument is to advance the teachings of Objectivism.

The novel fails in its ability to do this in an entertaining way.

The first few hours, I found the book odious and didn't know if I would be able to complete it in order to do a fair review. Then I discovered the 3X function of my Audible App for the iPhone.

So, with great trepidation, my second day of listening was at three times the speed. I was impressed at how fast I could go through the book and still follow the story. At times the writing got so silly, I would laugh out loud while walking down the street.

I wish I would have book marked more example but for the sake of this review I will offer these few:

"He felt empty, like pretense, personified and exposed." (Which is a good one line review for this novel).

"He felt trapped in an ethical straight jacket laced tight with emotional strings. And for the first time in his life, he began to have a panic attack."

"The air felt sapped of all warmth. Trent wrung his hands knowing that the truth was imminent. A truth he didn't know if he wanted to know but he had no power to stop."

"The report concluded with a paragraph that was painful and embarrassing to read."

And there are many more painful and embarrassing things to read in this book. I can see it achieving a sort of cult status, a sort of “so bad it’s good” kind of status among hipsters. As for myself, there are too many good books to experience and I would give this one a pass.
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- Douglas

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-28-2012
  • Publisher: Recorded Books