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Monday, August 10, 2015

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

I picked up this book less than a week ago, and I'm really glad I decided to read it. (Funny story: While browsing my local library, I found it on the wrong, and instead of finding its rightful spot, I decided to check it out.) At first, I didn't realize it was the second book of the Corpus series because it's not really part of a "series." The author calls them companion books. I read the first book more than two years ago, but both can be read as standalones. In Vitro, the author introduces us to completely different characters, yet the scientific atmosphere and mystery is very similar to the first book, Origin. Also, instead of working on immortality, the scientists in this book are working on human beings that are grown in labs in order to serve a specific purpose.

Sophie Crue never really understood what her mother's work on Skin Island was, but she always suspected it was something cutting edge and extraordinary. When she receives a cryptic email from her estranged mother, she flies from the continental US to the island of Guam, the island where she spent most of her childhood growing up. With the help of her childhood friend Jim, she finds a way onto this top secret island, worried that her mother is in real danger. However, the person who's in real danger isn't necessarily her mother. Someone wanted Sophie on this island.

I like how unexpected every chapter is. I definitely predicted some of the things that happened in the story, but most of it was really surprising, one twist after another. While I had a few reservations about the science in Origin, the science behind this story seems a little bit more realistic and plausible. As a science nerd, I like it when things hold up in reality. If not, then I like it when things are explained in order to create a better foundation for the story. In my opinion, Jessica Khoury did a better job with this in this second book. With a title like Vitroone can only expect human beings grown in labs, and even if this is a recurring theme in many books, the author did a great job in putting her own spin on it. The book is based enough on modern reality and society that I have a hard time qualifying it as a true science-fiction novel, however, it does have enough technology and futuristic science to categorize it in this genre.

Jessica Khoury is definitely a fan of exotic settings. Her debut book, Origin, was set in the Amazon Rain Forest. Now this second book is set near the island of Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, for those who didn't know (I sure didn't). At the end of Vitro, we mention something going on in South America linked to Corpus, the cooperation that funded the Vitro project. It seems Corpus has roots in many scientific experiments, and we've only began to learn its power. In the summary of the next book, it looks like Corpus also has ties to the Kalahari desert in southern Africa. I'm curious to see if all three books will be tied together. Like I said earlier, these books don't seem to be part of a series. They are simply linked by this big cooperation and its scientific experiments that go on for years.

I definitely liked Vitro better than the first book. It feels like the characters and the story were more thought out. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book, as the characters were trying to figure out what was going on, but all in all, I think it was a good science/adventure book that will please many science nerds like me. It's not Orphan Black, but it definitely draws on some of the same themes and ideas.


stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. I like it that some of the chapters surprised you. It's better than a book that is soooo predictable. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

  2. Very intrigued, I loved this kind of lighter sci fi, and I enjoy genetically created/changed humans. Adding to my TBR list!