The Armadea Event
by William Cleve Davidson
Stratton Press

"Only one problem I can think of is that none of us knows anything about spiders, or handling spiders."

While genetic specialist Richard Williams seeks to develop an antitoxin to counteract the poison of the infamous yellow dart frog in an experiment involving nuclear isotopes in Brazil's Amazonian jungle, horticultural bioengineer Audrey Sanders labors at Louisiana State University with her test crop of cotton stimulated to grow naturally colored fibers. Sanders accepts a lucrative job offer from LouGen, a prominent corporate laboratory known for its work in genetic engineering. This firm will reward her richly with a generous salary, patent royalties, and the use of state-of-the-art facilities.

When Audrey hears rumors of a new species of Armadea spider spinning rainbow-colored webs, she organizes an expedition to investigate what could be the DNA breakthrough she needs to complete her goal. Little does she know that her group will discover Williams' remains in the jungle or that they'll confront hostile arachnids with capabilities beyond the norm. As if that's not daunting enough, China's most eminent textile company spins a web of deceit, dispatching a clever corporate spy to tail the expedition in Brazil and then to the U.S. to steal research data and materials. But, as the narrative soon reveals, there is much more trouble on the horizon.

Entomology, horticulture, biogenetics, international corporate espionage, and romance colorfully converge in this intriguing sci-fi thriller. As with all novel ideas and good intentions, myriad obstacles ensue. The author rises to the occasion with a series of rapid-fire challenges and disasters. While the story is plot-driven and the writing utilitarian, the high-concept story arc and engaging situations weave a spell that could very well captivate readers.

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