by Johan Fundin
Asioni Press

"And now we’re taking back our planet. It belongs to us. Your job as a book writer is to write about that."

What if neanderthals coexisted simultaneously with modern humankind? Fundin spins a mesmerizing narrative that contains elements of historical fiction. However, it is also an impeccably researched medical thriller that will leave audiences genuinely contemplating the limits of genetic technology and synthetic biology as a whole.

A conversation in a soundproof conference room in 1969 between Sergeant Klurov, prominent Professor Lamprecht, and his assistant, Helga, is universe-altering. What ensues triggers a ripple effect that spans into the present day. In the spirit of good, old-fashioned suspense, few of the characters are who they say they are, and nearly each one of them harbors an agenda that is gradually revealed as the story progresses. Combining a fast-paced, action-packed plot with fluid dialogue, the pages seemingly turn themselves.

At its core, the narrative features numerous subplots weaved masterfully to culminate in an inevitable collision course. On the one hand, renowned paleoanthropologist Dr. Maxi Reiber’s story takes off following a third-story jump into a snow-coated landscape. At the same time, his love interest, Vivien, who is a nurse, is facing her own conundrum revolving around premizalan, a drug focused on ensuring ovulation. Concurrently, two former best friends—Elektra Brent of Brent Industries and Dr. Aissa Doust of Titania Technologies—are on opposite sides of the ethical battle of neanderthal cloning. While Aissa has good intentions, her ex-friend is hellbent on using synthetic biology to create a zoo of neanderthal species.

What begins at Lennard Petzold Factory (LPF) can only fittingly end at the Batemoor Castle. In between, Fundin integrates research concepts ranging from half-life to gene-editing technology like CRISPR-Cas9. Ultimately, a future where a homo sapiens species that can hardly coexist with itself attempts to cohabit with its less intellectual cousins yields a plethora of intriguing musings.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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