They'll Never Die
by Don Calmus
Fulton Books

"'I have died a couple of times, and there's nothing out there but cold dark space.'"

Generally, engineers and other professionals don't morph into successful writers. But Don Calmus, a retired engineer, has writing talent and took the time to study the craft, enabling him to write this stellar novel. Not only should he not "stay in his own lane," he should write a sequel.

Set in the 21st century, the book involves five billionaires buying a biotech company, hoping to achieve immortality while answering questions about what it is to be human. Are we just a sack of bones with a memory, or is there a soul? Is there an afterlife? Why are we here? Beyond existentialism, however, the book has readers pondering the themes of greed, power, the desire to control our own destinies, and even human connection. "I guess it would've been difficult living as an old man knowing that you could be in a young healthy body...if it wasn't for my grandchildren."

In the beginning of the story, cloning is already possible, but the clones are only used for spare parts. The men take this technology many steps further by uploading their memories into their clones and bringing their younger selves back to life. When a few characters suspect that the company involves illegal activities, they decide to put a stop to it. They try blackmail and murder. Assassins, the religious right, greedy friends, and relatives—they are all there. The plot continually thickens.

Because the author is a genius at character development, all the players and their motives are easy to keep track of. The book is fast-paced and unpredictable but not too complicated to follow. It could easily be adapted into an epic movie. If you are looking for a book that leaves you with food for thought, this is the one. Guaranteed, you will get up from the table satiated.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home