Saturday 21 October 2017

Origin by Jessica Khoury (Book Review)

About the Book

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home―and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin―a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

My Review (4 / 5 Stars)

I found this book in my local e-library, and decided to give it a go. It's beautiful.

It's not easy to sum up the premise, because I found it unlike anything I've ever read before, but let me give it a try: in a remote lab in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, a group of scientists have cut themselves off from the outside world. They've done the impossible, by creating a human being who is well-and-truly immortal. This book is her story, and is all about her coming to terms with her immortal status, and the growing sensation that there's a whole world out there that she's never been exposed to.

She's seventeen years old as the story opens, and is starting (quite late, by human standards, but consider her cloistered existence) to discover all sorts of emotions that she never knew she had. Up until this point, her upbringing has been that emotions are always bad, and scientific thinking, logic, are always good.

The book makes you think, and it's peppered with subtle Christian references comparing her to Jesus Christ. The narrative never goes ahead and SAYS it, but if you know your Bible, they're there. I thought that was strange, until I found out the author is actually a Christian, after which the story took on a whole new meaning to me.

The pacing's fantastic and the editing is almost flawless. One or two missing words here and there, but nothing to detract from my enjoyment.

In my e-book, though, the formatting's a bit inconsistent, and it keeps jumping from the "blank line between paragraphs" to the "first-line indent" method. That's a bit jarring, but it's probably only the OverDrive version.

Click here to find out where you can grab yourself a copy.

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