Publication date: March 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
Her name is Sarina Wocek. Her breath is poison. She was not born out of love.
Twenty-three years ago, government officials traced the budding epidemic of hemorrhagic fever HF186-2A in south Florida to the Wocek family and their adorable six-week-old daughter, Sarina. Her father, Gregory, admitted his role in genetically engineering a biological weapon with pride. She was taken to a lab hidden in a rural area of New Hampshire. She hasn’t left since.
Her government keepers could cure her, but they won’t. Genetically engineering a child to be a weapon of mass destruction, that’s unethical. Refining a weapon of mass destruction that someone else created? That’s just being clever.
After twenty-three years of captivity, she escapes. She crosses an ocean to put her father and the lab behind her, but it’s not enough. When she sees the first bleeding sore, she knows she didn’t leave the virus behind either.
The only way she’ll be free is by destroying every trace of the lab. She only has one advantage; she doesn’t care if she makes it out alive.
This book was so cool. I'm striving for eloquence here, but seriously the first thing that came to my mind after I finished it was, "Geez, this book was so friggin' cool." The idea of some zealous scientist genetically engineering his own baby to essentially be a biological weapon was such an astounding idea, and certainly something I've never come across. What kind of a father could do something so heartless to his own daughter?
This one question plays a huge part in the massive emotional crisis of Sarina's psyche. To know that your father created you as a tool to spread disease to others isn't information that imbues someone with much self-confidence. She relinquishes control of her body to the lab that captured her as a baby because she knows of no other way to live and also because she knows she presents a danger to anyone she might come in contact with outside of her own special prison.
The author created a complex dilemma for the MC because Sarina wants to be free, but her very existence threatens the lives of innocent people. It's only after she discovers that she's partially cured that she dares hope she can venture forth and escape the lab if given the opportunity. Fortunately, she has someone on her side willing to open that door for her.
There is a caveat to having this new found freedom. She may be able to hide from those who would return her to her prison, but she can never truly live a normal life and form normal relationships without placing the people she cares for in serious danger, a lesson she learns the hard way. The author really held nothing back when it came to upping the stakes for the MC and punishing the poor girl with obstacle after obstacle. It's the best kind of conflict for an author to create if they really want to grab their readers attention and keep them involved in their book.
Honestly, the complexity of this character and her development was so enthralling. In the end, Sarina can choose to either run or thwart those that would use her as a weapon. I'm still reeling with the events that transpired in this story, and I think the author forces us to do a little internal reflection in regards to our own moral character. Are we willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect people we don't even know?
This book was suspenseful, thrilling and one hundred percent thought provoking. I'm hoping there will be a follow-up to this story due to the way it ended. There's clearly more that can be explored here. Megan Carney is an author I intend to follow with fan girl ardor.
I gave it five cherry blossoms.
Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”
Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.