An audacious, highly unusual story of biological revolution.
Dombek’s book provides a scenario familiar to anyone aware of the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms and other commercial biological engineering: A rural animal-husbandry research facility has another, more hidden agenda than the public suspects. But where one might expect an action-adventure thriller about a stolen solution for world hunger or perhaps a viral weapon created by a rogue intelligence cell, Dombek’s fictional ABLINC company goes beyond its mission to engineer a bioweapon that renders the enemy docile. The agent’s effects on its victims and how that could change the world form the spine of the narrative. The ante is raised when a mysterious rival company—GHOST—takes an interest in ABLINC and its invention. After GHOST begins nosing around ABLINC, loyalties fall into question, and no one—from administrator Dominica Wasp to software engineer Jim Satin—is above suspicion. Anyone might betray the project, and the stakes of the game continually escalate as it’s understood that ABLINC may have invented a miracle: a world without violence. The company’s research team soon grasps that violence is extremely profitable for many interested parties. Dombek’s characters are roughly hewn, though in need of a little more dimensionality. The dialogue crackles, and the plot speeds along. The novel might benefit from additional subtlety, but from its eye-catching title to its provocative penultimate chapter, the author clearly intends a brash, dynamic story that takes no prisoners. A good selection for fans of high-tech thrillers, adventure novels and near-future sci-fi.
Fast-paced adventure with an unusual premise.