KINGDOM OF CAGES by Sarah Zettel

KINGDOM OF CAGES

KIRKUS REVIEW

From the author of Playing God (1998), a far-future yarn about ecological doomsday and genetic engineering. Humanity's far-flung colonies are suffering a “Diversity Crisis,” dying because too little genetic exchange is taking place. Only planet Pandora, almost perfectly Earth-like, is immune, and Pandora's privileged rulers refuse to open their protected planet to mass immigration despite the desperate pleas of the Space Authority and the dangerously overcrowded Athena Station. Instead, Pandoran scientists known as `hothousers` agree to develop the Eden Project: breeding a human whose immune system can cope with anything and thrive. At the slightest pretext, the unscrupulous hothousers seize and experiment on Pandora's ordinary villagers, starving drudges allowed no proper medical care. The scientists also covet the genes of three immigrants from Athena, teenaged Chena Trust, her younger sister Teal, and their mother. Administrator Tam protects the Trust family, but Tam's maleficent sister Dionti has found a way to subvert not only the hothousers’ implanted “consciences” but also the rather stupid Artificial Intelligences that run Pandora. Dionti's operatives seize Chena's mother and impregnate her; the child will be the fruition of the Eden Project. Then Chena finds her mother murdered and the fetus gone. Orbiting Athena and the Authority's spaceships threaten to invade. The events that follow makes little sense, but involve lots of blood, brutality, repression, and mind control.

Nothing new, and executed mostly with grimly determined fervor.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2001
ISBN: 0-446-52491-3
Page count: 480pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001




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