The Perfect Specimen
M. Luke McDonell
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Dr. Derek Singh is sure that one of planet Victoria’s millions of venomous insects holds the key to destroying cancerous tumors–and jumpstarting his stalled career.
Unfortunately, the traps he sets each night capture nothing but dust, and his competitive colleagues don’t share the venom they’ve collected. The clock is running down on his two-year grant and he’s making no progress.
When his young neighbor–one of the few native-born children–finds out he studies “bugs,” she is eager to bring him all the specimens he needs. Derek worries she’ll be bitten or stung, but soon discovers Mia is in danger from a far larger predator–the corporation that funds him.
Social-savvy speculative fiction
I really got into this world (and enjoyed the story): a newly colonized planet, a perfect planned community, out of control corporations, poisonous insects, designer drugs and a faltering scientist turned hero... what’s not to like? Apparently this is a prequel to an upcoming novel, and I'm really looking forward to it.
McDonell does a nice job extrapolating the social implications of where our technology is going, and how things like wearable computing, ultra high speed omnipresenet networking will be used by people who take them for granted and have lived with the tech all their life.
But the story is great too; unlike some writers who can create great worlds but get bogged down in plot, The Perfect Specimen has a very engaging plot and I couldn't put it down for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Highly recommended, even if you're not a SciFi fan.
Intelligent, Compelling, Page-turner - what more could you ask for?
Many of my favorite books turn out to be science fiction, and The Perfect Specimen reminds me why that is. A very compelling story, well-told and with characters that are interesting at every turn. Add to that it all takes place in another world in the not-too-distant future with hints of the intergalactic politics we might face, and with a culture on this new planet that looks like ours at first glance, but then is different, or is it? Like another reader who posted here, I read past my bedtime as I kept turning the digital pages of this very well-written exploration of medicine, politics, psychology, space travel, love, friendship and more. I'm hoping there are more stories about Mia, Derek, and Victoria in this author's imagination!
Refreshed my addiction to sci-fiction
I wandered away from science fiction for other types of fiction for a few years, but my recent weekend with this story has brought me back. I await the authors next story~
A future vision rather chilling, yet one sees the threads evolving from some of the fringe lunacies in our current times.