Off Target

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🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2

“Nature has no moral code. No ethical qualms about collateral damage.
It’s about survival: of yourself and your progeny.
That’s it”.

Or is it?

A crisply-paced and an incredibly compelling read, this book will keep you reading late into the night, as these terribly-flawed but not-improbable characters decide and act in ways that may just make your skin crawl.

Chillingly plausible and alarmingly prescient, this tale is as much a stellar speculative-fiction read as it is an alarm-bell, a horrifying recognition that the creeping pulse of technology (and in particular, genetic engineering), without something stronger than individual human morality to contain it, looks remarkably like an apocalypse, – just over the hill, crouched, and waiting to release.

Susan, our main protagonist and first person POV, is a meek and insecure thirty-something-year-old-primary-school teacher, not quite whole under the loosely-buried burden of an emotionally-abusive childhood. A lover of birds, flowers, and nature in all its glory, as Susan’s world seethes with contradictions, blind-spots and justifications, one point is clear – Susan desperately wants a baby.

Her husband Steve, a controlling twice-married quasi-bully, whose firmly-held ideas rule the household, concurs, – to a point.

The challenge however, is that, four years into the couple’s uber-earnest endeavors, no bundle of joy is naturally emerging.

As Susan and Steve’s “Destiny” plays out, black and white become a sea of grey, – as grief, ambiguities, yearnings, accidents, deceptions, and weakly-examined intentions – now easily armed with a new and breath-taking technological potency – are forcibly unleashed, with unpredictable, irreversible and wildly-discordant consequences.

Just how far is far enough when “building” a better baby?

And what exactly is “better”, anyway?

Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here), you will need to read this fabulous book to find out more.

I loved this this modern-day-fable, layered with all-too-understandable characters, twists and turns, and some truly disturbing themes – leaving the unsuspecting reader (as only the most thoughtful writing can do) with far more unresolved questions than answers.

A great big thank you to @OrendaBooks for an ARC of this read. All thoughts presented are my own.


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