For my first book review I chose Genetically Privileged by A.W. Daniels on the Commercial Fiction page of Book Club Reading List.
Joe and Mary Christianson, a couple being said not able to concieve any children, for various reasons moves from Philadelphia to the little town of Bethlehem. There they get together with Joe´s old college friend Dr. Benjamin Gabriel, who is “the” doctor in the local fertility clinic. The quaint little town of Bethlehem has much more to offer than the couple initially expect.
Whilst starting up a new life in Bethlehem the Christiansons are very slowly woven into the every day life of the fertility clinic and the additional amenities it has to offer. There is a big secret hiding behind the chain of events – as a reader I was kept assuming the major plot until the end and was fed little hints on the way, which I found terribly captivating.
The fascinating thread tells Joe and Mary´s story, but also gives an insight into the lives of the supporting characters. The problems and benefits society has whilst living amidst the genetically privileged “homo selectus”. One gets to know the characters and can practically see them develop and grow or fail.
One of the core interests of this book is the controversy of the genetical manipulation of the human genom and the ethical dilemma scientists find themselves in and how they justify their doing. Also a major topic is the integration of the socalled genetically privileged children into society without their special abilities being abused or used for the wrong cause by the wrong people. Some of the characters´ special abilities and skills are highlighted whilst showing their strong endurance and positive effects on society.
The author A.W.Daniels has very carefully researched the field of genetical manipulation as well as various religions and their ways. Additionally he has very wisely and wittingly chosen the places and characters´ names.
Dr. Gabriel in conversation with Joe and Mary –
In fact, and I don´t mean to brag, but I´ve helped hundreds of families all along the eastern seaboard to begin or expand their families. Why we´ve become a Mecca for fertility here. Get it? Mecca. Who could have thought a city by the name of Bethlehem would be referred to as Mecca? I think I´m getting my religions confused.
I loved reading this book and will definitely divulge the sequel Genetically Conflicted. It is very cleverly written with a pinch of sarcasm as I would put it. The topic is definitely food for thought, because it offers a big grey zone for science and politics to roam.
For me A.W. Daniels´s storyline enhances the positive aspect of genetical research aswell as the fear society has towards its abuse and exploitation. The dread towards something more intelligent than homo sapiens is also taken into account.
Genetically Privileged is easy going reading with a thrilling and well thought through storyline combined with a literally excellent choice of writing style – a pleasure to read so I´m rating it with five stars!