The Gist: Julie Crane has a lot of skeletons in her closet. She had the unleashed the Darwin virus on the world, murdered a government official, and then ran away from all the chaos she had created.
That is what the history books say, but often history is changed, twisted and confused from what really happened.
Julie fled into the wilderness outside of the cities with her husband. Outside of the influence of everyone and everything Julie learned to live in this wilderness. She gives birth to her daughter Angel and looks forward to living a life with nature.
All of this is shattered when Julie discovers that she is being hunted again. She makes a journey back to the city, alone. Julie's daughter convinces her father to go after Julie and they too make their way to the city.
Back in the city Julie is confronted with the political intrigue, societal differences, and the mass of humanity she left behind.
It's up to Julie, her family and new friends to unravel what is true and what is false and set things right for the future
The Good: This is a book of heavy, heady concepts in this book, chaos theory, human neurophysiology, ecosystems and sustainability, viruses, AI's and more. It really gives some oomph behind the story of Julie and the other characters.
The vision of the future is well done and I'm a sucker for near future stories that have all of the elements of political intrigue, cybernetics, rebels against the system, AI's going wonky, and a glimpse at future life.
The Bad: The human story elements seemed a bit weaker than the world itself and the concepts of humans living in the future. It seemed that Julie was moving on a very linear path through the world and not really deviating. For me, some of the supporting characters seemed more interesting, like her daughter Angel or the quirky, sleazy ex-Mayor.
It's a bit confusing at the start with the barrage of the background information you get at the beginning.
The Ugly: Nothing really ugly to report.
Nina Munteanu weaves a good story that has some large concepts peppered through it. The story does have warts but they are easy enough to gloss over and dig into the main story. There are some nice twists and turns and rabbit holes to follow the tale down. I hope that future books have more about the world, the citizens who inhabit it, and the politics of city states.
I easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice mix of science fiction, political intrigue and some big scientific concepts. Go pick it up!
Also check out our interview with Nina in Cover to Cover #297A.
Darwin's Paradox, by Nina Munteanu
Published by: Dragon Moon Press (Nov 5, 2007)
Genre: Science Fiction