Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Sci-Fi Experience

It had fully been my intention to read several books with a science fiction theme, and I still might in the next two weeks, but my reading has only just started to pick back up. This means that January, and likely February, will be very small number-wise. It also means that I am glad that I did not really join up for any actual challenges that will be ending this month, other than The Four-Legged Friends Challenge and I am finished that one. I did read one science-fiction book of sorts in January, though. It was Mary Modern by Camille Deangelis. I purchased this book with gift certificates that I received at Christmas time, based on a very interesting review by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings and a very strong liking for the cover.

Lucy Morrigan, a young genetic researcher, lives with her boyfriend, Gray, and an odd collection of tenants in her crumbling family mansion. Surrounded by four generations of clothes, photographs, furniture, and other remnants of past lives, Lucy and Gray’s home life is strangely out of touch with the modern world—except for Lucy’s high-tech lab in the basement.

Frustrated by her unsuccessful attempts to attain motherhood or tenure, Lucy takes drastic measures to achieve both. Using a bloodstained scrap of an apron found in the attic, Lucy successfully clones her grandmother Mary. But rather than conjuring a new baby, Lucy brings to life a twenty-two-year-old Mary, who is confused and disoriented when she finds herself trapped in the strangest sort of déjà vu: alive in a home that is no longer her own, surrounded by reminders of a life she has already lived but doesn’t remember.

A remarkable debut novel, Mary Modern turns an unflinching eye on the joyous, heartbreaking, and utterly unexpected consequences of human desire.
First up, for the first book by this author, I have to say I was very impressed. She managed to come up with an idea that is not exactly fresh, but she put a fresh twist on it. It was a very readable book, and even though some of the events in the book did not really surprise me, I still enjoyed finding them out. Genetic engineering is a touchy subject. Some people are all for it, while others believe that people should only be created in the natural, god-given method. Deangelis writes a novel where even though it is not allowed to happen, it does, and she explores the results of this experiment.

Imagine, Lucy was trying to create a baby, but instead she brought to life a woman that was in her early 20's and who believed that she had already lived 20 years of her life. It has to be very unsettling for a person to be, in essence, carried through time. A person who sees evidence that she has already lived, but who cannot remember any of it. Her husband and children are gone and she is left alone in the world. For a large part of the book it is her attempting to settle into this new era. One of the methods that she employs is a book written by a man who would have had to travel through time to accomplish it. It is a guidebook for people like him and Mary who find themselves living years in the future and need to fill in the gaps of what happened before.

All in all, this was a very good book, and I cannot do this review the justice it deserves because it is not fresh in my head! You would think with as little reading as I have done lately I would be all caught up on reviews, but it would not be me if I was not behind!


  1. Yours is the second review of this book that I've read and both of you had me kind of bouncing in my seat. I guess I need to go find a copy. :)

  2. Anonymous11:08 PM

    Hello, Kailana. Some months happen like that. Life happens, huh? You make Mary Modern sound really good. I'm adding it to my list.

  3. That above comment was really from me. My daughter is home and was signed in. I'm not used to having to check that.

  4. Mary Modern was really interesting. I am glad I splurged and got it. It was hard to pick how to spend my gift cards! It's especially good for people that don't like to admit they read sci-fi. haha

  5. Great review! I've had this sitting on my desk for sometime. This has just moved to the top of my TBR pile!

  6. I've been dying to get my hands on this book since reading Carl's review. And now you've made me want it more!

  7. I'm definitely attracted to the cover. Great review as well. Hadn't heard about it but that's not really odd for me. Books tumble their way to me.

  8. Just wanted to let you know that I checked this out at the library after reading your review. I haven't opened it yet, but it's definitely coming soon :)

  9. Thanks for the review. Though this isn't a book I would normally pick for myself, you have peaked my interest.

  10. Anonymous12:42 PM

    after reading carl's review of this i was already quite interested, but i must say your review gives a very different spin on it, which, along with his, now makes me really keen to read this!


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.