Book Review: Sapient, a New Techno Thriller by Jerry Kaczmarowski

The Bottom Line: A timeless, engrossing and perfectly-paced techno thriller about the promise – and fear – of modern medical science.Dr. Jane Dixon is singularly obsessed with creating a cure for her severely autistic son, Robbie.

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0990410927″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”//” tag=”bestthricom-20″ width=”324″]Robbie, who is is prone to seizures and is OCD, requires a nanny to help cope with even the most routine aspects of daily life. Meanwhile at work, Dr. Dixon spends her time working with lab rats (not a euphemism – Dixon quite literally tests rats). Having been convinced that the fruits of her research will arrive far too late to help her son, she’s shocked when a specimen with blue eyes emerges with the possible cure. The rat, named Einstein, can type complete sentences, and in English. Similarly magical benefits are seen in Dixon’s dog, Bear.

This miracle of science is hardly lost on Robbie. Even the most cynical readers may get a little choked up during a powerful passage when he asks his mother the inevitable question: ““What would happen if you used Einstein’s medicine on me?” Her answer: “This medicine is for the animals. It won’t be ready for people for a long time.”

Dixon isn’t the only one with big plans in mind for the formula. The U.S. Army also wants to harness her research for its military potential, while the CDC wants to shut her down completely.  The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious. Soon, it’s Dixon herself who not only finds herself in danger, but flees to protect the entire family (animals included).

While stories about persecuted scientists are as old as the hills, Jerry Kaczmarowski’s interpretation manages to be both compelling and highly original. Sapient should resonate particularly well with fans of Markus Sakey’s Brilliance Saga.

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Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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