September 21, 2006

Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

progression from ape to man on bright backgroundI've got a big backlog of reviews to write. It's been over a month since I finished this book, and my copy of it stayed in the Philippines, so I can't cheat and look up the names and such. That's my excuse for the vague.

Archaeologist dude with a past (heh. He had trouble on a dig where he found cool stuff and tried to keep it away from the indigenous folks whose land it was on) is led to a cave in the Alps where the thoroughly frozen and well-preserved bodies of a man, a woman, and a child lie. They appear to be a transitional stage between cro-magnon and homo-sap (or whatever the right terms are). The couple that led him there disturb the site and on the way down the mountain there's an accident throwing everything into uncertainty.

Elsewhere, a biotech firm is foundering, while the wife of the founder is attempting to rustle up customers for their gene therapy in the former Soviet Union, and incidentally running across 50-year-old mass graves that seem to have resulted from an attempt to stop a plague that had something to do with pregnancy (the bodies of the women are pregnant, mothers, fetuses, and fathers were all killed before being interred.)

We soon find out that there's a virus going around that causes miscarriages.

And the rest of the book has our characters stumbling around trying to find out what the heck is going on.

Bear is a fine writer so the resulting book is readable, but it feels like the final solution came first and he then tried to figure out ways to keep his characters from figuring it out too soon. The result just felt too engineered to be real for me. There's a sequel which might be the book he wanted to get to, so I'll probably give it a chance.

Posted by jeffy at September 21, 2006 08:19 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?