4 out of 4 stars
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An important discovery by an Icelander scientific has come to revolution the soft drinks industry, as well as the medical field.
A new product, known under the name Lifio, can cure any disease and has the power to improve the health and prevent the aging of the people who drink it on regular basis.
At the peak of its popularity, the FDA, supported by the President of the United States, decides to retire Lifio from the market. Public opinion labels this as a political maneuver, but the truth is somehow darker: One of the FDA scientists has discovered that Lifio causes a genetic mutation, which may not be reversible.
This mutation helps people to feel healthy, but it has an unexpected side effect: Relentless growth.
This is how Growth, Jon Pulli’s debut novel, begins.
I started to read without knowing what to expect, but I must admit that this book captured my attention from the very firsts chapters.
One of the things I like the most is the fact that it approaches the consequences that the consumption and commercialization of Lifio has from different fronts. From chapter to chapter we are introduced to many characters and get to know how their lives are being affected by the crisis taking place: From a politician whose career is at stake, to a small family striving to progress, no character’s point of view is unimportant. In fact, some will give us a surprise later on.
The book also puts on the table the question of scientific ethics and the need for transparency in political decisions and medical research. It also shows us a different face of technological progress: It can extend and improve human existence but also become a deathly threat to it.
The idea is original and interesting. Pulli seems to have done some good research on Biology and Artificial Intelligence to support his writing, and give the scientific side of the story some credibility.
Although the plot and the characters do have much more potential, I believe Growth sets the ground for a future sequel. The ending, though a little frustrating, leaves you wanting more. Hopefully, we will hear more from this author in the following months.
The book is well-edited and is free of grammatical errors. I think it is important to clarify here that one of the secondary characters is from Eastern Europe. At first, I believed some chapters were full of spelling mistakes, but if you read carefully you realize that it is only this character’s dialogues that are written incorrectly. I believe the author did this on purpose, to highlight that this person was not American.
The writing is very good, for it takes the time to explain things with enough details to be understandable, but has enough rhythm not to become too heavy. Therefore, I rate Growth four out of four stars.
Readers with a taste for science-fiction novels will find this book to their liking. I recommend it.
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