3 out of 4 stars
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Dr. Jordan Olivia Roberts is an accomplished American scientist. With a Ph.D. in human molecular genetics, she does groundbreaking work with stem cells and genetic editing. Additionally, Jordan masters the use of a mind-altering drug called scopolamine, made from a South American plant, aka Devil’s Breath.
When the story begins, Jordan is working in Saudi Arabia, where Prince Faruq, the region’s recently-crowned emir, supposedly committed suicide. All this happened after he raised suspicions about Jordan’s work; he suspected that she was working for Taliban nationalists. Princess Saleh Aisha, Faruq’s transvestite sister, believes he was murdered and seeks revenge for her brother’s death. As the story progresses, readers find out that Jordan runs a complex operation that spans several countries and involves cloning soldiers for shady warlords and cartels. Jordan has business in the US (in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), and she also has ties to Afghanistan, Africa, and South America.
There are several positives worth mentioning in the book. For starters, the settings are interesting and well described, and the attention to geographical details is a noteworthy positive point. I particularly enjoyed the author’s description of San Francisco. Secondly, I enjoyed the well-developed and textured characters. For instance, Princess Saleh is a very interesting character, mysterious and sexually ambiguous, but I cannot give away any spoilers here!
Above all, I thought that the book’s strongest suit was its gripping plot. The author managed to create a mysterious atmosphere that kept me wondering what would happen next. It was amusing to follow Saleh’s endeavors as she strived to uncover the inner workings of Jordan’s cloning projects. There were several plot twists, especially involving Jordan’s clones and their true identities and loyalties. A subtle discussion of scientific ethics also gets skillfully woven into the plot, and the author provides readers not only suspense but also food for thought, which I enjoyed. One can’t help but reflect on what the limits of genetic engineering are. I felt that this rather philosophical backdrop enriched the story. It was what I liked the most.
Lastly, I rate Predator/Nomad, written by Daniel Micko, 3 out of 4 stars. Unfortunately, I found numerous editing errors in the book, which is not yet in its most polished form. It needs another round of editing, and for this reason, I am taking a star away from the rating. Otherwise, I found no noteworthy negative aspects that would be worth mentioning, and I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy adventurous crime stories with a touch of sci-fi.
Predator / Nomad
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