Good morning all and welcome to Monday Book Reviews. Today I’ll be reviewing Seeds of a New Birth – Book One of the Kindred Series, by Orrin Jason Bradford. I believe the series is a trilogy.
BOOK: SEEDS OF A NEW BIRTH
AUTHOR: ORRIN JASON BRADFORD
GENRE: SCIENCE FICTION
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ / ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Unlocking the Potential of the Human Mind
Scientific Breakthrough… Or a Really Bad Idea?
Research geneticist and genetic engineer, Lionel Adams is onto something hot –the key to unlocking the vast reserves of the human mind. Everyone is interested in it. Bio Vita Tech, the genetics research lab he works for, is excited about the possibilities and the potential mega-profits. So are their foreign competitors who are counting on their inside man at Bio Vita to deliver Adam’s secret into their hands.
Everyone seems to want a sample of Adam’s formula, except his college buddy, Flip MacDougal, who makes a surprise visit to Bio Vita to play a practical joke on his old friend. Unfortunately, it’s Flip who ends up with the sample. His world is turned upside down as he struggles and maneuvers his way through the trouble he has gotten himself into as he unwittingly spreads his “gift” to others.
While research scientist Lionel Adams is working one night on a secret genetic engineering project, his old college friend, Flip MacDougal pays him a visit. Flip, a smooth-talking ladies man, convinces Lionel’s secretary Debbie to lend him her keycard so he can enter his secure research lab. He wants to ‘prank’ him. In return, he’ll take her out to dinner.
After Flip startles Lionel in the lab, he accidentally knocks over a beaker of liquid that’s on the counter which contains Lionel’s most recent project ‘alteration’ – It turns out to be bio-genetically active recombinant DNA. He advises Flip to go to the bathroom and wash his hands with soap. When he gets there, he decides that nature’s call comes first. He washes his hands when he’s done.
He subsequently takes Debbie out to dinner and back to his hotel room, and you can guess the rest. Flip finds himself falling madly for her after that first night. When she declines his invitation for a second date because she has plans, he goes back into his player mode, flying out the following afternoon to see one of his lady friends. It’s on this trip that he finds out that he is being used as a ‘boy toy’ by a group of professional women. With his male ego shattered, he makes trips to various cities, visiting each one for a final tryst and confrontation.
Because of his lack of personal hygiene back at the lab, each woman ends up becoming impregnated with girls by him despite the fact that he’s had a vasectomy and each woman is either sterile or on birth control of some kind. The fetuses are growing at an alarming fast rate.
Lionel must now report the leak to the corporate sponsor who funded the grants for his research. The sponsor sends their own researcher to work with him. How many women are there? Has he taken his experiment too far in the name of science and profit?
I liked the premise of this story. The idea of genetically altered DNA that unlocks the possibilities of the mind – telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc. makes for awesome science fiction writing. There was so much potential here and the plot wasn’t bad. There were some parts I didn’t see coming, and I liked that.
I was pulled out of the story more times than I wanted to be. Suspending reality in fiction is expected, especially in science fiction. The problem is, it still has to be believable. The setting is in modern day and the location is an ultra secure research facility. First of all, no one can gain access with a little sweet talk and the promise of a date. Second, even a lay person knows that a leak of any potentially dangerous/hazardous specimens calls for an immediate lockdown and/or quarantine until whatever implemented safety protocols are initiated. It would be like me gaining access to the CDC by batting my eyelashes, entering the labs, checking out all the vials, and asking “What are these?”, and then being told to go wash my hands in the bathroom down the hall with soap after opening a vial containing a deadly virus – thus contaminating everything and everyone I come into contact with. It is not going to happen.
As a reader, it seemed to me that the author wanted to get past the more uninteresting parts of the writing to get to the ‘action’. I mentioned earlier that the premise and plot were good, but the accident scene fell flat with me. The writing wasn’t bad, and the characters were okay.
Overall, this was an okay read. I may read the second book in the series if it is highly discounted or a free download on Amazon (as this one was). I’m rounding it up to three hearts because I really liked the premise, plot, and the story. I feel it has a lot of potential for improvement. Perhaps in a future edition?
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ / ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Orrin Jason Bradford is the pen name for speculative fiction author, W. Bradford Swift, who chose to use a pen name for The Kindred Series to make it clear to his Young Adult fantasy readers that these books are of another breed entirely. Currently the series includes Seeds of a New Birth and book two, Seeds of a New Power.
Dr. Swift is a graduate of Clarion West in Seattle where he honed his skill and passion for writing fantasy and science fiction. These two genres are forms of visionary fiction – fiction that first and foremost entertains while also enlightening and encouraging the reader to embrace greater possibilities in their own lives. Giving back to future generations of young adults and adults through visionary fiction and non-fiction is an integral part Swift’s legacy of a life on purpose. To learn more about additional books by the author go to: www.wbradfordswift.com and amazon.com/author/wbradfordswift