Author(s): Lisa von Biela
Published by DarkFuse on 02/04/2014
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Jeremy Magnusson's life changes forever when his estranged father, the renowned physician Ivan Magnusson, is unexpectedly killed in a plane crash. Recently dumped by his girlfriend and suffering from a serious, likely fatal disease, Jeremy faces a choice: Take over SomaGene, Ivan's highly successful custom organ cultivation and transplant operation, and inherit all his wealth. Or turn the job down and inherit nothing.
Only later, once he's assumed the position, does Jeremy realize his father left him more than the company. He's left Jeremy a special gift. A gift with the power to bring him everything he wants in life, but one that comes at a horrible cost, with repercussions and consequences he could never imagine, and that could very well change not only his life, but the lives and deaths of millions across the globe.
THE JANUS LEGACY—is it a gift or a curse? Does it bring life or death? Is it a miraculous new beginning for the human race or a step closer to the end of everything?
Some doors should never be opened…
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Janus Legacy explores the ethical landscape between cloning and the push to advance science and medicine. This book falls in a weird space between medical thriller and science fiction and brings up interesting questions about the future of humanity.
I am generally a fan of both science fiction and medical fiction and have spent time reading up on the ethics and science of cloning, so the idea behind this book is something I was into. While the angle von Biela takes is interesting the execution of this book falls short. Taking the idea of human cloning, which has been explored by authors before, and giving the main character a motive to push for it yet a personality that fights against it was an interesting angle. This dichotomy in Jeremy’s motivation allowed for a lot of potential with real possibilities for both external conflicts with the other scientists as well as more interesting internal conflicts.
The book is generally well written and concise. While there are a few moments where the story slows down overall the pacing is even enough that the book doesn’t feel like a slog. The technical information behind how the cloning and transplants are done is clear enough to not be confusing, which is not always the case when dealing with medical based fiction.
The real problem with The Janus Legacy is the characters. They are all wooden, unlikable, not very believable or some combination of the three. While you start off feeling sympathy to Jeremy he is generally pretty unlikable. While that in of itself isn’t a deal breaker, this doesn’t come off in an anti-hero kind of unlikability but rather as a combination of whiney and boring. It’s not that I dislike the character and more that I really just don’t care what happens to Jeremy. The two surgeons working with him are both wooden and completely cookie cutter. Worst of the lot is Amanda who felt really unbelievable and pretty unlikable. She makes the jump from annoyed and wanted to cut ties too fully on board way to fast and feels more like some kind of unused plot device then a real character.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, it isn’t a bad book really. Technically it is well done with some competency. Unfortunately it isn’t a book I will ever have the desire to read again and not one I would generally recommend.
Review by Travis Starnes