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{September 5, 2012}   {Review} The Eden Factor by T.L. Peters

From Goodreads: Josh McDonald, a frumpish and somewhat ethically challenged accountant, and his friend Adam Barnes, an ambitious Homeland Security agent, are infected by a highly communicable viral vector of unknown origin containing super-charged DNA that rejuvenates the human genome so as to prevent disease, regenerate damaged or lost tissue and reverse the aging process. Adam sees an opportunity to bolster his career by persuading his superiors that the virus should be treated as a weapon accessible only to society’s elites, who over time will leverage their immortality to assert global political and economic dominance. Josh, prodded by his quirky but kind-hearted girlfriend Belinda, hopes to thwart Adam’s power grab by spreading the contagion to as many people as possible. Adam counters with a disinformation campaign claiming that the virus yields lethal side effects and that Josh and Belinda are terrorists working at the behest of sinister foreign powers. Who wins the ensuing struggle as the virus diffuses rapidly throughout the United States and around the globe? Perhaps neither, as the entire world, wrenched by the competing claims, degenerates into confusion and anarchy–old conflicts, prejudices and jealousies sharpening under the pressure of fast-moving events. THE EDEN FACTOR is an apocalyptic novel that blends the potential of modern genetics with an old-fashioned love story to reach a surprising conclusion about the corrosive effects of immortality in the hands of those who aren’t quite ready for it.

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I really enjoyed this novel.  At the start I wasn’t sure where the novel was headed (I didn’t read the synopsis prior to beginning—I had my Kindle but no computer or phone to look it up), but I definitely started liking it when Josh and Adam met in the park as Josh, a grown man, spends the entire conversation with his “friend” poking a dead fish.  I don’t know, I just thought that was really funny and I could just see it happening in my mind’s eye.  Poor Josh, as if Adam didn’t already have a point about Josh leading a boring, somewhat pointless life… but that aside, this is where all the action begins.  It is with this pointless, mind numbing action that Josh unleashes a communicable virus that cures all illnesses, sending both men into a fervor trying to contain and control its power.

This novel really makes you think.  I’d like to say that, if I discovered this virus, I’d use it on the world to help heal, but then at the same I’d be scared of the powers that be, potentially poking and prodding me, and likewise, Peters brings up some great points through his novel… if no one dies anymore, and everyone can be healed, what’s to stop the world from becoming a destructive force?  If a knife to the back can’t hurt me, or a shot to the head, then why not begin a life of crime instead of working a 9-5 job?  Then, who’s going to figure out how to stop the virus, and who will the test subjects be to see just how extensive the healing power of the virus really is?  Now we have all sorts of problems that my naive self didn’t even think about, and here I was spreading the virus as a do-gooder… These are all aspects that Peter’s discusses throughout his novel as the plot unfolds, and let me tell you, while I originally was like, “that virus is so cool! I wish we could heal everyone,” I quickly changed my mind.  So much good can only bring about so much bad. Josh and Belinda really try to do what’s right, and I think they’re much less greedy, and certainly less sinister, than Adam when it comes to this virus, but in the end, it’s just not something the world is ready for, and both groups are at fault, in my opinion.

I think this is a great philosophical novel that will get your mind flowing, questioning, and even bickering with itself, and I highly recommend it!  Four stars!

I won a copy of this novel from Luna Moth’s Far From Reality Blog.

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