THE FOREVER MAN: A Near-Future Thriller ~Pierre Ouellette
“Your cells are the product of millions of years of evolution. They don’t answer to you. They answer only to life itself.” “Through some kind of extraordinarily advanced genetic therapy. To pull it off, you’d have to raise an entire army of very specialized artificial viruses.” (un proofed copy – at 70% location)
THE FOREVER MAN is quite an interesting read. I received an unproofed copy for review from TLC Online Book Tours, Net Galley and Alibi books and I am pleased to have had this opportunity. As much as I like books about the future and thrillers these days, I must say this would not have been on my radar without a gentle prod. Much of the story takes place in Portland, Oregon after the USA has been devastated by a predicted economic crisis and the nation is being ruled by the extremely rich. Now the city has been abused and the majority of the people are just hanging on as best they can; regional “gangsters” are running the show and it makes me so sad to even think about. Beauty only for the few; drugs and starvation the rule of the day, it sometimes seems as though this is a too close reality.
Lane Anslow is a contracted police detective, who has always been his bipolar brilliant, brothers admirable care taker. He is drawn into something amazing by his sibling’s work in genetics. His brother has been kidnapped after he escaped a plane crash. Johnny Anslow is the key to this genetic manipulation which is changing lives and will definitely change the future for the very rich. So the police detective, who has lost his job because he is too old in his 40s, undertakes to understand and help his brother escape. The backstory is about the boys growing up on the water near Seattle, Washington and all the mischief they recovered from and how they each took different pathways based on their experiences. There is lots of plastic surgery, prison experience, helicopters and worldwide weapons of mass destruction and I would not want to leave out the politicians. There is something for everyone and at one point, it made me think of a futuristic Gunsmoke TV series. The book keeps moving ahead with lots of description about how THE FOREVER MAN became how old he is and what needs to happen to keep it a reality. Oh yes, and the world has run out of affordable oil.
The writing was “manly” and I found it sometimes sharp and disconnected and then it turned back around to keep the reader on edge – powerful devise. I had to read dialogue pages a couple of times to figure out which character was saying what. Certainly the editors will clear up those moments before it is released on July 8th, 2014. I wondered if I believed if life had a beginning, middle and end, would living until your new organs wore out, or these advanced genetic procedures were available to all be something you would want to contemplate? Would you really want to live forever?
Pierre Ouellette lives in Portland, Oregon and has written a number of science fictions books which have done well. He owned a PR firm for a number of years and also plays guitar.