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Gargoyles    by Alan Nayes order for
by Alan Nayes
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2006 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Life had been good for Amoreena Daniels, but fate took an ugly turn. A brilliant pre-med student, she felt she had her future all mapped out, when her mother came down with a voracious cancer. To finance the medical bills, Amoreena agreed to become a surrogate mother.

That's when everything stopped turning up roses. A warning showed up on her windshield – at least she thought it was a warning. The message was in Spanish. A man appeared with the disturbing news that his fiancée had died while carrying a surrogate child for the same company as Amoreena.

Could something be wrong with the child she carried? It had quickened much sooner than normal. The fetus kicked from two sides of her uterus at once. It felt wrong, completely wrong. Investigation put Amoreena on the trail of genetic testing and organ transplants and, she felt, in danger of her life.

Her apartment searched, Amoreena kidnapped, her roommate's puppy strangled. Why? Was it possible that she carried a creature that would provide organs to someone in need?

I sincerely hope that Gargoyles is truly speculative. The story is scientific in nature but gripping in the reading. Once started, I found it hard to put down. With the world learning of cloning and the race to clone the first human – ethical or not – the scenario is frightening, opening a whole bag of human emotions - betrayal, distrust, brutality, sociopathic behavior, and the most damning of all, greed. Can perfectly imperfect babies be created?

This novel also makes the reader pause to reflect that we don't know what waits around the corner for us. I just hope it isn't people like those I met in Gargoyles.

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