Select one of the keywords
Darwin's Radio    by Greg Bear order for
Darwin's Radio
by Greg Bear
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2000
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Darwin's Radio begins with a dramatic climb to reveal the remains of a Neanderthal family, long preserved in an icy mountain cave. Paleontologist Mitch Rafelson barely survives the unorthodox expedition and its circumstances leave him with haunting dreams and a doubly damaged reputation.

Around the same time while hiking in Georgia, genetic engineering researcher Kaye Lang is asked by the United Nations to consult on a recently discovered mass grave. It turns out to be full of pregnant women slaughtered in the last few years ... and these bodies have something in common with the ancient cave family. In Georgia, Kaye meets Christopher Dicken, a virus hunter with the Epidemic Intelligence Service. She, and the reader, wonder what he is doing there.

This fast moving story pulls together these threads into a thriller reminiscent of Outbreak in its societal impact. But is it really a new global epidemic or something equally frightening, an evolutionary jump engineered by our own cells? Darwin's Radio has it all - a thrilling story full of action, interesting characters with real problems, a romantic triangle, power politics, plausible science and a realistic assessment of the panic and mob violence that might be outcomes if these events really happened.

Bear even manages to provide us with a painless genetic education, well woven into the story as it unfolds. Darwin's Radio is a fascinating near future science fiction tale with an imaginative and well developed premise. The only disappointment was in the ending which seemed inconclusive. Don't miss this one, it's a worthy read.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews