Friday, August 31, 2007


Author: Kevin Brooks

This is an intriguing story; a fast-paced, gritty novel with themes of identity, self, free-will and romance.

Robert goes into hospital for a routine procedure. Mid operation he becomes aware of his surroundings, listens as the surgeons find that his very human-ness is under doubt, and hears them call in government agents to investigate. Unable to understand what has happened, Robert goes on the run, and finds unexpected romance as he tries to elude his pursuers.

This sci-fi thriller is a great read. As Robert tries to determine what it would mean if he found out that he was something other than human, the reader is easily drawn into the philosophical considerations of what makes a person who they are, of how much we determine what we can actually do. The philosophy is never blatant or unwieldy though, simply revealed through Robert’s thoughts in an accessible way. This search for the meaning of identity, and the whole chase/escape scenes, have the same edgy feel as Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity, and the themes are reminiscent of those explored in the movie Bladerunner (based on Philip K Dick’s Do androids dream of electric sheep?).

I loved it – totally got caught up in Robert’s confusion and fear, loved that he met such a gutsy girl, and though I was initially annoyed at the ending, I’ve now come round to thinking it was the best and only way for the story to have finished.

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