Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
A new strain of Ebola is here and has the potential of erasing the human race. Q-Strain has a long incubation period and is just as deadly as the previous strains along with less than predictable means to test people. This is what have to look forward to in Moon Kind and a small committee is tasked with how to keep the human population from becoming extinct in the late 22nd century. Life in the 22nd and 23rd century has the population living well into past the century mark and as the Q-strain virus has become an epidemic there isn’t the expected story of death, mayhem and destruction found in the typical end of the world book. The author takes a step back from this focused view and instead tells this story from the viewpoint of the big picture. Mankind is more focused on how to ensure its continued existence on the planet and how they can find unconventional ways to reach this result. The book is more a technical story of using science to beat the virus through the use of cloning which in this future is not only accepted but embraced. It is decided that the small research group on the moon who is not affected by the virus will be mankind’s last hope and they will take the cloned embryos and start civilization over and return to earth after the virus is no longer a threat. While I love this idea, the story has too many technical details and spends a large amount of time with this idea and how to achieve this. I would have loved to have more time spent on the struggles that people had and how the virus spread. I needed more action and suspense to keep the story moving and make it compelling. I was so excited when I read the summary of this book, a virus that wipes out the population and a small group try to repopulate from a moon base, but there is a lack of action, suspense and drama needed for an end of the world book. The sci-fi side is also lacking the details I was looking for. There is plenty of futurist ‘medbots’, robots that are programmed for medical purposes, but again the story is told from a ‘pulled back’ or ‘wide view’ that it didn’t feel like they were an integral component. Much of the book feels like reading a text-book instead of a novel, there is so much explanation of events without dialog that the story lost momentum. I did find the personal struggle with our main character, who is also the last human, very well written. His struggle with his decision to go to the moon instead of live out his numbered days with his family was heartbreaking. The relationships within the character arcs throughout the book were where I felt the book had the most strength.
Length: 456 Pages
Publisher: Bruce Merchant, MD
Release date: May 11, 2015
In another Century and a half, the world, as we know it, will be greatly changed. This book foresees changes that most of us could scarcely dream of. It imagines a world where current international tensions have mostly dissolved, where continental solidarity has supplanted most national boundaries, and where global warming has actually abated. It is a time when space exploration is of prime importance and when robotically operated stations exist on our own Moon and on Mars and Venus.
But several traditional earthly problems have not been resolved. One of these is the periodic emergence of infectious diseases that (by means of insidious mutations) have evaded all modern efforts to prevent or control them. Enter Q-strain, an astoundingly pernicious mutation of Ebola virus which, over the period of a few years, totally wipes out all humans on the Earth. There is time, however, in the interim, to transport the very earliest
stage (blastocysts) of the clones from many very accomplished humans to the robotic station on the Moon. (These clones had been acquired years before the epidemic and stored in suspended animation in liquid nitrogen).
Roughly a century later, when the “all clear” for absence of the Ebola Q-strain mutant on the Earth has been biologically verified, these “celebrity clones” are given birth on the Moon and raised to adulthood by robotic guides and caretakers. The story then centers on the development of fourteen spirited “celebrity clones” who must find ways to realistically coexist, and then to ultimately return a human presence to our now Ebola-free blue planet. This sounds like quite a challenge, and in fact, that’s just what it is.
Bruce Merchant, biography
Bruce Merchant, M.D., is a Research Physician in the Immunology and Pathology of Human responses to tumors and infectious diseases.. Bruce also holds a doctorate in Immunopathology from the University of Chicago. He was a lab researcher at the National Institutes of Health for a decade and then continued his research in Immunology, and Immunogenetics at the FDA for a second decade. He then moved mainly into Clinical Research and served first as the Director of Clinical studies at Hybritech, Inc. and later as Clinical V.P at Viagene, Inc. both Biotech companies in San Diego, California.
He then teamed up with James A. Taylor, Ph. D, to whom this book is dedicated. Together, they formed Merchant-Taylor International, Inc. (MTI), a consulting firm that over the past two decades has assisted over 200 Biotech and Small Pharma companies in moving their products forward through successive phases of Clinical Development.
Bruce still works full time in this consulting capacity. Many of MTI’s clients are developing therapies aimed at controlling infections or malignant tumors, and Bruce serves as the Clinical Monitor for several of these studies. He is also involved with two separate Clinical Studies, one which involves the use of Convalescent Immune Plasma (from Ebola survivors) and another employing a number of promising new pharmaceuticals which will be critically tested in Ebola patients in West Africa in an effort to control the current deadly epidemic.