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Dark Animus

Greg Bear

Darwin's Children

Stella Nova is one of a new kind of human. The SHEVA virus has altered the progress of pregnancy, resulting in children who are significantly different from what has been seen before. But many of the old-style humans aren't happy with this. Darwin's Children by Greg Bear tells of the ensuing struggles of the new children and their families in a hostile environment.

Bear raises some intruiging questions of how viruses affect us - whether they just the agents of disease they are made out to be, or whether they play a much more integral part in our lives. He also creates a fascinating description of the social structures formed by the new kind of people. The thing is though, this is mixed in with a different kind of story - one of paranoia and dubious political decisions, reflecting the ultra security-conscious nature of post 9/11 America. I felt that this part of the story didn't really gel with the rest of it. For instance, we hear how the virus had had its effect in the rest of the world without the resulting paranoia, but this seemed to have no influence within the USA. In today's global society I find this most unlikely. I have to say though that I'm not very keen anyway on the genre of tense political thrillers, and so I'm probably biased in my view of how this aspect fits in with the rest of the story. I'd recommend that you read some of the other reviews to find out their opinions on this matter. I'd note also that this is really a sequel to Darwin's Radio and so maybe I should have read that first.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews