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GM by Alan Porter
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an EBook edition. The story line were not resolved to my satisfaction. Story stopped in the middle. Thought the story was going to be about zombies, again.
  BJB1940 | Aug 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Part political statement, part future-tech thriller, GM details a scientist's attempt to create a genetically modified strain of rice. The first third of the book is very Crichtonesque; a heady mix of science and danger. Watching Captain Philips beforehand will help with the immersion of the African scenario, where corrupt militia cross paths with the protagonists.

Porter plays his hand a little early, with the action hitting the high notes just before the final third, leaving a somewhat wordy final third. Last minute flashbacks derail the story somewhat, however there is an agenda to be played out and it's required for closure. The author does occasionally use parentheses to add thoughts or asides and these are rather jarring, best placed in humourous novels rather than a thriller.

Overall, GM does have some clever ideas and uses it's third world backdrop to retain an original story. There's not much science or technology beyond the initial concept, which is a shame, however it's likely you'll want to see the story through once started since the concept is original enough. ( )
  SonicQuack | Jul 22, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked the science in this - very credible and real - as was the amorality of the mega-corps in the area of GM research. But I'm afraid the background political plot lacked that same verisimilitude and the efforts to make the characters more than two dimensional by having both good and bad aspects merely made them seem like two different people. The feel for Africa, the love of its people, the travails of the continent came from the heart, truly scary in the human misery and scale. ( )
  liehtzu | Jun 20, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the story of Rachel Whitelock and a strain of genetically modified rice she developed for the large corporation SenCor. SenCor have decided to send the rice out for a field test in various locations in Africa and Rachel convinces her boss to send her to Africa to one of the test sites. Even before the rice arrives things start to go wrong.

It took me a long time to get through this book. I kept putting it down and I did not want to get back to it. The story was not very believable and I did not relate to the characters. I enjoyed the last few chapters with their unexpected twists. ( )
  Shoosty | Jun 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
GM by Alan Porter is a story about a large agri-science company developing a genetically modified rice that will help the third world countries produce more food. The story revolves around the genetically modified rice which will reduce the locust problem in these areas.

Dr. Whitelock, the scientist responsible for the development of this rice is in conflict with the management of the company on how the initial field tests should be carried out. The company is trying to fly under the radar during the field tests by not fully revealing to the site residents the full nature of the test and what they are trying to do. They are going to send an agronomist to each site to assist the locals with the initial planting and then leave. The company will return later in the growing season to see what happens.

The other part of the story, is about the local residents in a fictional country in Africa where one of the test sites is located and the ongoing problems between the government and former rebels. Dr. Whitelock, as a graduate student, had been in this area of Africa and had been captured by one of the rebel groups. Another rebel group had then taken possession of the hostages and released them to return home. There is concern with management when she wants to be at this test site during the initial planting.

This rebel group is still active, but primarily is involved in hijackings of equipment, etc. that is shipped into the interior of the country where the test is located.

The story then revolves around the problems that occur after the hijacking of the cargo.

The story is well written and keeps you involved. It has enough twists and turns in the plot to keep it interesting.

The genetically modified rice is one of the villains in the story. It is also one of the weak points in the story. This part of the story does not seem to be plausible that the genetically modified rice would cause unintended problems and the type of problem as quickly as it occurs in the story. The speed of the problem is necessary for the story line.

To me, the end of the story occurred to early. There were still some items from the story line were not resolved to my satisfaction. ( )
  rufusraider | May 31, 2014 |
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Epigraph
"And the fox said to the little prince: men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you."
Rwandan proverb
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Something was changing in Hangar 17.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In 1996 geneticist Rachel Whitelock escaped the war in Zaire with a secret that could change the lives of millions. Now she is going back to the tiny west African country of Bengara to oversee covert trials of the genetically modified crop that came from that discovery.
But someone is waiting for her...
Ex-warlord Ato Jelani has waited eighteen years for her to return what she stole from Africa, but he doesn't just want it to feed the people. With the power this crop has, he can restart the war.
Hunted across the jungles of Bengara, Whitelock must pull off a daring plan that could make or break her career... and change the course of a nation.
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