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Forbidden Cargo by Rebecca K. Rowe
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Forbidden Cargo (edition 2006)

by Rebecca K. Rowe

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Member:okalrelsrv
Title:Forbidden Cargo
Authors:Rebecca K. Rowe
Info:EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (2006), Edition: 1st, Paperback
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Forbidden Cargo by Rebecca K. Rowe

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A friend recommended this book to me because he thought it was something I'd like, he was right. Rebecca Rowe's book is a fascinating trip into an alternate future where nothing is quite as it seems. Fear takes over and causes something akin to chaos when two Imagofas (advanced humans created via genetic engineering -- and against the law) are kidnapped from Mars and smuggled onto Earth. In some ways, the story is a simple detective story, but it's much more complex. Rowe's tale revolves around three different story lines, all intimately connected to the plight of the Imagofas. The three stories focus on the two Imagofas, the humans who help them and the scientist and his wife (the scientist who helped create them in the first place). Rowe ties these stories seamlessly together, while at the same time gently infusing the book with the importance of sacrifice, freedom and love. The book started off slowly, but I found it finished quite strong and gave me the ended I'd hoped for, instead of the one I feared. ( )
  callmecayce | Apr 2, 2009 |
Set in 22nd Century Earth, this is the story of two young women caught in the middle of a power struggle regarding the future of human evolution.

The Order has set up a research facility on Mars, where they have created a race of nano-DNA hybrids called imagofas, thought by many to be the next step in human evolution. The Council, on Earth, considers imagofas to be a crime against humanity. The idea is hatched to bring back evidence from Mars of the order’s activities, to put them out of business, once and for all. The two women, Sashimu and Thesni, are kidnapped from Mars and brought to Earth as "evidence", after which their life spans will be short and very unpleasant.

Something goes wrong at the Earth spaceport, and the two manage to escape, though separated from each other. In the meantime, Creid Xerkler is the inventor of a virtual reality system called Molecular Advantage Machine, or MAM. It allows instant access to all of Earth's knowledge, but the connection is made through the wearing of a special suit. Another reason why Sashimu and Thesni are considered evil is that they can access MAM without the suit. Xerkler is very implicated in this anti-Order plan, but he spends much of the book in an artificially-induced coma (someone wants him out of the way).

While staying away from the Council, the two meet some interesting individuals. The Cadet is an expert gamer and finder of information, and Prometheus is a MAM meta-intelligence looking for sentience. It becomes clear that Xerkler is the key, but the only way to reach him, and fix whatever is wrong with him, is from the inside, through MAM.

This gem of a book has it all. It’s got virtual reality, technology and imagination. It also has an interesting story, with which the author does a fine job. This is not just a really good first novel, it’s a really good novel. ( )
  plappen | Aug 8, 2007 |
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