In the 1930s, Japanese scientists committed heinous crimes in their quest for the ultimate biological weapon.
The war ended. Their mission did not.
Eighty years later, Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand between her and scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she’s expelled from the university. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a visit to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle between Japan and China. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.
But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.
Plot: This novel is plotted well, flows smoothly, and contains many surprises. Readers will certainly be engaged throughout.
Prose: The writing is clear and effective, while the pacing keeps readers turning pages.
Originality: This novel—about Japanese-Chinese relations and biological weapons in the 1930s—is original and engaging. Additionally, there are several twists and turns that are handled admirably.
Character Development: Amika is well developed and feels real and relatable. The other main characters, while not as vivid, are also solidly developed.
Date Submitted: August 23, 2017