Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Review: Origin

Origin
Published By: Razorbill
Publication Date: September 2012
Page Count: 394
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction

I know I've mentioned before that I am not a Science Fiction girl, but the more I read, the more I think that maybe I just didn't think I was into SciFi because I had never found books within that genre that really spoke to me. I began to open up to the possibilities of this genre when I recently read Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, a novel I enjoyed immensely. I went into Origin thinking that it would probably be a good book, but never did I expect for it to take my mind and heart by storm. I know reviewers often say they couldn't put a book down, but in this case, that statement is completely accurate. I finished 90% of the book yesterday - the book only left my hand when basic human needs clamored for attention. My signed copy is certainly getting a place of honor on my shelves.

Pia is the epitome of perfection. She is beautiful, intelligent, and immortal. Scientists have worked for generations to create her. Pia loves her world - even with its rules about never venturing beyond the compound walls. Her dream is to create more immortals so she won't be alone when those she loves leave their mortal bodies. Her destiny is to rule the immortals and continue the scientific work of Little Cam. Fate intervenes in the form of a handsome boy who seems to be part of the jungle. He teaches Pia to see her world for the cage that it really is and to trust her emotions. Their friendship sparks a rebellion within Pia that will lead her down a path filled with deceit and terror.

The plot of this one is thrilling and romantic. My adrenaline was pumping - especially in the last few chapters. I became so immersed in Pia and Eio's work that nothing else seemed to matter. I was compelled to keep reading until their story was finished. I love this world and its characters. I hope this is a stand alone novel because I feel like everything got resolved in the end. As much as I love Pia and Eio, I feel like their story ended how it needed to and to disturb them again would be a disservice to the characters and readers. I also can't tell you how much fun I had getting a complete story without having to wait for a ton of books in a series to be released. I had forgotten how much fun getting the entire story at once could be. 

The science in the book was fascinating to me. I'm not a huge biology junkie, but I did find the genetic and medical research in this one to be easy to follow. I have no idea how plausible the science of this novel is, but it sure makes for a great story. It also has a layer of terror to it; I kept wondering if scientists are working on schemes like this one in secret. The moral implications raised in Origin kept my brain hard at work as I read. What is more important: humanity or progress?

Also, I LOVED the setting of this one. I can't recall ever reading a book set in the Amazon. The exotic locale and characters create an intensely satisfying and addictive read. Khoury's prose is beautiful and vivid. I love the gorgeous descriptions of the locale that Khoury creates: 

"The jungle is more restless than usual. The wind, lightly scented with orchids, prowls through the kapoks and palms as if searching for something lost. The air is so damp that drops of water appear, almost magically on my skin..." (pg. 1)

"I can only see what my flashlight falls on, but that is enough to take my breath away. Flowers as big as my head blossom full beneath the moon, whose faint light is rare this close to the jungle's floor. The soil here is too poor to sustain much life, so the trees spread their roots above the ground in great fan-shaped buttresses draped in moss. The frequent rains are the trees' main source of water; the larger the roots, the more rain they can catch, and the taller the tree. I see plants with leaves the size of umbrellas, their tops thick and smooth, their bottoms laced with red veins" (pg. 74)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, but I don't want to spoil anything. Trust me, just pick this one up and read it. There is a little something for every sort of reader: science, mystery, thriller, sweet romance, and a touch of the mystical. I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to younger teens. Pia will have you pumping your fists in the air and waiting with bated breath to see what she will do next. She is a YA heroine that will not be forgotten.


One Last Gripe: I do have a few lingering questions about the accident and some of the experiments.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I could never pick just one aspect; I loved every minute of it!

First Sentence: I'm told that the day I was born, Uncle Paolo held me against his white lab coat and whispered, "She is perfect."

Favorite Character: Pia

Least Favorite Character: Sylvia



Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.



25 comments:

  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the review :)

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    1. It's so good! It is one of those drop everything and READ it now books - at least in my opinion.

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  2. Though I'm not too into Sci-fi your review basically screams 'Read this book NOW!' and I might do just that. ;) Great review!

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

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    1. I didn't think I liked Sci-Fi either, but it didn't matter with this book. It is my new book crush. Love love love it! It definitely is a READ NOW kinda novel. :)

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  3. My high school freshman daughter didn't think she liked Sci Fi until she read stuff like Beta and Eve and Adam. Suprised her, too.

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    1. I will add those titles to my TBR list. She should check Origin out. :)

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  4. I really want to read this one. It has been on my list for such a long time.

    Great, great review. :D

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    1. I am really glad you enjoyed the review. I hope you'll make time for Origin soon. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you've had time to read it. Thanks for stopping by The Nest!

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  5. I've heard many good things about this book. I read the synopsis in a book catolog a couple months ago and it sounded great! your review made me want to pick it up even faster. Awesome review! so glad you liked it! I hope when I read it I'll love it just as much!!

    Happy Reading!
    -Amber.

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    1. I'm so glad the review encouraged you to give this one a try. I hope you'll stop back by and share your thoughts once you've had a chance to read it!

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  6. This is one of those books that I was really excited for ever since I read the blog. Even better that you rave about it in your review. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Is it told in first person or third? Do you feel the romance in this one is center stage or in the background. Any love triangles?

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    1. It's first person - told from the main female's perspective. There isn't a love triangle; the romance adds to everything, but it's not the central component. It certainly plays a part in the conflict, but it is by no means the main part or the driving force behind this novel. The romance is just a means to help the main character learn some startling truths about things she never thought to question before.

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  7. I keep seeing this book EVERYWHERE! Now I'll get it! Great review Andrea!!

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    1. Yes! I am so glad I talked you into another read. :)

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  8. That reminds me, I REALLY need to get around to reading this. This book sounds so good, enough though, like you, I'm usually not a big sci-fi fan. Thanks for the review :)

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    1. I really enjoyed it, but I do know some of the readers who prefer sci-fi wanted more from it. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

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  9. You had me at "Thrilling and Romantic". I wasn't expecting to like this one and also don't consider myself a sci-fi person but I think I'll move this one up on the to-read list after hearing your enthusiasm for it. Thanks!

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  10. I did like this one but I just wanted so much more. I am a huge sci-fi fan and need plenty of details. I'll be checking out this author in the future though.

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    1. I think the fact that I am not a sci-fi fan worked in my favor for this one. I didn't have anything else to compare it to. I am glad that you liked it.

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  11. It is funny because I had the exact same thoughts on sci-fi as you, until like you, I read Unraveling and it blew me away and opened up my mind to furthering my sci-fi explorations. Origin is one of the books that is on that exploratory list, and I am even more interested in it now, after your amazing review. It seems like it has enough of other things to keep not so science fictiony folks like me involved in the story but still enough to keep true to what it is. I am looking forward to Origin very much!

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    1. I also read Unraveling this year and really enjoyed that one too. In my opinion though, Origin is better.

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  12. I have always been a fan of sci-fi. Experiments? Amazon? I am in!

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    1. I loved that this one was set in the Amazon. It was a setting I hadn't seen before in my YA readings.

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  13. This sound sooo good! I really enjoy sci-fi so I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the review!

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