In the year of 2023 humanity has come to a crossroads. With the human race slowly being eradicated by a disease known as molio, scientists are racing against time to eradicate the disease and save the human race. Part of their progress has been the engineering of a new race, close to human in nature, known as saphers, Dr. Katie Marsh is the daughter of the Nobel Prize winning Dr. Marsh, the scientist responsible for this remarkable engineering feat. After the death of her mother from molio, Katie has grown up at the institution, playing and making friends among the sapher. Her best friend from childhood is a sapher named Ryder Stone.
The sapher were man’s answer to the extinction of the human race, an engineering miracle immune to the molio virus. While they were somewhat human in nature and carried many of the human characteristics, there was still just enough that was alien about them to create controversy. There was a marked difference in their appearance, the claws on both fingers and toes instead of nails, the slitted eyes and the spinal ridge that ran down their back, made them stand out. They were still prisoner, albeit well taken care of ones in the scientific community.
Dr. Katie Marsh came back after graduate school to work with her father and try and find answers to the problems inherent to the sapher race. They were engineered to help save the human race, and yet there were problems inherent in their own genes. The young woman could not seem to carry a pregnancy past the seventh month and it was Katie’s job to find the problem.
Along with just the every day issues, there were also control groups outside the laboratory, one side feeling that the saphers should be free as all men were, and the other side which felt they were an abomination.
When it is discovered that there are factions within the facility that are willing to risk anything to bring it down, it is up to Katie and her lifelong friend Ryder to find the answers before it is to late. Who can they turn to for help when it appears that even the good guys have a hidden agenda? When Katie finds that Ryder knows the answer that holds the secret to life for both groups will she be able to use the information in such a say to not create and cause the deaths of those close to her? Who will be able to aid her?
K.C. May in The Venom of Vipers, has developed a world of the future, easy to foresee and disturbing in nature. This world is so much the same as that we live in and yet moved forward to a future in which mankind sets the stage for their own distinction. The characters are well written and the new race of the sapher are unique and believable. As in our time, different factions fight over what is right or wrong and neither is willing to give ground. Science is all that is left to help save the race, and May has developed a interesting twist on the possibilities of genetic research and the possible outcome.
The sapher are an interesting race and in many cases more humane then the actual human race themselves. May has developed characters with depth and emotion, with abilities both unknown and unexplainable. While engineered to withstand and be immune to the molio that kills humans, there are secrets that even the most savvy scientist does not know. In a time and place in the future, smoke and mirrors are still the spotlight, as you are drawn down a dizzying spiral where all is not as it seems. Or is it?
The Venom of Vipers is a fast paced read with an interesting kick, exciting characters, and a unique story. I really enjoyed the pace and the believability of a future time and place in our possible history. In addition to being a futuristic thriller with a bizarre twist, the book is a great read that will keep you turning the pages and following the characters.