Renowned vaccinologist “Hildi” Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal.
Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he’ll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father’s marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it’s only a mild influenza strain…
Or is it?
Every winter we are inundated with media stories on flu outbreaks. We are told to get flu shots, but know that the shot will probably only lessen the virus’s impact on us. After all, there are so many different variations. We know about swine flu and bird flu, but what if something stronger than those began circulating? What if there wasn’t a shot to prevent us from getting it? To complicate matters, what if the only person who could devise a vaccine in a minimal length of time was stranded high above the planet in a battered International Space Station? This is the realistic premise of Bonnie Doran’s debut novel.
Dark Biology is slow to get going but, to its credit, the action picks up once the virus is released. Events on Earth and in space had me holding my breath, even though everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong. There was one moment when I did want to stop reading, but it was not because of the quality of the writing. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a catastrophic moment played out in detail in the first half which I wasn’t expecting. I put the book down for about five minutes, took a few breaths, grabbed a fresh drink and returned to the book. I then didn’t put it down again until I’d reached the end.
Thank you to the author for my free review copy of Dark Biology, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Harbourlight Books (an imprint of Pelican Book Group)
Publication Date: 25 October 2013
Page Count: 342