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Immunity: Apocalypse Weird Kindle Edition
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In my opinion, Immunity is one of the strongest of the novels yet. Set in New Mexico the reader is plunged into the aftermath of the super flu that hit LA. The main characters, Anu and David are still working on a cure. I'm not going to give away the plot, but just know, Giorgi writes with scientific experience in a way that every reader can enjoy. Her prose is addictive and her descriptions paint a vidid picture of the world she creates on each page. If you haven't checked out her other books, Gene Cards is a great place to start.
I highly recommend Immunity to post-apocalyptic and science fiction fans.
Giorgi somehow manages to achieve quirky and humorous, even in books full of graphic violence and horror. "Chimeras" and "Mosaics" deliver the lovable anti-hero Track Presius, the only detective on earth who has the advantage (sometimes a disadvantage!) of having acquired the heightened senses of our animal forebears--sense of smell, hearing, fight vs flight--through a fluke of epigenetics. In "Gene Cards," a genetic trick involving 35mm film blew me away. So did the world's smartest hacker, Yulia. I've also enjoyed Giorgi's short stories in various anthologies.
Not just Giorgi's science, but her settings are vivid and memorable. "Immunity" takes place in a futuristic New Mexico, in a research facility that sounds like Los Alamos, with wildfires looming in the background. Sensory details are authentic and gives readers that "you're right there" immersion in the story.
"Immunity" includes references to Rudyard Kipling and the snake. To me, this alone elevates the story far above its genre. So does the villain who insists on bastardizing his last name with an Americanized mispronunciation. Quirky traits like these bring a villain from stock character (we've seen "I'm going to destroy the world" megalomaniacs a million times too many) to a riveting new level. With so many mall bombings and school shooters in the news these days, we're learning the obvious trouble makers aren't the ones to fear. It's the quiet nerd in the corner who might be plotting your demise. That, to me, is far more unsettling than the overt bullies who aren't luring anyone into a false sense of security.
Giorgi's day job involves research on retroviruses and epigenetics, so when she describes, in detail, a fictional version of a bio-engineered influenza virus, she makes it disturbingly plausible. Like many brilliant doctors, both halves of her brain are equally dominant: creative, logical; right brain, left brain. From her author bio, it's obvious that she's also beautiful and slender in spite of being a mother who must be pushing age 40 by now. I have a request, geneticists: explain why the gene pool is so generous with some people and so heartless to others. Yesterday I squandered half my morning perusing the world's most unbelievable mutant humans who survived birth and lived for years with things like a fetus-in-fetu (an unfinished twin who got swallowed up in the womb by its sibling); its legs dangle from the dominant brother's chest. A man with an ear on his forearm. The two-headed girl. You've seen all these, right?
Other authors pull the fascination of genetics and bio-engineering into their fiction, but few do it as authentically as Elena Giorgi.
Another entirely enjoyable read from E.E. Giorgi and this one is a departure from her earlier work. Immunity is set in the near future and the story describes the aftermath of a nuclear explosion off the California coast followed by the deliberate spreading of a complex and ultimately deadly strain of influenza.
The setting is Los Alamos, NM, and the majority of the population of the town and the National Lab have fled the advancing cloud of radiation. A few scientists remain including Dr. Anu Sharma who has hired computer scientist Dr. David to assist in modeling the H7N7 flu. The “labs” are guarded by the New Mexico National Guard and this presence of a cohesive, disciplined group is the target for the spread of the flu.
The spreading of flu and the nuclear detonation are the work of a self style “General” Nag from an undetermined part of Southeast Asia. His past is revealed to be similar to the real life Khun Saa, a criminal entrepreneur who exacted tribute from shipping on the Mekong River and supplied great quantities of heroin and opium on the world market. General Nag's future is questionable though he declares fealty to a “Lord and Master.”
With this cast, Giorgi takes us on a tour of science, violence, forces of nature with a good measure of the supernatural as well. Having read some of E.E. Giorgi’s earlier works, I was pleased to see her talent for creating a sense of place and atmosphere and her ability to create characters with real strengths and weaknesses is as strong as ever.
This book is part of a series by a number of different authors titled “Apocalypse Weird.” I’ve not read any of the other stories there, but I do very highly recommend Immunity as a real five star read.
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