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Genesis Alpha


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About the Author

Rune Michaels studied psychology at the University of Iceland and at the University of Copenhagen. Her books include Genesis Alpha, The Reminder, and Nobel Genes. She lives with her family in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Gr 7-10-Two brothers have a special relationship. Max was dying of cancer when Josh was born and it was the infant's stem cells that saved his life. It was no coincidence that Josh's cells were a perfect match since he was a "designer baby," conceived specifically to cure Max. Now, even with Max away at college, they remain close, sharing nightly adventures in an online role-playing game. Josh's world is rocked to its core when Max is arrested for the vicious murder of a local girl, and some people question whether Josh bears some responsibility for the crime since Max would have died without him. The media storm intensifies when Rachel, the dead girl's sister, disappears. In a credulity-straining twist, Josh discovers her hiding in their garden shed but doesn't tell anyone. Though the story is often exciting, it is also unbelievable in several places. How could Josh-and his two PhD-holding parents-have missed any indication of Max's evil side? Both boys were tested repeatedly over the years and yet there was never any indication of a psychological problem. The police confiscate all of the family's computers but their forensic specialists can't find the evidence that Josh locates in five minutes on a borrowed laptop. Readers looking for a novel about a sibling's criminality would be better served by Patricia McCormick's My Brother's Keeper (Hyperion, 2005), and those looking for stories about tissue donation and sibling illness could try Jody Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (Atria, 2004).-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Genesis Alpha is an intriguing tale of one boy facing devastating revelations about his brother and himself. Grappling with age-old questions about good and evil -- made even more complicated by modern technology -- Max has to come to terms with his own fate, intertwined with his brother's. Or does he?"

-- Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of Among the Hidden
"An adrenaline-charged thriller that also takes a fascinating and unflinching look at some difficult ethical issues, including the origins of good and evil. Genesis Alpha is dark, dangerous, and utterly riveting."

-- Kenneth Oppel, Michael L. Printz Honor-winning author of Airborn

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