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13 Worlds by J. J. Hair
Directed by an omnipotent super-being known as the “Guide”, Commander Culben, Dr. Reeves, and the crew of starship Ranus have set out on a mission to destroy thirteen different planets: analogous but unique versions of 1st and 2nd Earth. The planets’ inhabiting civilizations are believed to be on the verge of developing advanced DNA-editing technology known as CRISPR, which would lead to the creation of Supremes: an advanced human species capable of wiping out all life in the galaxy.…If history can be believed. What begins as a straightforward mission quickly becomes a series of moral quandaries. Is the crew doing what’s best for the galaxy? Can the Guide be trusted? While the Ranus pursues its targets, each world begins to learn of its fate through the eyes of Lisa Fry, Clarke Gabriel, and other medical scientists. Can their discoveries change their fate?
If you enjoy reading unique science fiction that makes you think, 13 Worlds by J. J. Hair is the book for you. Written in what I think of as vignettes, this fantastic novel presents the reader with a series of interconnected glimpses into various interesting characters’ lives and how their decisions lead to their downfall. The unique stories revolve around an intriguing central theme that makes one consider how morality can change, depending on individual perspectives.
Written to cover decades and multiple planets, the story begins with a glimpse into the unusual family dynamic surrounding a disturbed young boy named Malek, as told by his older brother, Joseph. Malek doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the family, all who seem to be geniuses. As events unfold, we find ourselves immersed in the story, as told by scientists on other worlds, who are on the cusp of developing the same gene therapy research that Malek’s and Joseph’s father developed. Unfortunately, just as each scientist is about to discover the technology that could potentially save millions from debilitating diseases, their planet is destroyed. As tragedy strikes one planet after another, we eventually learn that a mysterious intergalactic leader known as the Guide has made it his mission to eradicate all planets that are on the verge of making the same gene manipulating discovery. But are his actions altruistic or does he have ulterior motives?
Even though this is a quick read, there is a lot to like in this story. The characters are intriguing because each has their own perspective on what is happening and has a justification for their actions. Is Malek the twisted person that his brother makes him out to be or is he a product of his home environment? Are all the scientists working for the betterment of society or do they have their own agendas? How can the crew on Malek’s space ships justify the eradication of a planet? For me it boils down to the question: Just because you can do something, does that mean you should do it?
13 Worlds by J. J. Hair is an incredible story that sticks with you. It’s fast-paced and full of anxiety-filled moments that propel you from one chapter to the next, as fascinating characters unwittingly seal their own fates. Ultimately, this extraordinary book leaves you with questions that, in themselves, are fascinating to ponder. Chick Lit Café highly recommends 13 Worlds by J. J. Hair. Book review by D.L. Smith for Chick Lit Café Book Reviews.
Readers won’t want to miss this incredibly original science fiction read!
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