Perfect People by Peter James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Perfect People…You can’t always get what you want
THE Low Down
If you could guarantee that your child would never have to suffer from incurable illness, or die at too young an age, would you do it? What if you could go ever further and guarantee them intelligence, ambition, athletic prowess and the looks of a supermodel? What about then? Those are the questions that face John and Naomi as they come to terms with the loss of their 4-year old son to a genetic disorder that they have a 1-in-4 chance of passing along to any future children. Unable to accept the possibility of losing another child, they reach out to Dr. Leo Dettore, a renowned and often ostracized former child prodigy, who is pushing the boundaries of human genetics and promises the possibility of a healthy child, completely free of the feared genetic ailments that cost them their firstborn. While John and Naomi go into the process simply wanting a healthy child, Dettore opens their eyes to genetic possibilities far beyond what they could have ever imagined, putting them at odds with their beliefs and questioning the very thing that brought them there. After making a few small “adjustments”, they go forward with the process. Unbeknownst to them though, there are other factors at play that go farther beyond what they thought they were getting themselves into.
MY Low Down
You CANNOT read this book without getting lost in thought, as well as questioning those thoughts and those of the characters. The concept of “designer” babies has, and likely always will be, a hot button and controversial subject, and Peter James excels at bringing up multiple viewpoints, along with the many positive and negative aspects of them all. You do not get a feeling of his opinion, which allows your imagination to run wild. What would I do if I were John and Naomi? Would I take the chance to give my child a life of guaranteed help? Some say it is playing God, but for those who believe in God, wasn’t it he/she who gave us the ability to do this in the first place? These are all thoughts either outright discussed or elicited from this story that keep your mind moving in every direction at every moment.
Told primarily from the perspective of John and Naomi, with a few others thrown in for good measure, the story flows and keeps your attention throughout. I was poised to LOVE this book until near the very end, when I watched the loose ends flap in the breeze without so much as a twist together, let alone a good tie. First, the thriller aspect was never present at all for me – sure there was some tension interspersed about, but quite frankly the lurking threats seemed as though they were thrown in with the thought of making it a thriller but never really materialized to feel as though they melded with the story. They were a side plot that just never lived up. Second, the culmination of the story was a seemingly random offshoot of the entire thriller aspect that had no foreshadowing and no tie to the thriller portion of the story up to that point. While I appreciate the route the story took, it was not tied well to the earlier storyline and felt disconnected and incomplete. Sadly, the last quarter took it from a LOVE to a LIKE. Still a strong LIKE, but a LIKE nonetheless…..
*NetGalley ebook edition*
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