Rated Reads

The Immortalists

by Kyle Mills

Rated: Moderate

Dr. Richard Draman’s 8-year-old daughter has progeria, a disease that prematurely ages its victims, most of whom die by about age 13. Since he’s a microbiologist, he is able to put his training to work to try to find a cure for the disease. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking for Susie, and as time goes on with little success and little funding, Richard feels increasingly desperate.

Then the widower of another researcher brings him a thumb drive containing data from a project the woman was working on when she supposedly killed herself. The widower is sure his wife was murdered because of that research, and he wants Richard to look at it. The information does turn out to be intriguing, and Richard finds out quickly that it’s just as dangerous as the widower thought it was — Richard is thrown in jail for “stealing” proprietary information. Soon, he ends up on the run, trying to figure out why he is suddenly the target of powerful people whose interests in the research on “the fundamental structures of life,” or “the Great Truths,” have little to do with curing disease and more to do with keeping them powerful for years on end.

Kyle Mills’ novel is a well-written thriller I breezed through in just a couple of days, turning pages eagerly. It addresses the ethics of science that pushes the envelope on what we as a society accept as a given, that we each have a limited time on earth, and a few implications of what could happen if that kind of research succeeded in its aim.

Rated: Moderate, for four uses of strong language and many occasions of moderate and mild language use. There are also several scenes of violence but not with many gory details.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Immortalists
  • by Kyle Mills
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: