Saturday, January 28, 2017

Review: Prophet of Bones

Prophet of Bones
Ted Kosmatka
St. Martin's Griffin, 2014 edition

This is the first novel I've read from Kosmatka, and I seriously couldn't put it down. Wow. Thrills, terror, science, and politics are all dexterously mixed in a world with one great difference from our own: science has proven religion is true and the Earth is 6,000 years old (or has it)? Kosmatka's novel is sort of like what you'd get if you mixed the writing brains of Scott Sigler, James Rollins, and the late Michael Crichton and then added even more talent. Kosmatka takes as his real-life point of departure the Flores "hobbit" bones, and the plot rockets forward from there.  As a science writer and novelist, I kept finding myself stopping just to marvel at the way the author had taken one of the more difficult sciences, genetics, and illustrated it in many different ways (including the explanation from an autistic scientist who visualizes genetic codes as a musician does music) along the way to probing the mysteries of human origins. The solution to this thriller is wholly original, the characters fascinating, and the plot a clever take on science vs. religion, only turned backwards and sideways from the way it's usually presented. The science will be too heavy for some readers, and I barely kept up myself, but I learned things all along the twisting journey of our heroes toward a destination they have no idea exists. This is a marvelous book in every respect. 

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