Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2022)
“CRISPR Evolution” is a heart-in-your-throat page-turner in the Sci-Fi genre by award-winning author Charis Jones. The narrative follows Howard Wake, a virtuoso in heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics in a futuristic world, who is determined to defy the government regulations and laws that have been put in place to tame genetic engineering that goes beyond the usual research scope.
Howard and his family of garage biologists hope to change the world for the better with their discoveries and inventions in modern science. He manages to build a molecular machine, also known as CRISPR that was based on old turn-of-the-century technology, but this time more powerful and autonomous. However, awakening genetic chemicals from a dormant state is a dangerous endeavor as he is well aware and chooses to recruit the help of Jacqueline Witt, an idea he suddenly aborts.
Eight years later, Howard has new worries. His children’s genetic formation which he infused with the CRISPR machine is beginning to fuss up, especially his son’s, Py, the federal officials are catching up with him, and Jacqueline, determined to get back what Howard took from him, has an old score to settle with him.
There is something simultaneously fresh and traditional in the novel’s comfort with omniscient narration, and its relaxed style manages to beguile new readers to speculative fiction. It conveys the spinning sense of a future that out stripes a single existence and feels synchronously optimistic, poignant, and even celebratory. With a stirring preface, Jones employs her years of experience as a research professor in this narrative, perhaps using it as a medium of choice to pass on an explosive panorama of what makes up our genetic formation.
“CRISPR Evolution” is a five-star read that provides conjectural ideation on genetic enhancement technologies, including their moral and civil implications through richly imagined characters and settings. The author is strong on atmosphere, illuminating vast tracts of imagery, and her uniquely supple and powerful style is even more clear-cut. It’s enamoring ending and epilogue are decent and fulfilling, giving special send-offs to its characters. Wildly original and intelligently drawn, “CRISPR Evolution” will enthrall sci-fi fans.