Book Review: The Curiosity by: Stephen Kiernan


Rating: 3/5

Publisher: William Morrow & Company

Publish Date: July 9, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in the ice. As a scientist in a groundbreaking project run by the egocentric and paranoid Erastus Carthage, Kate has brought small creatures-plankton, krill, shrimp-"back to life." Never have the team's methods been attempted on a large life form.

Heedless of the consequences, Carthage orders that the frozen man be brought back to the lab in Boston, and reanimated. As the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was-is-a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When news of the Lazarus Project and Jeremiah Rice breaks, it ignites a media firestorm and massive protests by religious fundamentalists.

Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah's new life is slipping away. With Carthage planning to exploit Jeremiah while he can, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.

A gripping, poignant, and thoroughly original thriller, Stephen Kiernan's provocative debut novel raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity-man as a scientific subject, as a tabloid plaything, as a living being: A curiosity.


Review: ‘The Curiosity’ is the first novel by Mr. Kiernan and by the end it seemed to be more about reflecting current society through the eyes of a man who lived over a century ago. The science and romance was a little less important overall, even though the author took time to painstakingly detail both. The novel makes more sense to me when I describe it as societal commentary more than science fiction. I have to say, I liked Judge Jeremiah Rice the best, with Dead-head Dr. Gerber a close second. Regardless of people either worshiping or berating him, he took it all in and formed his own opinions. Dr. Kate Philo seemed to embody the tragic optimist as she’d endured so much negativity growing up, aside from the unwavering support of her now late father, but always tries to see the beauty in everything. Dr. Carthage just epitomized for me everything ever done wrong in the name of science or progress. The chapters switched viewpoints (from Kate, Rice, Carthage, etc.) and Carthage’s was always told as if you are Dr. Carthage, unlike the others. Overall, I thought ‘The Curiosity’ was an interesting parallel to current attitudes and mores.

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