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“rotary evaporator, condensers, and other labware — that she totes around in a duffle bag” which means that she’ll wind up with a bag of broken glass. Kind of like Dan Ackroyd’s character in an old SNL skit. Not to mention that rotary evaporators are fairly heavy.
Sounds like Ms. Meyer just Googled some chemistry terms to use in the book without reading what they actually meant.
Would you have any interest in reviewing my book that shares the same title? Totally different story and hopefully more believable. Please let me know and I can send you the novel. It just came out in January.
Alan J. Field
Author of “The Chemist”
My only issue with your review is the fact that it now makes me want to read this crappy book so I can see the bad science firsthand. Ugh, thanks a lot…
This reminded me of a book I read years ago. I remember nothing of the book other than a single thing from the end where the hero saves the day. He buys bags of anhydrous ammonia to dump in the lake to render harmless the stuff the bad guys dumped in the lake.
Someone asked me to read Mira Grant’s first trilogy book Parasite to see if the biology made sense (I’m a biologist). After reading it and now your review I suspect she and Meyer went to the same school of writing; throw out a sentence, fill in biology terms that may or may not make sense. She grabs names of parasites from a biology book (she recommends Carl Zimmer’s Parasite Rex, which is old but quite a good read), but has no real concept of what the parasite is.
For example, tapeworms. Her tapeworms have all the things tapeworms don’t have. Her’s have a mouth, teeth, musculature to crawl around and burrow through the body, and a long gut. They also don’t like competition so in the intestine there can be only one (they’ll eat any competition, which is quite a feat for an organism that can be found in clusters, have no mouth or teeth and absorb nutrients through their body). Even if hers were genetically modified to have mouth and teeth she has them burrowing out of the intestine unnoticed. Not only would you feel something chewing through your intestine but the resulting hole would leak intestinal content into the abdomen and you’d likely die of sepsis rather quickly (and you’d definitely notice that).
The scientists in it are caricatures of “mad” scientists, the explanation of the genetics and genes and splicing is painful to read, and the rational for using it doesn’t make any sense. By the end of the book I was skimming quickly because I didn’t dare read with comprehension—I get enough of this kind of nonsense on tests from students who haven’t actually studied the material and are just tossing in random biology words they know into sentences hoping it makes some sort of sense.
It was, as you say, exhausting.
I bought this book when it was first released. I am still only have way through it. After chapter 5, it picked up a bit, but not enough to motivate me to read it in its entirety. I can finish a really good book in 2 days. I do like Stephanie Meyers, but at this point, I might not finish this one for another month or two.