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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review #90: Halfskin- Tony Bertauski

Summary: Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. 

We become better.

At what point are we no longer human?

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation. 

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity.

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls 'The Biomite Plague'.

Title: Halfskin
Author: Tony Bertauski
Pages: 276
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: I received this book for free from the auor for a Read 2 Reveiw in exchange for an honest review. This is the second book that I have read by Tony Bertauski and let me say that I liked this one better. This story had more life to it and I didn't find it as jumpy as the other one I read. Halfskin is an original idea that flowed freely throughout the whole book. I loved the idea of bio mites and the amazing things that they can do. I just wished that there had been more background information on the bio mites. For instance who decided that 50% biomite was to much. I can't wait to learn more about these little creatures in novels to come. Sci- fi isn't really my thing but if I kept reading awesome sci- fi books my mind my change. 
I really liked Nix and Cali. They were a great brother sister team. They would risk their own lives in order to save each other. Cali seemed like the strong one, always taking charge and getting things done. Then she had a little meltdown and it changes things 180 degrees. Presently, Nix appears to be the one holding everything together. I did like how the author showed little blips of other characters lives, giving the reader information on what is going on outside of the story. 
I will be continuing this series because I need to know what happens. This book kind of ends on a cliffhanger. I would recommend this book to sci- fi lovers, or to those like me who are still unsure about sci- fi.

About this author

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I've written textbooks on landscape design, but that was straightforward, informational writing; the kind of stuff that helps most people get to sleep. I've also been writing a gardening column with a humorous slant. That takes a little more finesse, but still informational for the most part. 

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I wanted to write, not the assigned reading we used to get in high school. I wanted to create stories that kept you up late.

Fiction, GOOD fiction, is hard to write. Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.