Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Enclave

Title: The Enclave

Series: Stand alone

Author: Karen Hancock

Genre: Adult Techno-Thriller

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Enclave:

Cameron Reinhardt is an idiot!

Yes, he had a PhD from Stanford. Yes, he was widely acknowledged as a brilliant geneticist. Yes, Director Swain called him the field’s brightest rising star, the Institute’s greatest asset, and a fabulous hiring coup. But this wasn’t the first time Lacey McHenry wondered how the man managed to get up in the morning and make it to his office fully clothed.

She stood in the frog room’s open doorway, a large, rectangular steel tank hulking against the peach-colored wall across from her. One of its three hinged covers stood open, propped back against the wall. Live frogs and toads scattered the concrete floor beneath it, watching her with bulging golden eyes; more of them had trailed slime onto the gleaming floor of the corridor behind her in their break for freedom.

Apparently Dr. Reinhardt had come in sometime that afternoon and forgotten to close not only the lid but the door, as well. She pictured him collecting his subjects and hurrying off to his wet lab at the hall’s end, heedless as a teenaged boy. Never mind that all the remaining amphibians could and did escape; never mind someone else would have to clean them up.

Surely he was living proof that a man could be a genius and a moron at the same time.

An absent-minded geneticist and a research assistant uncover a science project that pushed every boundary after a bizarre break-in.

The Craft: As always, Ms. Hancock has turned out another solid novel with The Enclave, one that shows continuous growth in her craft.

The premise is intriguing, combining science with the supernatural. The plot is complex and riveting, keeping the pages turning late into the night. The characters are multidimensional, fleshed out until they could almost walk off the page into our world.

If there is any flaw in the writing itself, it would be the ending. I’m not completely sure why, but the final chapter felt abrupt, even incomplete, though all loose ends seemed tied up. Perhaps the length and complexity of a novel like this requires a longer ending to allow the reader time to decompress?

But this “flaw” is so minor, it hardly scratches the surface on this otherwise well-crafted book.

The Content: The spiritual threads are as intricately woven throughout The Enclave as the plot itself. Questions about God’s leading and His Providence seems to be the main focus, with an emphasis on how God is not depend on any man and his choices—good or bad—but uses man despite himself for His purposes.

Of course, there are many other threads as well, with side trips into everything from global warming to waiting on God. Occasionally these trips make the content feel a bit top heavy, even agenda-driven, but these tendencies are always checked before they overwhelm the story.

Summary: The Enclave is a complex novel, both in craft and content, providing a fascinating and often thought-provoking story for teens and adults alike.

Rating: Craft—4, Content—4, Overall—4.2 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

苑淑淳如 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.