"Afifi’s staggering and un-put-downable debut offers a fresh and feminist-forward take on cloning [...] This riveting debut is a must-have for any sci-fi fan."— Publishers Weekly starred review
Included in Library Journal's "Rise of the Monsters: Top Horror Titles and Trends Coming This Season
Amira Valdez is a brilliant neuroscientist trying to put her past on a religious compound behind her. But when she’s assigned to a controversial cloning project, her dreams of working in space are placed in jeopardy. Using her talents as a reader of memories, Amira uncovers a conspiracy to stop the creation of the first human clone – at all costs.
As she unravels the mystery, Amira navigates a dangerous world populated by anti-cloning militants, scientists with hidden agendas, and a mysterious New Age movement. In the process, Amira uncovers an even darker secret, one that forces her to confront her own past.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
Afifi's staggering and un-put-downable debut offers a fresh and feminist-forward take on cloning. Scientist Amira Valdez was raised in the Children of the New Covenant religious compound, where women and girls were abused and treated as second-class citizens, but she escaped 10 years ago. Amira's new life at the Academy in Greater Westport feels like a dream. Trained as a holomentic reader, "the latest breakthrough in thought-visualizing neuroscience," Amira sets her sights on a placement on one of the Academy's space stations but her dream is dashed when she's instead assigned to the highly controversial Pandora project working with human cloning. Rozene Hull, one of the Pandora project's subjects who herself escaped from a different fundamentalist cult, causes panic when her emotional instability puts her life, and the life of her cloned baby, in danger. As Amira slowly embraces her new position and makes breakthroughs with Rozene, she unearths a shocking conspiracy. The story moves at light speed while still making room for nuanced explorations of religion, morality, and gender, without compromising scientific detail or character development. Amira's emotions are raw and palpable, and readers will be touched by her obvious compassion for her characters. This riveting debut is a must-have for any sci-fi fan.