SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1202 Odyssey Gene, by Kfir Luzzatto Book Review |

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Odyssey Gene, by Kfir Luzzatto
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Echelon Press
Published: 2006
Review Posted: 7/30/2008
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Odyssey Gene, by Kfir Luzzatto

Book Review by Sheri Fresonke Harper

Have you read this book?

Kfir Luzzatto's story the Odyssey Gene is based solidly on the knowledge that genetic markers can identify a subgroup of people that are immune to a disease. His premise relates to how that gene could be used if a disease wiped out a large number of people. He asserts a hysterical reaction where testing is used to prevent the subgroup from having children or being allowed to hold key positions in society. The discriminatory practice this society undertakes reminds the reader of Nazi Germany and also actions taken against many minority populations from homosexuals to aborigines.

When main character John finds out he belongs to the "positives" minority group by genetic accident, his world falls to pieces. Luzzatto convincingly portrays many of the likely personal, love, family and work situations and their outcomes. It's at this point that the story comes to life and eventually leads John to a new planet, New Australia to join one of the states, Andania, where the citizens are all members of the minority group.

John meets a friend Sammy when the two find themselves with other arriving emigrants in their new home's army. Several good, believable army action scenes add excitement. The story follows John as he learns about his skills and about his new country. He becomes entrenched in political intrigue that shows that even if a society has a shared history and sense of family that it still is made up of individuals with their own goals and values. It also shows how circumstances can change the beliefs a person has about their strengths and skills.

John's inner journey relates to how he encounters other people's reactions to his new status in society and how he learns to deal with being an outcast. It also explores the question of what makes a good relationship especially in light of genetic problems. John encounters many people he could love, but eventually finds someone that fits him.

Overall, I think this story is very strong as an analogy for life and the difficulties of being a minority. I would have liked a stronger science fiction setting but there's enough sense of being in a futuristic alternate society that I believe many readers will find this a satisfying read.
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