This was a really good book – reminded me in a way of Masello’s The Bestiary. The basic premise is that a group of scientists, in the near future, are working on building, from the genetic code, a hybrid animal that will compete in a new feature of the Olympic games, the Arena – these non-human hybrids, one from each country, will fight to the death until only one is standing, and the honor and glory of the best bio-engineering goes to the winner. The game is held in the city of the last winner. The U.S. has been the winner for the past three games, all that has been held. The Games are overseen by a board, and by a board within each country. The U.S. board is pleased that they have been winning, but last time they barely squeaked by. So they decide to bypass the head of the genetic research department, without his knowledge, and ask a computer to design a new animal. What comes out of the mind of the mad genius who built the computer, and the computer’s soft logic programing, is awesome and scary. Terrifying, horrifying, and plausible, it is a stay up all night reading to the end kind of book. Swift paced, not big on characters, but the plot is good, and I thoroughly enjoyed this look into bio-ethics.
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