Living Proof
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Living Proof

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  85 reviews
In 2027, destroying an embryo is considered first-degree murder. Fertility clinics still exist, giving hope and new life to thousands of infertile families, but they have to pass rigorous inspections by the United States Department of Embryo Preservation. Fail an inspection, and you will be prosecuted.

Brilliant young doctor Arianna Drake seems to be thriving in the spotlig...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Tor Books
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As I am thoroughly familiar with the works of Ayn Rand (philosophical and fiction-wise), as well as Peikoff's writings on Objectivism I was more than eager to read this debut from Kira Peikoff, the daughter.

Ayn Rand is a tough act to follow: Period. I consider The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged two of the best if not the best novels ever written. Not just from a specific reading pleasure perspective, but the books' life changing aspects. The books engage the mind, fully, in a way no other books...more
Living Proof has an intriguing premise and could have been very good, but was dragged down by a weak story structure. In 2027, fertility clinics have to pass inspections by the US Department of Embryo Preservation; if they are missing any eggs, they can be fined or imprisoned. Trent Rowe is assigned to Arianna Drake’s case when his supervisors note a startling upsurge in her clinic’s popularity. The department is suspicious of Arianna because of her radical background; for this reason, Trent is...more
Amy Lignor
This book of suspense cannot be classified only under that one category. In fact, while the setting of this novel is the year 2027, the author has taken serious cultural debates from our present-day society and blended them into a tale that’s not very fantastical, since we're not far off from bringing this extremely frightening story to life.

In 2027, there is a clinic in New York City operated by Dr. Arianna Drake, Dr. Gavin Ericson, and his wife Emily. This is a fertility clinic that offers the...more
I am vascillating between 1 and 2 stars. I didn't hate the book. I felt like the Author has an agenda. The writing was OK, but I never really cared for any of the characters-very shallow. The story is really about the debate between science vs. religion and specifically focuses on stem cell research and throws in the abortion issue as well. It is obvious the author is pro stem cell research and anti religion. I was disappointed that the characters represented only the far, far left and far far r...more
Disappointing. After reading the blurb, I thought this was going to be a fast paced medical thriller. Instead it was an entire book devoted to the debate over abotion rights and embryonic stem cell research. Religion vs. science.
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This is not a book I would pay for. Premise is interesting – set about 15 years in the future, there is a government ban on stem cell research and a police force to back it up. However, the promise of the premise is never fulfilled. A priest who left the church for love, cliché, is now the zealous head of that police force and trying to atone for leaving the church, cliché. The plucky brave researchers, cliché, defy the ban to save one of their own from MS, ad nauseum. The only interesting point...more
Jeff Yoak
Living Proof is one of the books I've enjoyed most in the last few years. I think the best way to understand it is as a modern and popularly consumable literary novel. It has well-constructed plot and theme. Characterization is pretty tight. Its form should be generally appealing to an American audience, and yet has a shining sense of life extremely rare to find in modern books. It is a fast-moving page-turner that makes you laugh and cry, and leaves you just a little in love with the heroine.

Living Proof is not only a book that will keep your attention and have you staying up half the night. It's also a very important and timely book, due to the ongoing debates on embryonic stem cell research. Living Proof makes the moral case for why this research is desperately needed, and why the government and religious communities have no right to stop it. Not only that, but it also presents the other side of the debate in a fair and accurate way. It gives a picture of what our world could be,...more
Richard Gazala
After reading "Living Proof," it's clear debut author Kira Peikoff has no fear of jumping into controversy. Peikoff's book is a well-written and compelling thriller that boldly examines some of the most contentious medical, legal and philosophical issues confronting us today. Arianna Drake, a brilliant young doctor specializing in infertility treatment, runs a clinic that attracts unwanted and potentially catastrophic scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Embryo Preservation. Trent Rowe, the DEP...more
Mar 18, 2012 Dkattean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dkattean by:
Dr. Arianna Drake, a fertility specialist, is researching a cure for her own debilitating and progressive multiple scleroris using fetal stem cells. The year is 2027 and stem cell research is a felony. Dr. Drake's nemesis appears in the form of Gideon Dopp, Director of the Department of Embryonic Preservation and former Catholic priest. Dopp appoints junior agent Trent to pose as an admiring suitor and woo Dr. Drake into trusting him so she will spill the secrets of her lawbreaking research, ens...more
This story is extraordinarily engaging and compelling. It takes an issue (embryonic stem cell research & treatments) that is often the subject of theoretical political debate, and brings the issue to life with a dramatic plot that expands in detail on the dictatorial government actions that would follow in practice from a formal, legal codification of the principle that life begins at conception. The political system of the year 2027 is a kind of theocratic fascism, in which the events of th...more
Fifteen years from now, in Kira Peikoff's vision, the United States is under siege. Religious conservatives have banned not only stem cell testing, but the destruction of all in vitro embryos. Those embryos, the conservatives believe, are human beings who deserve the opportunity to exist, whether in continued embryonic form or not. Destroying them is akin to murder.

But what if you had a debilitating, life threatening disease, such as multiple sclerosis? What if the only path by which you could b...more
Chip Joyce
"Living Proof" presents a not-to-distant, and believable, world in which Christian fundamentalists have influenced government policy and created a new dark ages in science--specifically with respect to pregnancy and embryonic stem cell research. There are government agencies that subject each pregnant woman to rights-violating control in order to dictate what she does to her body, treating her like a slave because she is carrying a fetus that has more rights than she.

Fertility clinics are subjec...more
An suspenseful book, set in the near future, where not only is abortion illegal, so is taking inadequate care of yourself/baby when you are pregnant, and let's not even get started with genetic research. In fact, our protagonist, a physician at a fertility clinic, is indeed taking "extra" genetic material and supplying it to a lab doing genetic research. But it is ok, as she has MS (an unrealistically extremely fast-acting one that puts her in a wheelchair within 3 months) and the team is helpin...more

This novel -- with fairly shallow characters and an implausible plot -- is a pro-choice screed.

By implausible plot I mean the heroine falls in love with a guy who embodies the opposite of her own beliefs. She's pro-choice, with an illness that may be arrested with stem-cell therapy. He's pro-life.

He neatly drops his religious faith as he falls in love with her. She neatly falls in love with him after he's tracked and documented her transgre...more
Willard Brickey
The protagonist is a victim of multiple sclerosis. It appears that stem cell therapy could save her life.
But the year is 2027. The use of stem cells is illegal, as is any destruction of fertilized human eggs-including, of course, abortion.
This is an excellent first novel. Stylistically, the author is still finding herself. The similes range from truly original to flaccid and cliched. And she is sometimes didactic. But none of that ended up mattering-the story is intelligent in conception and exc...more
Roslyn Ross
Reading a book with heros I could actually (kind of) agree with was like a breath of fresh air, so, four stars. The book is easy to read, well-plotted, well-researched, and intelligent. This is Perikoff's first book and she is only in her mid-twenties, for that, she could well deserve another star.

The conversion of Trent from Catholic to Athiest didn't work for me though--people don't just "see reason" and suddenly change their entire thinking process. It would have been more believable, for me...more
Mar 10, 2012 Ginger added it
Poorly written, stilted dialog. Advance publicity led me to believe that the author was "the next Ayn Rand". Not even close. Her story was less Rand than George Orwell. I could not suspend disbelief to accept that her protagonist would behave in such a reckless manner as to allow herself to become vulnerable to the advances of the "enemy." Saccharin, unbelievable and unsatisfying ending. A total waste of time. NO STARS!!!!!!!!!!
Ingrid Morris
My neighborhood book club won 12 beautiful copies of this book. In the interest of gratitude and adventure we read it. We all found it a quick and easy read, but that was the best we could say about it. The characters were flat, the narrative void of color and the plot dictated by a leftist agenda. We did enjoy an interesting and respectful interview with the author and had a great bookclub discussion.
I had a seriously hard time believing that a woman smart and savvy enough to maintain an illegal science lab in a seriously oppressive society would fall so easily into the hands of an apathetic spy. I was so annoyed with her that I gave up reading despite a niggling interest in knowing the outcome of the story.
This could've been so much better if it hadn't gotten so bogged down about two thirds of the way in... but it's still a decent futuristic thriller that deals with some very relevant contemporary issues.
Sue Kelso
this book totally creeped me out. It was good. But all I could think of is that this is our future if someone like Rick Santorum would ever become president.
Lenore Webb
Dear Hubby and I always end the day by reading a bit to slow down. But it is getting hard to get him to read just a bit! He has a new book on his bedside table. And I know he is enjoying it. But have to say the author Kira Peikoff sure is pretty good on the eyes too! Of course Dear Hubby said he did not even notice. Good cover!

So what is it about Living Proof that has him going? Dear Hubby tells me that Kira writes with the audacity of Heinlein (his all time favorite author) and does it well. Sh...more
William Ritch
Living Proof is a first novel by Kira Peikoff. It is the controversial story about the use of embryonic stem cell research. An SF novel set in the near future, after the federal government has declared embryos as human and made all experimentation on them illegal. In fact all embryos must be preserved in perpetuity - because destroying them is considered murder.

Our heroine is an OB/GYN who runs a fertility clinic in NYC. Periodically state bureaucrats inspect the number of embryos she has prese...more
Jo Anne B
3.5 stars

This was book is very relevant for our time. It was about using embryonic stem cells to cure diseases. Thus, the controversy between science and God was at the center of this story. I liked how this book made you think about this important topic and what our future might be like if certain laws are passed.

The setting is 15 years in the future when abortion and creating embryonic stem cells are illegal. The government is very intrusive on people's lives and has created departments that p...more
Shy The WidowMaker
I have to say I went into this book not really sure what to expect. I was hoping it wasn't going to be too preachy and I was disappointed. Peikoff did a great job of showing both sides of this issue and in such an engaging way. She told an amazing story with characters that I found myself rooting for to come out on top. This book was truly a great read and like nothing I have read lately.

We start this book out by meeting Arianna and learning that she is a fertility doctor. I immediately picked u...more
I received this book from NetGalley and really enjoyed it. It's well written, fast-paced and has a great story. The book is set in the near future, where Christian extremists have created a government agency to monitor all pregnant women and monitor the collection of all embryos. The use of embryos for purposes like stem cell research has been criminalized. Arianna is a doctor suffering from advanced multiple sclerosis, who is racing against time to collect stem cells so she and her friends can...more
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

The idea behind the book is one that I applaud. Going along with that, it's not a story that will bore you, but it might kill you with all the anticipation of certain events. The last 10% of the book had me nearly gouging my eyes out--I just wanted the big showdown to happen already! However, anticipation is what makes the end of a book work for me. So as much as I complain about it, I really can't finish a book without it.
While I enjoyed...more
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No Time to Die Suspense Magazine February 2012

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“Christians rejected the need for proof to support belief in God, yet dismissed proof altogether when it was there.” 6 likes
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