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Living Proof

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  335 Ratings  ·  96 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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Tor Books
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Aug 29, 2012 Harry rated it really liked it
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
Apr 17, 2012 Nora rated it liked it
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
Dec 16, 2011 Amy Lignor rated it really liked it
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
Apr 03, 2012 Shelley rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Nicole rated it it was ok
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.
May 25, 2012 Tez rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2012 Cindy rated it did not like it
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 ...more
May 07, 2012 Vox rated it liked it
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
Chip Joyce
Dec 22, 2011 Chip Joyce rated it it was amazing
"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
Jeff Yoak
May 11, 2012 Jeff Yoak rated it it was amazing
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.

Mar 03, 2012 Deborah rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 18, 2012 Dkattean rated it liked it
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, ...more
Richard Gazala
Mar 02, 2012 Richard Gazala rated it liked it
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
Jul 26, 2016 Francis rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 15, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok
I went in to this book hoping for a good story - the set up sounds great, and I love dystopian-type novels. I wanted to like this book...but I just couldn't look past the blatant agenda of Kira Peikoff. Peikoff is clearly in favor of a woman's right to chose and stem cell research, and I am with her there, but then she juxtaposes science with religion in a way that argues they are incompatible. As a religious person who also supports a woman's right to chose what to do with her body and ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Daphnar rated it liked it
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 ...more
Feb 15, 2013 J rated it it was ok

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
Dec 31, 2011 Trish rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, won
This book is amazing. I loved the plot. A doctor has a degenerative disease which can only be cured with embryonic cells. Which, by the way, is illegal to test with. Then there is the detective sent out to spy to find out if the good doctor is doing bad things, but he ends up falling in love. Then there is the scientist who is in love with the doctor also but cannot tell her because she thinks of him as her father. OMGosh. Great book, stayed up late into the night reading. Definite recommend. ...more
Willard Brickey
Apr 09, 2012 Willard Brickey rated it really liked it
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
Ingrid Morris
Jul 11, 2012 Ingrid Morris rated it did not like it
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.
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!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 26, 2012 Jessi rated it did not like it
Shelves: dystopian, unfinished
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.
Apr 14, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2012 Sue Kelso rated it really liked it
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.
Aya Katz
Feb 12, 2013 Aya Katz rated it really liked it
I posted this review on Amazon:

Aya Katz's Review of Living Proof by Kira Peikoff

William Ritch
Mar 25, 2012 William Ritch rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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
Kah Cherub
read complete review here:

It's the year of 2027 and the line separating the Church and the State is growing very thin.

Dr. Arianna Drake owns a private clinic in Manhattan. A clinic she makes sure never stands out from the others. Why? Because she's doing highly illegal business inside. She buys eggs from donors, fertilizes them and uses the embryos for stem cell research.

She longs to find a cure for many diseases, but especially MS (multiple sclerosis),
Dec 09, 2014 Jenni rated it liked it
Living Proof is set a in a world where the church and the state are closer than ever. In a very religious society the progress made by 2012 in stem cell treatment has all but been forgotten; embryos cannot be used for experimentation or treatment, only their use in procreation is allowed. However even in this world there are those who remember the potential benefits of stem cell treatment, people like Arianna, a fertility doctor with a personal motive to continue the research, no matter what the ...more
Jo Anne B
Apr 12, 2012 Jo Anne B rated it really liked it
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
Shy The WidowMaker
Aug 07, 2012 Shy The WidowMaker rated it really liked it
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
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“Christians rejected the need for proof to support belief in God, yet dismissed proof altogether when it was there.” 7 likes
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