Ethan's Reviews > The Curiosity

The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan
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Apr 26, 2013

it was amazing

Dr. Kate Philo is on an arctic expedition to discover frozen lifeforms. She works for a team of scientists who study cell reanimation. Basically, they have the technology to bring small, frozen lifeforms, mostly krill, back to life. As with all science, the process is not full proof. In fact, the creatures come to life for only a short period of time before dying again, for good. But the young doctor is optimistic at the promises of the project. So much so that she gave up her university position, which she really loved, to take on the expedition full time. One day, the team, sailing under the banner of the Carthage Institute, comes across an unusual find. They come upon a giant "candidate berg" that has the largest carbon signature ever recorded. As they begin digging into the berg, they expect to find some sort of sea creature, probably a seal. But as the divers dig deeper into the ice, they see something poking out that they never expected to find . . . a human hand.

To say journalist Daniel Dixon is ambitious would be an understatement. He has spent his career searching for that one high-profile story to propel him to the top of his field. It is no wonder then that he agreed to be the sole journalist to cover the Carthage Institute. He has seen the reanimation of krill with his own eyes, and was aboard the ship when the team, led by the beautiful Dr. Kate Philo, discovered the frozen remains of a human man. Now the leader of the institute, Dr. Erastus Carthage, has called upon Dixon to be the sole reporter, as the institute, recently renamed the Lazarus Project, attempts to reanimate their largest subject to date. But Daniel Dixon has an ulterior motive. Yes, being the sole reporter for the historic attempt to bring a man back to life will bring his writing international exposure, but Daniel believes there is more to the story than meets the eye. In fact, he is certain that the Lazarus Project is nothing more that an elaborate hoax, meant to bring fortune and political power to its founder.

Dr. Erastus Carthage is not a nice man. As the head of his privately funded institute and as the leading scientist on cell reanimation, he has become accustom to getting his way, no matter what. With the discovery of a frozen human, he prepares himself for the windfall that is sure to come when he brings the man back to life. But he knows this will not be easy. The project has it's fair share of detractors. Many protest the project, claiming that God and only God has the power to revive human life. Carthage is certain of his science and the powerful possibilities that reanimation of human life could present. He is aware of the various thoughts for and against his work and will stop at nothing to see his work through.

In The Curiosity, author Stephen P. Kiernan masterfully blends science, morality, and romance into a stunning novel. Each chapter is told from the perspective of either Dr. Kate Philo, Daniel Dixon, or Dr. Erastus Carthage, allowing the reader to delve deeper into the motivations of each character and their reactions to the actions of the others. Kiernan explores the issue of morality in science and the lengths that people are willing to go to fulfill their ambitions. Despite the exploration of some potentially controversial themes, Kiernan never pushes an agenda upon the reader, opting instead to let the characters and events speak for themselves.

The novel is hard to place within one genre, reading as a kind of cross between At The Mountains Of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, Dan Brown's Deception Point, and Eowyn Ivey's Snow Child. The novel presents a strong romantic thread to it's plot, about halfway through. Fortunately, Kiernan devotes as much effort to building a believable romance as he does in convincing us that reanimation could actually occur. In the end, The Curiosity is a masterful novel, equally entertaining and heartbreaking. It will force you to reevaluate some of your own beliefs while never leading you to a definitive answer. In the end, readers are sure to devour this thought provoking novel and still be thinking about it for weeks to come.
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Reading Progress

April 26, 2013 – Shelved
April 26, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
July 1, 2013 – Started Reading
July 9, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Darth J (new)

Darth J Someone once recommended this title to me as the solution to the problem I was having with a feline.


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