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Halfskin  By  cover art

Halfskin

By: Tony Bertauski
Narrated by: David W. Dietz III
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Publisher's summary

Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier.

We become better. At what point are we no longer human?

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he's not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It's not called murder, merely deactivation.

Cali Richards has been Nix's legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can't cure insanity.

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls "The Biomite Plague"?

©2013 Tony Bertauski (P)2013 Tony Bertauski

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Halfskin, All Heart

If you could sum up Halfskin in three words, what would they be?

Great sci-fi choice.

Any additional comments?

Disclaimer: I received this audio book through the narrator's call via GoodReads for listeners in exchange for an honest review of the narration. This review will remain spoiler-free -- please read the book blurb and other well-written reviews here at GoodReads if you would like plot summary information.

Honestly, I tend to shy away from sci-fi -- in terms of fantasy/futuristic fiction, I gravitate to dystopian societies, focusing more on future societies and the proverbial "Big Brother" and less on science and technology.

With that understanding, one should never say "never".

In terms of the audio book version of this story, the book is about seven and a half hours long and the narrator, David W Dietz III, performed well. His different voices were clear and identifiable, there was no errant background noise to distract, the pauses and pace was good.

In terms of the story itself... Wow! An interesting proposition for philosophical discussions. A seemingly plausible imaginary (hope it remains that way) scheme for human "evolution". As I listened to the story, I cannot comment on editing needs, but the story line, the three alternating POVs, the pace of reveals, the character development, the passage from reality to illusion and back and from present to past/memory and back again all flowed well.

The only drawback I found was the last 5 minutes, confusing and not seeming necessary for the story. For the most part, opened questions are resolved, the reader knows how and why the "bad" guy won't pursue our brother & sister heros, but the purpose of the final couple pages - relating to real world vs imaginary -- eludes me. Quite possibly, this is the hook for a next book (Clay), though not a cliff hanger, just info that clearly states that this is not truly where the story ends.

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