What Young Adult book blends fascination with heavy themes—a piece of sci-fi that was written to not simply awe us, but also make us think? Enter Jon McGoran’s Spliced trilogy.
McGoran is an acclaimed author of the ecological thrillers Drift, Deadout, and Dust Up, as well as a forensic thriller series Body Trace, Blood Poison, and Freezer Burn. Beyond writing, he cohosts The Liars Club Oddcast, where he talks about writing, interviews authors, and more.
The premise of the Spliced trilogy is this: humans have developed a way to splice our own DNA with animals, creating people referred to as Chimeras, named after the female creature from Greek mythos. With this new group of human identity comes controversy. Some actively fight for their rights in society, but others out of prejudice want them to be treated as less than human.
The protagonist, the teenaged Jimi Corcoran, finds herself in the middle of this conflict for rights that starts as a pursuit for peace but is gradually uncovered as something much more sinister. Specifically, she is framed for bombing a peaceful meeting of pro- and anti-chimera rights activists.
Nothing short of the future of humanity is at stake and both sides, with Jimi amidst them, must either come to an agreement or suffer the consequences. Even beyond this, McGoran explores in the series “weighty questions about genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence, population control—and when, if ever, revolution is worth a life.”
All these questions, of course, aren’t ones confined to the near future were the series is set, nor are they confined to a conflict between Chimeras and the rest of humanity. This science fiction holds up a mirror in the fantastical future that reflects our own current and very real issues.
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Book synopsis derived from JonMcgoran.com
Featured Image by Kayla Dunham-Torres (Book Cover via Amazon)