Wednesday, December 12, 2012

EMBRYO by J. A. Schneider

Kindle Edition

Published May 18th 2012 by Amazon Digital Services 
Genre: medical thriller, romantic suspense, science fiction
Rating: 5 stars

In its ambition to treat human infertility and genetic disorders, Madison Hospital Medical Center has pioneered advanced and acclaimed techniques for the early diagnosis and treatment of birth defects and inherited diseases. But in doing so, it may have crossed the line of what is considered ethically legitimate. When in less than twenty four hours, four different OB/GYN patients see their pregnancies and their lives end in an unexpectedly tragic way, a brave and promising intern (Jill Raney) won't stop in front of what is too easily dismissed as isolated and tragic coincidences. In order to find the answers, Jill will put her career and her very life (as well as the name and the life of brilliant resident doctor David Levine) on the line of fire.
I enjoyed it immensely! A very entertaining and well-conceived medical thriller, gripping from the first dramatic scene to the white-knuckle finale.  Driven by interesting and full-drawn characters, as well as a tantalizing pace, and a thought-provoking story-line, this highly suspenseful debut novel by self-published author A. J. Schneider had me on the edge of my seat for the vast majority of its eventful and highly-descriptive chapters. Leading to the momentous final pages, the author breaks up Embryo's pulse-pounding narrative with the pleasant injection of a tenuous romance and sparse, although effective, love scenes. I congratulate the author on her tasteful and wise use of sensual chemistry as a narrative tool to advance plot and character development. The female protagonist initially lacks the cool detachment that usually characterizes the spunky heroines from many a suspense novel, but she is sheer determination in doc scrubs, and despite her emotional outbreaks and show of vulnerability in front of the tragic outcome of some ER situations, she comes through as an endearing character capable of beating a system that would like to cover up its wrongs and seal her mouth. Meticulously researched and solidly rooted in human biology, Schneider's use of  medical terminology (especially obstetrics and genetics) is robust but not overwhelming, quite interesting rather. It enhances the realistic effect with the use of accurate medical facts and procedures that are certainly  not unfamiliar among the fans of this genre, and not beyond whomever retains memory of the basics of human genetics or has experienced pregnancies and maternity.
A fearless and vulnerable heroine, a charming and protective hero, an ambitious and controversial fertility expert, acclaimed for his pioneering work in human reproduction,  an imposing medical institution renown for its researches and breakthroughs in prenatal diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders, an ethical debate, a malignant genius, and a final plot twist that you won't take for granted, Embryo has it all. For me it was a skillful and intelligent concoction of  suspense and science fiction, an absolute page-turner. My only minor complaint, if any, is that the novel could have used an epilogue: the closure, although not rushed and actually well built in terms of suspense and climactic resolution, needed to deflate in some sort of tension relief, maybe even with a shift of focus on the romantic involvement between our lead characters.  All in all, yet another pleasant surprise from the usually underestimated world of indie authors.

*Review based on a complimentary e-copy provided by the author in return of an unbiased opinion.

To know more about J. A. Schneider, please visit her on
Barnes & Noble

No comments:

Post a Comment