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**Originally published under the title The Venom of Vipers**

Ryder wants to be more than a lab rat; he wants to be free.
Katie wants him to save the world.
Purists want him dead.

A supervirus threatens to wipe out the human race.

The ...
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**Originally published under the title The Venom of Vipers**

Ryder wants to be more than a lab rat; he wants to be free.
Katie wants him to save the world.
Purists want him dead.

A supervirus threatens to wipe out the human race.

The only hope for the future is a cure hidden inside the human hybrid Ryder Stone. Created in a lab and brutalized, betrayed and hated by humans, Ryder yearns for freedom. On the outside, a group of human genetic purists want him dead.

When Katie Marsh, a brilliant young geneticist, discovers his secret, she must fight to protect Ryder, gain his trust, and convince him to save humanity before the purists destroy them all.
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Editorial Reviews - Readers' Favorite
"K.C. May offers readers a fast paced plot. The plot flows smoothly with never a glitch. ... The characters are likable and well developed. ... This is a fascinating book that will please fans of sci-fi and fantasy." - Midwest Book Review
'The Venom of Vipers' is a unique and intriguing work of science fiction, highly recommended. - Antony Jones
"The Venom of Vipers is insightful, creative and just such an incredible piece of fiction, highly recommended."
Amazon - Grace Krispy
"K. C. May has spun another captivating tale. With this second novel, she once again proves that she knows how to string a story to maintain reader interest. The story flows along cleanly, and the transitions are smooth and do much to carry the reader along. The storyline itself is quite engaging."
Greg at KindleBooksReviewed
"When I started reading K.C. May’s The Venom of Vipers, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The book does not fit neatly into a specific genre. It has a little science fiction, a little mystery, and a little thriller aspects to it. May neatly combines elements of those genres to develop her story that stands out in its own right."
The Venom of Vipers is insightful, creative and just such an incredible piece of fiction, highly recommended.
Leslie Wright Blogcritics
"The Venom of Vipers is a fast paced read with an interesting kick, exciting characters, and a unique story. I really enjoyed the pace and the believability of a future time and place in our possible history. In addition to being a futuristic thriller with a bizarre twist, the book is a great read that will keep you turning the pages and following the characters."
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011901249
  • Publisher: Peach Orchard Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 525,144
  • File size: 412 KB

Meet the Author

K.C. May grew up in the mid-western USA and in Hawaii, and earned a B.A. in Russian from Florida State University. After a year in Taiwan teaching English and studying Mandarin Chinese, she lived in the Arizona desert where she founded a Rottweiler rescue organization, studied karate, went backpacking, tried sky-diving, did some downhill skiing, got a couple motorcycles, wrote software, and spent time on the shooting range. In 2010, she retreated to cooler, greener Georgia. She earns her living as a full-time writer.
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Really very, very good. Even excellent. Here be science!

    I rarely give five stars since I like to save something for "blown away" but this is just about there. The plot and characters have been well described elsewhere and I can't usefully add anything to what has been said. At last there is science in a SciFi book! I don't have the expertise to give an authoritative evaluation of the science but it is consistent with what I know. Read it.


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not particularily well written

    The characters are shallow and we are beaten with motive constantly. You just don't care about the characters. It is a shame because the premise is interesting but the delivery is not expert.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    Loved it!

    This sci-fi thriller was one of the best I have read in a long time. In a dystopian future, the human race is dying out. A new race is created to carry on when humans are gone. The science is believable and the characters are ones you want to know. Nominated for a Hugo Award, and deservedly so! I hope to see more from K.C. May

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A believable near-future science fiction thriller

    In this near-future biotech thriller, a deadly virus threatens to wipe out the human race. To ensure that the legacy of humans thrives, a virus-resistant sub-species of homo sapiens (the sapher) is created. But in order to save humanity, all homo sapiens must learn to live together peacefully. This is a marvelous book by an independent author. Generally when I read science fiction books, especially biotech books, I sit there and groan at the inaccurate science. This is the curse of being a scientist in an age when most sci-fi writers aren't. Venom of Vipers was a glaring exception. Although I paused a few times to deeply think about whether something was possible, I never passed the stage of healthy suspension-of-disbelief. Bravo May! I think it's doubly impressive that May managed to capture individual psychology of her characters to make them real (with a healthy mixture of good and bad in each of the major characters). The exception was the heroine of the story who, when compared to the other characters was not quite as round. However, the only reason I noticed this exception is by contrast with the more developed characters. May also captured the sociological implications of the situation, making the varied responses of people to the saphers right on target. I found myself thinking "yes, this IS what would happen in this situation." Venom of Vipers was imaginative and as realistic as a near-future sci-fi thriller can be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    Great Sci-fi book!!!

    What a fantastic sci-fi thriller from an independent author. Not only was it a good unique story but the writing was good also. I was really impressed by this book. I will definitely be reading K.C.'s other book, The Kinshield Legacy. Great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    Intriguing read!

    Imagine a world where humans have created a new species, a species designed to be the saviors of mankind. In 2023, people are dying of the Moliomyositis at an alarming rate and the entire population will be killed off in short order, unless a cure can be found. Henry Marsh has engineered an entire species, the Homo sapiens heredis, or "saphers," in an effort to find a cure for Molio. His research is on the cutting edge and he may be closer than he thinks, but time is quickly running out...

    The saphers live in a compound that offers them everything they could possibly want or need...except their freedom. Henry's daughter, Katie, grew up amongst these saphers and has developed a special relationship with one in particular, Ryder Stone. After several years away, Katie is back to take on the role of reproductive scientist. None of the sapher women can maintain a pregnancy longer than 7 weeks, and this inability to reproduce threatens their continued existence. As they are being groomed to take over if- or when- humans become extinct, this is quite unacceptable. To complicate matters, there are activists on the outside clamoring for the destruction of the entire sapher species.

    Together, Katie and Ryder work together to discover secrets and betrayals, as well as hope and possibility, as they battle for the continued existence of the sapher people. Can they find a way to guarantee freedom and the continued existence of the species? Is there any hope left for the human species?

    K. C. May has spun another captivating tale. With this second novel, she once again proves that she knows how to string a story to maintain reader interest. The story flows along cleanly, and the transitions are smooth and do much to carry the reader along. The storyline itself is quite engaging. The idea that a virus could be slowly killing off the entire human population is not too out of the realm of possibility, and some of the ideas the author introduces in this tale are quite amazing, yet believable. It was a compelling read that was able to sweep me away.

    The author crafts believable and intriguing characters, and I found myself rooting for some while feeling pity for others. As in her previous title, "The Kinshield Legacy," the characters are complex, without "good or bad," only shades of individuality. Although the character development was good, the conversations between characters didn't ring quite as true to me as the dialogue in the previous novel. This novel takes place in a time period more similar to modern-day time, so the language used by the characters is also quite different. Regardless, to me, the phrasing in the dialogue wasn't as rich and vibrant as I had come to expect based on the previous novel.

    The ending itself was satisfying in terms of giving closure to the story (without giving anything away here!), but was a bit too "tied together" for me. I would have enjoyed a little more ambiguity, leaving room open for more varied predictive interpretation of the immediate and distant future of both species. That is just a personal preference; the actual ending works as it is written.

    Altogether, a compelling and fascinating read. Just as with K. C. May's first novel, I found it really hard to put this book down. Recommended!

    4.5 /5 stars @ MotherLode blog

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    5.0 out of 5 stars Look out! The Venom of Vipers will getcha! :)

    Storyline: Oh, K.C. May! You got me again! Venom of Vipers is a science fiction tale that will grab you and hold you until the very end. 5 well-earned stars, K.C. May! It's the not too distant future and we human folk are down to a very small number due to an outbreak of a fatal disease. Kati Marsh, the daughter of a leading genetic scientist, has spent her life working towards developing a new species of human that will be resistant to this virus. In the process, she and her father's team have created a race of part human, part reptile creatures that could be the key to helping us survive this epic illness. Her friend, Ryder, is the result of these genetic experiments and all he wants is to live free and not be just another lab rat, being subjected to test after test. But, there are people in the world who want nothing more than to destroy him and other saphers like him. Can a middle ground? Can mankind and the newly created saphers help each other survive their own destructions? Grammar/Spelling: I noticed very few grammatical/spelling errors. My usual suggestion is for one more read through by a good beta reader. Character Development: The characters were fully developed and spectacular - as per usual when reading a K.C. May tome. Can I say that I developed a crush on the main character, Ryder, without sounding odd? He's a sapher, but I'm cool with that. Throughout the story were several "firsts" experienced by Ryder and each one was described perfectly. I really felt Ryder's shock of his first time seeing a dog in person, the feeling of the dog's coat and tongue as he was licked by the puppy. Can you imagine never have actually been around a dog? Or a cat? Or, really, any pet ever in your life? Writing Style: It's a sneaky sci-fi book. Somehow, (I guess through "talent" or whatever, pshaw!) Miss May pumps you full of information on diseases, reptilian DNA and various other science related facts without overwhelming or alienating the reader. I bought into every single facet of the story and did not find myself with any questions left unanswered about the various processes and techniques used by the researchers. Continuity: No issues with the continuity. Overall Rating: 5 Look out! Venom of Vipers will getcha and leave you wanting more! K.C. May has created an exceptional sci-fi story that is both relevant and fascinating. I recommend this to anyone and everyone because, as I stated earlier, the science is well-explained, but not overpowering. I hope that this isn't the last of her sci-fi adventures!

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Was Not Disappointed

    In the twenty-first century there is a virus that has no known cure. A virus that no vaccine can prevent. It's a virus that will eventually wipe out mankind if an answer for it can't be found. In an effort to try to save humanity, science, through genetic engineering, created the Homo Sapien Saphers. The Sapher, proving to be immune from this virus becomes the worlds hope to continue on when the sub-species homo sapien sapiens become extinct. But there's one problem and Dr. Katie Marsh returns to the center of her childhood to help find the answer. Ryder Stone is a sapher and a childhood friend of Katie Marsh. Ryder dreams of freedom, of being able to leave the compound that he's been restricted to for most of his life. But current laws and outside hostilities prevent this. There are people who want to see the saphers destroyed. Inside the compound, Ryder isn't safe either. "The Venom of Vipers" was one of those books that once I started reading it, I found it difficult to put down. A virus with a deadman's switch that kills it's host when the virus dies, making a vaccine against it unfeasible. Likeable main characters and despicable villains. Sub-plots interwoven in the main plot, increasing the intrigue. It grabbed my attention and held it till the end. A well written novel. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to reading more of author K.C. May's work.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Don't miss this one. . .

    I loved May's debut novel, Kinshield Legacy (who wouldn't?)and was eager to read her second novel. Although The Vemon of Vipers is a departure in genre from fantasy to sci-fi, it was just as gripping and compelling as the first book. The bio-technology is fascinating and utterly believable, with characters that are unique and engaging (a genetically engineered race--somewhat like a stem cell race of beings). One character faces a challenge and a choice that no person should ever have to make. I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic (pre and post)stories and this story did not disappoint. I read it in one sitting. Highly recommended. I'm waiting for K C to write that sequel to Kinshield Legacy.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    Fantastic! A True Must Read!

    The Venom of Vipers by K.C. May is a futuristic look at the length that humans are willing to go to in order to secure our future. A super virus, Molio, is quickly spreading through the human race and turning the world into a barren wasteland. With the humans quickly dying off, scientists have created a new species by combining human and reptilian DNA in hopes of finding a cure. It soon becomes evident that by the time a cure is found, if one even exists, that the humans time will have run its course and so scientists decide to further the new species so that they may take over once humans become extinct. But as with all scientific experiments, you have some people who agree and others who disagree. The new species, the Sapher, is forced to live within an enclosed facility since humans are having a hard time accepting that they are anything more than lab rats. That is when Dr. Katie Marsh comes into play when she gets a job at the facility as the new reproductive scientist. Her job is to figure out why Sapher women are having such a hard time carrying a baby to term. Until this problem is solved, the outlook for both species looks bleak. Little does Dr. Marsh know at the time, but her childhood friend and Sapher Ryder, just may hold the answer to saving humanity, along with his race as well. K.C. May does an amazing job of setting up the story line and moving it at a pace that keeps the reader intrigued and wanting more. I personally could not put the book down once I started. Just when the reader begins to think that everything has been revealed, new twists come into play which set the hook that much deeper into the reader. Will the Sapher race take their new knowledge and help humanity, or would taking over be more beneficial? The only other thing that I can really say about The Venom of Vipers without giving too much away is to do yourself a favor and get your own copy to read today. Seriously! You won't be sorry! The Venom of Vipers could easily be one of the best books I have read so far this year. I will definitely be getting a paperback copy of this book to add to my bookshelf as I can see myself reading it over and over again.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Venom of Vipers

    The primary characters, Katie (a doctor/researcher) and Ryder (one of the saphers) were likeable. Although Ryder had many faults, his temper being one, this just made him seem more human. The fictional science was a big part of the premise and overall story, but not so far out as to be unbelievable - it seemed very conceivable by extrapolating current scientific knowledge out just a few years. Most important, the story revolved around the characters rather than the science. As with any well-told story, I found myself pulling for the characters I liked and against those I didn't, regardless of if they were Homo sapiens or the sapher sub-species.

    The latter portion of the book turns into to a thriller. This part gets very intense, as you'd hope for a thriller. However, this is also the only part of the book where I had any quibbles. Specifically the head of security was a character that became less and less believable. His motivations and goals were clear; however, his actions seemed less than credible at times. Despite this I found Venom of Vipers an enjoyable and entertaining read.

    **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    Very Addicting

    I am just recently developing an interest in scifi, and I found The Venom of Vipers to be very intriguing. It's the year 2023, and a virus is slowly destroying the human population, with no visible cure in sight. To help figure out a cure, a new race of human-esque people called saphers have been created, who will hopefully help scientists figure out a cure for the virus. Dr. Kate Marsh is one of these scientists, who has come back from college to work with her father on finding a cure. The story centers around Kate, and her long time sapher friend, Ryder Stone.
    Overall, I found this story to be quite good. I thought that May dealt with the problem very realistically, and the moral issues in the story were believable as well. I liked (or liked to hate) all of the main characters, with the exception of Kate. She seemed flat to me, while Ryder was the most interesting of the characters (followed closely by Nelson perhaps). The plot moved along at a good pace, and though I was left with a feel detail oriented questions here and there, overall I really enjoyed this book.

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted January 14, 2013

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    Posted April 26, 2011

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    Posted February 18, 2011

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