Gargoyles

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"With the recent completion of the human genome project, speculation on future genetic research has run wild. Most people fear what might happen once humans have the ability to create perfect children. What will it mean when the human race no longer has to deal with natural imperfections - when science can be used to eradicate disability, disease, unique features, asymmetrical faces? But little attention has been given to the other possibility of such research: what will happen now that the human race may have the ability to create perfectly
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2001 Hardcover New in new dust jacket. First Edition. Forge Books, New York 2001 FIRST EDITION, First Printing, New Hardcover with dust jacket (not price-clipped), Review Copy ... with Publisher's Promotional Sheet, a fine unread copy-ss All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day. Read more Show Less

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Gargoyles

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Overview

"With the recent completion of the human genome project, speculation on future genetic research has run wild. Most people fear what might happen once humans have the ability to create perfect children. What will it mean when the human race no longer has to deal with natural imperfections - when science can be used to eradicate disability, disease, unique features, asymmetrical faces? But little attention has been given to the other possibility of such research: what will happen now that the human race may have the ability to create perfectly imperfect children? The research industry - and the human race - may never be the same." "Brilliant pre-med student Amoreena Daniels needs money. Desperately. Her mother is dying of metastatic cancer, and the medical insurance has run out. When told of a new cancer study that offers some measure of hope for patients in her mother's condition, Amoreena is thrilled - until she realizes that the treatment will cost $30,000. When a seemingly legitimate women's clinic offers Amoreena $50,000 for service as a surrogate mother, Amoreena thinks her prayers have been answered. But then - much too early - her baby begins to move." The strange dreams, another surrogate's mysterious death, and a drug-addicted former medical intern confirm Amoreena's worst suspicion: there is something terribly wrong with her pregnancy. Amoreena embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind the endless battery of genetic tests, sonograms, and frightened patients, only to discover that she has unwittingly become a pawn in a high-stakes game of biomedical experimentation.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
...a gripping , thought-provoking tale of mounting distrust, betrayal, brutality, and greed....
Publishers Weekly
Navigating the turbulent waters of genetic manipulation, this first novel tells a grisly what-if tale, speculating about the possible outcome of human gene research gone bad. Amoreena Daniels, a young Julia Roberts look-alike, is a bright but impoverished premed student who chooses to become a surrogate mother in order to pay for her uninsured mother's cancer treatment. She believes she is gestating a child for private adoption, but a series of suspicious incidents at the clinic lead her to wonder whether something different is in the works. The other surrogate mothers seem to be mostly illegal aliens, and some of them are badly frightened. Then a former medical intern with a drug problem gets in touch with her and tries to convince her that the clinic is fronting a scheme to produce subhuman clones for organ harvesting and scientific experimentation. Amoreena refuses to believe him, but a disk he sends her after he mysteriously disappears proves he is right. Unwittingly, she has allowed her body to be used as an incubator for "drones," mostly human but also part pig and part baboon. The novel culminates in a long episode set in Guatemala, where Amoreena is taken against her will to give birth. Nayes doesn't indulge in gory detail, focusing instead on the clinic intrigue and a Guatemala subplot involving two young crusaders out to foil the clinic's plans. The frisson the novel supplies is meager when weighed against the wordy buildup, but those who prefer their thrills mild may be satisfied. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Slickly suspenseful debut medical thriller finds nasty variations of Rosemary's Baby romping about the heavily guarded interiors of a global biotechnology firm. Amoreena Daniels, named by her mother Geneva after the heroine of an early Elton John song, is a poor, proud, brilliant, and beautiful pre-med student working hard to qualify for a scholarship when she learns that cancer-ridden Geneva used the money for her medical insurance to help pay for Amoreena's education. Geneva is about to be tossed out of her hospital bed when, quicker than you can say too-good-to-be-true, Amoreena is offered $50,000 by the innocuously named Women's Clinic to be a surrogate parent. While Amoreena is getting artificially inseminated, a poor, proud, uneducated Guatemalan girl named Gabriella is trying to escape from the horrible people in a horrible high-tech lab hidden in the jungle. These people are most interested in the horrible thing that is growing too fast and too painfully in her womb and, a few pages later, in Amoreena's. The staff of the Women's Clinic tell Amoreena that the unsettlingly rapid movements she feels are nothing to worry about, but with her background in medicine and the strange warnings she's getting from poor women she doesn't know, she begins to worry. When a medical intern who tries to warn her winds up dead, Amoreena finds herself being hounded by all kinds of weird characters bent on stopping her from finding out that something not quite human is forming inside her. Nayes, himself an M.D., makes his blindly trusting female characters both victims and villains in this well-executed if predictable tale of medical research run amok. Some loose ends are left dangling, but the mixof breezy science and lab-smock sadism makes for breathless page-turning.
From the Publisher
"Gargoyles is a heart-stopping page turner that kept me on the edge of my seat. Alan Nayes combines his expertise and slick writing to brilliantly bring to life the all-too-real possibilities of genetic engineering in the wrong hands. Gargoyles is a frighteningly good read!"-April Christofferson, author of Buffalo Medicine

"A splendid debut. A timely tale, steadily accelerating suspense . . . and a warning."—Charles Wilson, USA Today best-selling author of Deep Sleep and Extinct on Gargoyles

"The idea behind this story is first rate. Dr. Nayes shows the dark side of genetic engineering run amok, in a nightmarish biotech scenario. . . . Gargoyles is an audacious beginning for a bold new writer of medical thrillers."—David M. Shobin, New York Times bestselling author of The Provider

"Slickly suspenseful . . . The mix of breezy science and lab-smock sadism makes for breathless page-turning."—Kirkus Reviews on Gargoyles

"[A] gripping, thought-provoking tale of mounting distrust, betrayal, brutality, and greed."—Booklist on Gargoyles

bestselling author of Buffalo Medicine - April Christofferson
A heart-stopping page turner...brilliantly brings to life the all-too-real possibilities of genetic engineering in the wrong hands....A frighteningly good read!
USA Today bestselling author of Deep Sleep and Extinct - Charles Wilson
A splendid debut. A timely tale, steadily accelerating suspense . . . and a warning.
New York Times bestselling author of The Provider - David M. Shobin
First rate. An audacious beginning for a bold new writer.
Booklist
[A] gripping, thought provoking tale of mounting distrust, betrayal, brutality, and greed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765300102
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/3/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Nayes was born in Houston and grew up on the Texas gulf coast. After attending medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, he moved to Southern California where he divides his time and energies between medicine and writing. The author of five screenplays and the critically-acclaimed biomedical thriller, Gargoyles, he holds a U.S. Patent and trademark.

An avid outdoorsman and fitness enthusiast, he is one of only a few individuals to ever swim across Wisconsin's chilly Lake Winnebago. When not working on his next project, he enjoys relaxing and fishing at the family vacation home in Wisconsin.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Somewhere near Itzimte Ruins, Guatemala, rainy season

She turned her first trick four months shy of her thirteenth birthday. Patricio had been a small man, only a boy really, being just two years older than she. His father had been a teniente in the security police that patrolled Mexico City, and he'd paid sixty pesos for Gabriella's services. Gabriella wasn't her real name then, but it was the name she'd used while plying her trade, and it was how she was currently registered at Las Canas.

Now, three years later, the teenage girl with the truculent almond eyes sat huddled under a gnarled tree limb, seeking refuge from the tropical shower. Her skin glistened moist from sweat and precipitation, and she could smell her own fear above the pungent odor of the earth.

Gabriella stroked one have across her gravid abdomen, then quickly climbed from the security and cover of the lush vegetation to resume her flight alone the muddy carretera that would eventually lead her to San Andres. Nightfall was fast approaching. She pressed onward, prodding herself another half kilometer, though her feet and thighs cried out for rest. Surrounded by miles of unfettered jungle that comprised the Guatemalan lowland rain forests, she longed for a shortcut. There was none. And carved out of this most intimidating habitat in all of Central America had been Las Canas.

Wump. Wump. Wump. Wump. Los helicoperos. The choppers.

"Mi bebé!" My baby. Gabriella dashed back under the gloomy cover of the rain-forest canopy. She would rather risk an encounter with el tigre or even Desmodus rotundus, the loathsome bloodsucking vampire bat.

Wump. Wump. Wump. Anything but the choppers. She could never return to Las Canas. Never.

Gabriella clutched desperately at her stomach. It heaved with each laborious breath. She couldn't maintain this frenetic pace, it was impossible. She forced herself to think through the tears, through the pain. She might still stand a chance if she could thwart their initial assault.

Wump. Wump. Wump. Wump.

"Que mierda,"Gabriella cried out.

Her hands protected her eyes as she stumbled farther through the thick underbrush. Thorns ripped at her skin, and vines threatened to ensnare her ankles as if they possessed wills of their own.

She tripped, stumbling forward. Terror gripped her like a giant anaconda. Her breaths catapulted from her convulsing chest in short gasps.

Oh Dios, por favor, she prayed. Please, God. If she could just make it to the Itzimté Ruins before dark.

High above her head, the canopy of epiphytes, vines, and towering ferns gyrated into a living tempest. The powerful downdraft from the Sikorsky's blades created a whirlwind of flying debris.

Gabriella threw herself on the forest floor, cowering under the onslaught of tangled vegetation.

Wump. Wump. Wump. Wump.

"No!" she cried. "No!"

With nothing to cling to but remnants of past dreams, Gabriella began to pray. She prayed for herself. She prayed for Las Canas. But mostly she prayed for the bebés.

The men from the platación de azúcan were coming.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2011

    An Excellent Read!

    Amoreena Daniels is a top-of-the-class pre-med student and she¿s helping her mother fight a losing battle with cancer. On top of everything else her mother lets her health insurance lapse and now she¿s not covered for any of the expensive treatment for her cancer. What is a daughter to do? Well, Amoreena finds out about a surrogacy program and, after much thinking, signs a contract. Then finds out things aren¿t all what they seem to be.

    This book was an easy read for me. It flowed smoothly, the characters were well-fleshed and the story progressed in a timely manner without excess description. I had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to know what the heck was going on, so I was compelled to keep turning the pages. Alan Nayes dropped breadcrumbs to the mystery in well-timed proportions. In other words, before I got too frustrated in the unraveling and peeked ahead. A fine balancing act!

    The only problem I had was that Amoreena was an excellent pre-med student and she kept ignoring not only factual information about pregnancy in general, but her own gut feelings as well. I kept wanting to smack her upside the head, but it was only an occasional urge, so I was able, for the most part, to ignore it.

    All-in-all a most excellent read! I definitely look forward to reading more books by Alan Nayes.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    well-written medical research thriller

    Amoreena Daniels is a brilliant pre-med student needing a scholarship to attend med school so she works extraordinarily hard towards that goal. However, her idyllic world collapses when she learns her beloved mother Geneva suffers from cancer. Worse, Geneva used her small available cash to pay for Amoreena's education, leaving her without health insurance and little hope for the high cost treatment that might save her life. <P>However, to the rescue is Meechum Corporation¿s Women¿s Clinic who pays Amoreena fifty grand to serve as a surrogate mother. Soon her saviors come under suspicion for illegal medical practices by the once naive Amoreena. Whatever is inside her womb is growing at a humanly impossible rate and feels like it is ripping her up. When she complains, the clinic staff insists nothing is wrong and this is normal. Amoreena rejects the explanations even as she begins to receive weird warnings from female strangers. She vows to learn the truth not yet knowing how dangerous that endeavor is. <P> GARGOYLES is a well-written medical research thriller that, though it adds nothing new to the genre, will excite readers. The story line is loaded with action as even a person with Amoreena¿s background is caught up in the questionable activities of Meechum, leaving the audience to wonder about the average individual who gives God-like trust to the profession. There will be no naysayers to Alan Nayes¿ strong look at the ethics of modern day genetics claiming the betterment of humanity justifies the means. <P>Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Great sci fi book!...I could not put it down! Written so that you actually believe it could happen! Great book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    Don't miss this!

    This book is fast paced, you won't want to put it down! Many twists and turns to keep you guessing. Not the normal "cookie cutter" writer. It's engaging as well as makes you wonder what if....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Great Story!

    Suspenseful. A good read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Good thriller

    A little to much discription at the beginning, but that was only a few pages, i would highly recommend it to anyone who likes medical thrillers, or just plain thrillers ,so i gave it 5 stars

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2006

    Great Biomed thriller

    Fast paced thriller with topical and ethical dimensions. The book entertained while raising the subject of exploitation of women of the 3rd world, who commands medical care and at what cost. Great read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Good read

    White knuckle, edge of your seat, OMG, what will happen next kind of book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    highly recommended

    a fast read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Medical triller

    Good read
    Did not want to put it down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Decent medical thriller that is pretty darn belivable. Story has

    Decent medical thriller that is pretty darn belivable. Story has a good pace to it and decent characters and lots of action. If you enjoy Robin Cook, then this book is right up your alley. Pretty good way to spend an afternoon in the sun and can not wait for the next installment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Decent free read

    The book has a interesting storyline and is fairly well written; however somethings are extremely drawn out. There is quite a lot of details put into things that are irrelevant to the story, a lot of "filler". I would recommend it to anyone who has time for 800+ pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Could not finish

    I found the story line completely absurd, the main character made "victim" choices, and allowed herself to be manipulated. absolute dreck. will not buy another book by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

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    Posted October 19, 2012

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