Star Split

Star Split

3.3 12
by Kathryn Lasky
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"Lasky provocatively explores the ethics of genetic engineering in this well-plotted novel set in the year 3038. Like everyone she knows, 13-year-old Darci Murlowe is a Genhant, or Genetically Enhanced Human, implanted with a 48th chromosome. But Darci is fascinated by 'Originals,' people whose ancestors could not afford extra genetic material, and she unhappily… See more details below

Overview

"Lasky provocatively explores the ethics of genetic engineering in this well-plotted novel set in the year 3038. Like everyone she knows, 13-year-old Darci Murlowe is a Genhant, or Genetically Enhanced Human, implanted with a 48th chromosome. But Darci is fascinated by 'Originals,' people whose ancestors could not afford extra genetic material, and she unhappily wonders if her DNA, so carefully chosen by her parents, has compromised her ability to determine her own future. These concerns shrink in the face of a shocker - Darci runs into a clone of herself, living evidence that her parents must have committed the capital crime of 'duplication.'" - Publishers Weekly

Author Biography: Kathryn Lasky lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Provocative, well-written, and entertaining...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lasky (Alice Rose & Sam) provocatively explores the ethics of genetic engineering in this well-plotted novel set in the year 3038. Like everyone she knows, 13-year-old Darci Murlowe is a Genhant, or Genetically Enhanced Human, implanted with a 48th chromosome. But Darci is fascinated by "Originals," people whose ancestors could not afford to get extra genetic material, and she unhappily wonders if her DNA, so carefully chosen by her parents, has compromised her ability to determine her own future. These concerns shrink in the face of a shocker--Darci runs into a clone of herself, living evidence that her parents must have committed the capital crime of "duplication." The author maintains taut suspense even as she outlines the technological underpinnings of Darci's futuristic society. There are some weak spots (a hasty resolution, an implausible similarity between the social structure of the fourth millennium and that of today), but on the whole this is gripping fare. An afterword explains that every one of the genetic engineering strategies mentioned in the novel is based on techniques currently available or in developmental stages; thus tipping the balance in her science fiction toward science, Lasky leaves readers with plenty of food for thought. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Genetically enhanced like others of her privileged class, Darci Murlowe, a typical if somewhat lonely teenager in the year 3038, is shocked first, when she accidentally meets her illegal clone, and second, to find that her parents are part of an underground movement to save the genetic future of humanity. Darci is told that she and many others her age are genetic chimeras whose cells hold a secret stash of "Original" DNA, which will prevent "the great fracturing" of humanity into separate genetic species. After being found out, Darci, her clone, and their parents are saved from incineration, the punishment for illegal cloning, by the Primarch, leader of the Bio Union, who sacrifices herself to save them all. Unfortunately, this novel spends far too much time setting things up. The story doesn't begin until halfway through the book and then it hinges on unbelievable coincidences. This far-flung future lacks any futuristic feel and the presence of mundanities such as television, newspapers, and today's slang add to its falseness. The pseudoscience often overwhelms the plot and characters and, while the novel's ultimate message is "we are not our genes," the clones in Darci's world grow up to do exactly what their predecessors did. Sci-fi seekers will be better served by any of Peter Dickinson's offerings in this genre or William Sleator's books.-Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a work of science fiction, Lasky (A Brilliant Streak, 1998, etc.) tackles both the morality of human cloning and the potential for people to cover their tracks through the time-honored tradition of manipulating language. Darci has grown up believing she's a "Genhant," or genetically enhanced human, one of the privileged people in a future society where all babies are to some degree genetically planned. She doesn't understand why she is attracted to the "Originals," people with only minimal genetic alterations, or why she is interested in the meaning of words others take for granted. Through careful plotting, Lasky throws readers some intriguing "ethical" bones to chew on, e.g., when Darci comes face to face with her own clone, are they exactly the same person or is there some intrinsic difference—something like a soul? Can language cover up as well as it can explain? These intellectual tussles will foster discussion, especially since the issues are already part of the public forum. If the story has weaknesses, it is in some of its assumptions, e.g., that hundreds of years into the future, societal structures such as the nuclear family will still exist, when even today it seems to be crumbling. (Fiction. 11-15)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606214568
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2001

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >