Channeling Cleopatra

Channeling Cleopatra

by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

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One of the most beautiful and powerful women in history. Cleopatra had it all. And now anyone can, too. For a price. Her secrets...her wiles... her way with men-all transplanted from her DNA.

The only problem is no one has found it yet.

The chase is on-and forensic anthropologist Leda Hubbard is leading the pack.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441010219
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: 05/27/2003
Edition description: Rissue
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 4.32(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)

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Channeling Cleopatra 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
plappen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been discovered that within the human DNA strands of every person is a mechanism that is constantly re-encoding. At the moment of death, a person¿s character, personality and memories are recorded in a helix. It is little more than an interesting scientific discovery until a method is developed to download those recordings into human hosts. Suddenly grave robbery is a major growth industry.Leda Hubbard is happy in the dull world of forensic anthropology. One day, Gabriella, her old college roommate, recruits her to search for the remains of Cleopatra, on behalf of a corporation called Nucore. A rich client named Gretchen Wolfe fears that her husband, Wilhelm, is developing an eye for other women. Who better than Cleopatra to keep him interested?Leda brings along Duke, her father and an ex-cop, along to Alexandria, Egypt, as head of security on the dig, and to watch her back. It turns out that other people are looking for Cleopatra, including Gabriella, but with more sinister intentions. Meantime, a powerful, amoral industrialist named Rasmussen isn¿t looking to ¿receive¿ anyone; he wants to put himself into several of his subordinates as his own brand of immortality.Leda finds the remains of Cleopatra. Gretchen downloads what she thinks is Cleopatra, but is actually Duke, Leda¿s father. He is later found dead. After some initial difficulties, the two get along with each other. To Duke, Gretchen doesn¿t need Cleopatra to keep her husband interested as much as she needs some well-fitting leather clothing.This one is a gem. The initial premise is excellent, the story is interesting, well done and a good piece of writing from start to finish.
rocalisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leda Hubbard is an ex-Navy forensic anthropologist and amateur Egyptologist in the near future. When she catches up with friends from her university days, she finds herself caught up in a clandestine search for the remains of Cleopatra VII. Chime and Tsering are now "blended", their consciousnesses joined inside Tsering's body since Chime's death. Together, they are now Chimera, and want Leda to be their sponsor, Nucore's agent at a dig in Alexandria in the hope DNA from Cleopatra might be found. The Nucore CEO's wife, Gretchen, wants to be blended with the ancient queen to save her failing marriage. Knowing she'll be essentially on her own in what is a fundamentalist Muslim country, Leda enlists her ex-cop father's help for security and sents off with a heavy collection of state-of-the-art equipment. She soon makes good friends with Dr Gabriella Faruk, who knows about the secret of blending and lives locally in Alexandria. It is once Leda discovers one of Cleopatra's canopic jars that things begin to go awry. And more and more awry. I was hoping to find time to reread this with the Beyond Reality group and once I read the first comments there - essentially that the book was implausible - I was determined to do so and see what I thought on a second reading. I have to agree. The basic idea is hugely implausible. In the first chapter the reader is asked to swallow first the idea that memory is stored at a cellular level and blending two people together is possible. From there, that it is supposed to be perfectly reasonable to go to a foreign country and recover DNA from one of its most famous (and very, very dead) citizens for this blending process. All this behind the back of the sponsoring company's CEO (who is also a personal friend) to let his wife blend with Cleopatra, not for any historical or altruistic motive, but to find out how to seduce her own husband. All in the first chapter. But, if you get past that and just accept it as the backstory for the book, this is an entertaining tale. There are places where the language felt a bit clunky but once Cleopatra has been found, the plot really gets going and smooths itself out. Leda is actually a little bland, although I still liked her. Her father, Duke, on the other hand, is a delight from the first moment we meet him. A man with a passion for motorcycles and wives (he's up to number five), he livens up each page he appears on. His interactions with Gretchen, later in the book are wonderful fun. Gabriella is under-explored I feel, especially given her importance to the story. We only meet Cleopatra herself briefly, and I look forward to seeing more of her in the sequel (now in hardcover). If one is to think seriously about a number of the ethical issues raised in this novel (something speculative fiction is supposed to do), there are some disturbing ideas raised. From the ethics of essentially raising someone from the dead (millenia dead even) to that of helping ones self to DNA from another country's historical figures or letting blending be for the very rich, it's all shaky ground. These issues are not really considered (except perhaps by Chimera); this is a light-hearted adventure tale with futuristic trappings rather than the reverse. As such, it works very well. Swallow the implausibilities, lean back and enjoy the adventure.
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Omega2 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few books that I keep coming back and reading again and again. Elizabeth Scarborough has shown in this book a remarkable ability to create complex characters and situations.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ever since Leda Hubbard was a young girl, she wanted to be an Egyptologist and join an important dig there. She enlisted in the navy to obtain her education because she couldn¿t afford to pay for it any other way. By the time she left the military, Leda had a Ph.D. in forensic anthropology. She was adjusting to the idea that she would never fulfill her dram when she receives a mysterious ticket to attend the International Conference of Egyptologists.

At the conference, she meets a friend Chimera who recruits her to work for a corporation who is sponsoring a dig in Egypt. The company, led by Chimera, found a way to incorporate the genetic and cellular memory of a dead person using their DNA, into a living person. In essence, two people would inhabit one body. Leda¿s job is to find out where famous people are buried in Alexandria so the company¿s rich clients can buy the cellular memory of the person they wish to coexist with. For Leda, problems arise when the wrong people want to get their hands on the technology and use it for their own ends.

CHANNELING CLEOPATRA is a bright, sometimes humorous, often dark, but always innovative speculative fiction. The heroine is feisty, bright and sparkling so that readers can¿t help but like her and root for her when she lands in trouble, which is quite frequent. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is always a treat to read but with this novel, she takes readers where nobody has gone before.

Harriet Klausner