This is a beautifully written futuristic YA that brings up the whole question: What would you do to achieve immortality? How far would you go?
Pia is an immortal seventeen year old. She's sheltered from the rest of the world somewhere deep in the Amazon rain forest. I almost sense that the scientists there consider her kind of like a pet. She's special and they promise her that she'll become like a god and have her own kind. But she has to wait. During a storm, a hole appears in the electrical fence. Curious, she ventures out and encounters Eio, a very cute native. Emotions swept through her driving her to be around Eio even through the rational part of her warns her against it. She calls this her 'wild' Pia. She knows she should ignore the promptings to continue meeting in secret with Eio but she can't.
I was hooked right at the beginning. Though I have to admit the whole test with the poor bird at first kind of turned me off but then I realized how symbolic it was. Pia lives in a building that is made of glass. Just like the bird she can see outside but she can't escape. Little does she know that that test will lead up to many more harder ones that will test her own humanity.
I love forbidden romances and ORIGIN doesn't disappoint! The chemistry between Eio is intense and magnetic. I believed that she'd feel a sudden overwhelming attraction to this stranger. Eio shows her a whole different world within the jungle. Pia is drawn to this forbidden way of life while struggling to make sense of it all.
I loved how Khoury shows how Pia's so-called perfect world shatters with the revelations that happen around Eio's appearance. Little flaws appear that are hard to ignore. Each one has Pia look at her world in a different way.
Add to that the mystery behind Pia. What is the secret the scientists are hiding from her? And why is she the key to creating a whole new race of immortals?
Pia has to make some very hard choices in order to achieve what she feels is her purpose in life. The scientists around her aren't all the cliche 'mad' scientists. Harriet helps Pia with her own deception when she arrives to Little Cam. All have their own secrets.
There's a lot to love about this futuristic tale that is so much more than just another cloning story. I can tell the author did her research. The jungle setting is lush. Pia goes on her own heroine's journey and the denoucement at the end is very satisfying.
Set in the lush Amazon, this story is guaranteed to have you pondering it's message of the tough costs of immortality with characters you want to stay with. Add a touch of forbidden love. What's not to love?
2. Great chemistry between Pia and Eio which hints at a forbidden romance
3. Great world building