Thursday, April 24, 2014

Intervention: The Pandora Virus

Intervention: The Pandora Virus by WRR Munro
WRR Monro; 11/3/13
ebook, 340 pages
ASIN: B0081M5F90
The pay’s meagre and job security’s a joke, not good in the comatose economy of 2033.
But he could never have known it'd be life threatening.
Ayden Walker turned his back on a fast tracked academic career to follow in his parents’ footsteps. As a field researcher, he does what he can to protect wilderness areas from the pressures of climate change and 8.5 billion people, and he keeps an eye on the big Pharmas gaming the system to squeeze ever more profits from their latest GM cure-alls.
Then he meets the enigmatic and strangely familiar William Hanford. William tells Ayden the truth about his parents’ genetic research all those years ago, about what they did to William… and to Ayden. And all his life, his parents kept it from him, lied to him.
Struggling to understand and forgive, Ayden digs into the past, but the trail points back to the present, to William and to his biotech company, Genenco. Could Genenco be attempting a breathtakingly bold solution to problems the world has failed to address for decades? Or is it a wildly dangerous experiment, a threat to all of humanity? Should Ayden even try to stop them? Or is the risk justified?
As he peels back the layers of deception, Ayden realises that he’s under surveillance and putting his family at risk. He’s forced into an uneasy alliance with Major Henri Soulandt of Army Military Intelligence, and together they try to discover just how far the forces behind Genenco are prepared to go. Then things get complicated. And deadly.

My Thoughts:

Intervention: The Pandora Virus by WRR Munro is a technothriller sci-fi page turner that is highly recommended for all adrenaline junkies.

In June 2011 Marc and Cate knew they were in trouble if they stayed with Gardener and his biotech company. Cate was the one who realized what was happening: "It is that bad. It’s worse. It’s not chimp, Marc. I can tell you exactly what species we have been experimenting with, and believe me, we’re in the deepest trouble imaginable.” (Location 71)

Marc was sure she was over reacting: “C’mon, Cate. We’re not in physical danger. Gardner may be a bit of a megalomaniac but he’s also a scientist. He’s dedicated himself to medical advancement, to helping people. He’s not a thug. He’s not going to—”
“You’ve no idea what he will or won’t do, nor do I. We had no idea how far he’d take our work.” (Location 231)

It soon became clear that Gardner would go to pretty drastic measures to keep his research secret.

Jumping up to 2033, Ayden Walker is a researcher trying to get data on why bees are not pollinating trees. He is head of field research for the EPA’s Bee Anomaly investigation. His team has just announced that their research is releasing "a preliminary finding, blaming an unidentified bacterium for leaving a waxy deposit on the leg hairs of the bees, which affects the ability of the hairs to collect pollen."

Ayden is anti-GMO. As he explains to a young colleague, he is against commercializing new  genetically modified organisms before they are understood. The EPA only gives them a cursory one-dimensional look at the risks, but not the complexity of interaction. He's frustrated and upset about his discoveries and an attempt by  William Hanford at Genenco, a huge biotech company,  to keep him quiet: “ Someone has released a genetically modified organism into the environment. That organism is causing—has already caused—substantial damage to the ecosystem and many millions of dollars of crop losses, soon to be billions. If your organization is involved, surely you need to think about damage control. Surely, the faster you cooperate, the better it will be for your organization, as well as for agriculture and the environment.” (Location 746)

Then Ayden is told the whole truth of his parents background - and thus his background. The question is really how much will the truth influence him, as well as how far will he go to find out who is releasing the GMO into the environment before life as we know it completely ends. And how far will William at Genenco go to keep Ayden quiet?

This is a thriller with a timely message about GMO and ecological consequences of our current practices. Whether you agree with Monro or not about his conclusions/beliefs, he has written a good thriller that is highly entertaining. I can't say the writing or character development was outstanding, but, with the exception of a few little slowdowns in the plot, Intervention starts out at a fast pace and certainly races along to the end. A perfect airplane book: lots of action and intrigue, with the added bonus that you won't be sobbing aloud during any part of it.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
WRR Monro via Netgalley for review purposes.

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