Author: Jessica Khoury
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. She was raised by a group of scientists who created her, selectively bred her, to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence surrounding the complex and sneaks out of her sterile home for the first time in her life. Free in the jungle, she meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth behind Pia's origin, a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is unique and rather complicated, raising some tough scientific and moral questions. What if man could become immortal? What if man could live forever? If it's possible, then what is life? What is death? What is it to live forever? What do you do if you were created to live forever and you don't want to?
Pia is a unique girl. Very unique. She's strong, she's immortal, she's rather unconventional, but even with all her advanced genetics she's weak and isolated. The scientists build her up as the new age of man but they fail to see the frightened teenage girl in front of them, a girl struggling to live up to the harsh and impossible expectations they set before her. Physically, she's everything they hopes to create, but she's still a human being, and human beings are unpredictable. The only life she's ever known is at odds with a life she accidentally falls into and is extremely intrigued by. What the scientists couldn't do is eliminate her curiosity.
The book raises some heavy scientific and moral questions. How far can science go? Extending a person's life span is possible to a certain extent, but to extend it indefinitely? Is immortality possible? How far is society willing to go to explore this question? Not to mention the moral (is it right to work on discovering the secret to immortality?) implications, there could be some issues from religious groups. Is man meant to live forever? Or it is playing God, becoming God?
In this book, there are those who are immortal, like Pia, and those who wish to live forever. There is a harsh truth hidden in Pia's jungle. Is she brave enough to wander deep into the trees and vines and rivers in order to discover it? Will she be the creation her uncle always hoped she would become? Or will she become something unexpected?
(I purchased a copy of this book.)