Darwin's Paradox

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Darwin's Paradox

by Nina Munteanu

Hades Publications | October 30, 2007 | Trade Paperback

Darwin's Paradox is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 5.
A devastating disease. A world on the brink of disaster. One woman can save it or destroy it all. Julie Crane must confront the will of the ambitious virus lurking inside her to fulfill her final destiny as Darwin''s Paradox, the key to the evolution of an entire civilization. Darwin''s Paradox is a novel about a woman''s fierce love and her courageous journey toward forgiveness, trust, and letting go to the tide of her heart.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: October 30, 2007

Publisher: Hades Publications

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 189694468X

ISBN - 13: 9781896944685

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from I wanted to like it even more. I really wanted to love Nina Munteanu's novel, "Darwin's Paradox." Any Canadian sci-fi writer is a okay by me, and Munteanu's novel had much promise. Unfortunately, because of two frustrating choices Munteanu made, that promise was never quite fulfilled. Before I get to the problems with Darwin's Paradox, though, I want to praise Munteanu's plot. I am not a plot guy. In my own writing, plot always takes a backseat to character, so when I read the same thing is my focus; yet, there is something intoxicating about Munteanu's plot in Darwin's Paradox. There is just a hint of Michael Crichton going on in there, and the cinematic aspects of her writing make the middle 160 pages come alive (so much so that I would love to take a crack at adapting her book for the screen). The action is taut, the skills of Munteanu's characters make sense, and there is a very nice balance of tension and action. It is also refreshing to have not one, but four competent women playing important roles in the story (even if some of their names are just a little too overdetermined). But then there are the problems. The first problem is page one to page sixty. They needed to be cut. I can see why Munteanu kept them, but the arguments for are too heavily outweighed by the arguments against. Everything of importance that she covers in that first 60 pages is reiterated later in the book, and she could have easily integrated Aard -- a character of questionable importance -- into flashbacks or expanded discussions between characters. It made the novel very difficult to get into. The second problem is Angel, the daughter of Julie (the most important veemeld/criminal/daughter of a chaos theoretician in the book) and Daniel (street punk/revolutionary/love interest). I never quite bought Angel's inner struggle. Angel is bitter at her mother for Julie's role in the plague level deaths of Icaria's citizens; she's mad at her mother for Julie's murder of some Pols (and shooting one in the testicles); she's mad at her mother for Julie's seeming murder of Aard; then Angel unjustly and unbelievably thinks her Mom is plain evil, and when Angel's own ears clarify who is really the manipulative and nasty force in Icaria, she hangs on to her anger. Now I get that Angel's a twelve year old girl, but this is a twelve year old girl who has been home schooled and indoctrinated by revolutionaries, far away from the uber-cities of Icaria. I simply can't buy that her morality would include venerating police, nor that she would be anything but on the side of her mother. This might not have been so frustrating if Angel was a peripheral, supporting character, but she was too important for her unbelievable ethics to not interfere with the flow of the story. Regardless of the problems, Munteanu's effort is solid and worth a read by anyone who loves sci-fi, particularly of an ecological bent. Darwin's Paradox may not be a literary classic, but with the right screenwriter and director, it could be a big screen one.
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could have been really good This story kinda picks up in the middle, and follows a woman who is in hiding in the wilderness, but then feels she needs to return the city where she is wanted for starting a plague. All of the really interesting parts of the plot are presenting as back story, and isn't really developed. The whole premise of the story, which is Julie Crane's return to the city, and her having to face the consequences for something she was never really responsible for, hinges on her not telling her family why she's leaving, so of course they follow her to find out why and she couldn't see that they would do that, while everyone else in the world can. This leads to them getting caught by the people who are after her, complicating things. Her reasons for not telling them anything is really weak (she wants to protect them) but it's really obvious it would protect them more if they knew what they were up against. It's a common plot device used in soap operas and comes across just as soapy here. She also sets herself up for what was supposed to be a really dramatic scene by making sure she sleeps in the nude while incarcerated, so some guy can take advantage of her, which also comes across as really weak, followed by her coming to like a really creepy ex-mayor for no intelligible reason. The book would have been a lot stronger if there weren't so many convenient coincidences, and the back story wasn't more interesting than the main story.
Date published: 2008-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Frightening in its vision! You'll cheer for this hero like you've never sheered before because what she's fighting is a direction for our future that none of us want. A terrific read, even more than once.
Date published: 2008-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nina delivers more than just a story Imagine a mysterious virus that devastates half a population, while giving certain individuals enhanced mental abilities, allowing them to "psychically" link to a server containing an artificial intelligence that seems to be developing autonomy. What if that virus turned out to be deliberately engineered? What would be the motivations of the designer? What if the virus turned out to be more than it seemed, and had ideas of its own? In "Darwin's Paradox", Nina Munteanu (author of "Collision with Paradise", and "The Cypol") serves up a dually plotted story that's part novel, part philosophical treatise on the nature of mankind and its inexorable evolution, driven by both natural and man-made pressures. Julie Crane, the central character, is a woman with a complicated and violent past, who must deal with the life she left behind to protect the peaceful existence she enjoys with her family now. As the novel opens, the back story and contemporary plot line are unfolded concurrently, until they eventually collide, and Julie is faced with the struggle of her life against unknown political forces in Icaria-5, her previous home, from which she had to flee as an unfairly labeled murderer and deliberate spreader of Darwin's Disease. She's never sure of who her allies or enemies are as she struggles to free herself from old accusations . . . and neither is her innocent, 12 year old daughter, who naively stumbles into her mother's past. Looking for a thinking person's novel? Give "Darwin's Paradox" a try.
Date published: 2008-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Robert J. Sawyer Recommends "An exciting novel...an engaging read...a thrill ride that makes us think and tugs the heart."--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Rollback
Date published: 2007-11-03

– More About This Product –

Darwin's Paradox

by Nina Munteanu

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: October 30, 2007

Publisher: Hades Publications

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 189694468X

ISBN - 13: 9781896944685

About the Book

A devastating disease. A world on the brink of violent change. And one woman who can save it - or destroy it all. Darwin's Paradox is set in Canada's near future Ontario and Quebec. Julie Crane must confront the will of the ambitious virus lurking inside her to fulfill her final destiny as Darwin's Paradox, the key to the evolution of an entire civilization. Darwin's Paradox is a novel about a woman's fierce love and her courageous journey toward forgiveness, trust, and letting go to the tide of her heart.

From the Publisher

A devastating disease. A world on the brink of disaster. One woman can save it or destroy it all. Julie Crane must confront the will of the ambitious virus lurking inside her to fulfill her final destiny as Darwin''s Paradox, the key to the evolution of an entire civilization. Darwin''s Paradox is a novel about a woman''s fierce love and her courageous journey toward forgiveness, trust, and letting go to the tide of her heart.

About the Author

Nina Munteanu is an environmental scientist and internationally published SF writer of short stories and several novels, including "Collision with Paradise" (Liquid Silver Books), nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and "The Cypol" (eXtasy Books), nominated for the Ecata Reviewer''s Choice Award. "Darwin''s Paradox" is set in Canada''s near future Ontario and Quebec.