Subjects: experiments, scientists, islands, mystery
Setting: On an island in the south Pacific, called Skin Island, near Guam
POV/Tense: 3rd person POV: Sophie, Jim, and Lux
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 360 pgs.
Publisher: Penguin: Razorbill
Summary/ product description: “On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.
On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.
Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives--and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus's dangerous research.
Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.”
My Review: This book, Vitro, take place at the same time as or a few days before the event of Origin, but on an island in the South Pacific rather than the Amazon Rainforest. It’s yet another unique sci-fi story that deals with the morality of science. It’s not about cloning like I first thought. It’s about in-vitro fertilization and a chip that can control these Vitros. The chips cause them to imprint on the first person they see when they are born/awaken.
Sophie came to Skin Island (a fictional island near Guam) because of an email sent by her mother. She’s taken there by Jim, a childhood friend who’s now a pilot and flies tourists. What’s happening on Skin Island is not what Sophie first believed. She see Lux, her secret twin who’s a Vitro. And she is mistaken for her. Jim thinks Lux is Sophie and rescues her and thing keep getting worse, more crazy and complicated.
This book is actually kind of fun too. It’s funny and light, though the horrible science it deals with is not. There’s romance and humor, and a lot of science. It definitely keeps in tone with Origin, but it’s written in 3rd person POV, rotating between Sophie, Jim and Lux. Origin was 1st person POV, and only Pia. The only character that is in both books is Strauss. Victoria Strauss is a nasty lady who’s a big part of Corpus, a scientific research organization with projects all over the world. She cares more about profit than anything and inherited the job from her father. She’s seems like Divergent’s Jeanine from Erudite.
I’d recommend this book to fans of Unremembered, Maximum Ride, Altered by Jennifer Rush, The Rules by Stacy Kade and other books with genetic engineering and mad science. Also, if you like tropical island settings like in Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse, or Catching Fire, then you’ll love this.
Cover Art Review: I love the cover. The test tube with the island is a very cool illustration. Almost minimal.
Here's the paperback cover. Not as cool.