The The Immortality Virus was a fast paced science fiction tale set in an alternative reality if the key’s to immortality was found. It is not a dystopian story as much as it takes place in a dystopian future. Thing about what would happen if everyone stopped being able to die, but people kept having babies? Christine Alderman takes us along for her fictional exploration of this very question. Through in a mystery, a wee bit of romance and you have a science fiction novel that even those that are not SF fans will enjoy.
Our protagonist, Grace Harper is a former Chicago cop. She is relatively young, under 150 years, and has already gotten herself blacklisted by The Establishment, basically Corporate America. Because of an “incident” she was no longer able to be a police officer and turned to being a private investigator. The world is in chaos, people are starving, she has to body surf (and not the fun kind involving a wet suit and a great set of waves in Cali or Hawaii) through the crowds to get to the trains. People are living on nutrient bars because there is not enough food to support the populace.
With The Establishment there are different factions, just as we have here in today’s world. Answering that age-old question, as much as things change, they will always stay the same. Occupying this Wall Street is completely different though. When a CEO in The Establishment offers her a job, her own personal secret of being pro-death comes to light. Can she find how The Change came about? Can she help solve a 400 year old problem? Or will she get caught up in corruption, cover up and a brewing war.
The story is a fun read and was had to put down. It kick started me out of a reading slump because it was just what the doctor ordered, something different and interesting. The author developed the characters in a realistic and as I read I could see how each were growing along with their own changing convictions. Even the name Grace is wonderfully chosen. I could picture her, almost like a white hat wearing hero from a western!
I took my time reading this, but not because I was not engaged, but because it was reading so fast. I wanted to think about what I was reading and enjoy my little trip into the future. Hard core Science Fiction buffs may not like some of the softer sides, the more human sides of this story but if you like your science fiction on the side of urban futuristic spice, a dash of mystery, a splash of romance to brood in dark introspection of”what if?” I recommend it. This is not a YA read, there are some moments that are a bit intense and would not want to have to answer questions to my 15-year-old.