Predator / Nomad: A Novel
by Daniel Micko
770 Publishing

"Murders are what happens to human beings. Clones don't matter, but I want you to think of something. Why do they need me?"

Dr. Jordan Roberts is an extraordinarily gifted bioengineer who is highly sought by corporations, crime syndicates, and governments alike. Her exclusive methods can be employed to heal thousands of sick people or to produce obedient clone armies. She is personally only interested in gaining wealth and power while developing her science. One of her first clients is the Saudi royal family. A short-lived love affair with Saleh, the princess, is the catalyst for a decade-long, worldwide chase.

When Saleh discovers Jordan's illegal, unethical activities, she dedicates her life's resources to procuring evidence of her crimes. This leads her to Sean Sorenson, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He has some information that could ruin Jordan and her partners if Selah can build trust with him. Price is a rookie freelance journalist who started with mundane interviews of Jordan but started digging too deep for his own good. His naïve, black and white worldview is shattered when he gets sucked into the ugliness of Jordan's plans despite his best efforts to remain above it all.

Micko artfully presents a complex storyline with fast-paced action and multilayered subplots. There are timeless themes woven into the plot, including duty vs. personal freedom, multiple roles individuals play in their community, and the opportunity cost of accomplishing personal goals. He depicts tension in the relationship between loving a person and disdaining their actions.

The author introduces dynamic characters and develops them through smart, pithy dialogue. It is refreshing for an author to focus on the cast's personalities and demeanors with little detail about their physical traits. They are multidimensional, with some core beliefs that remain entrenched while they otherwise continue to grow and develop. Micko vividly illustrates their inner worlds of thought and emotion.

Most compelling are the examinations of intricate ethical questions that are also being surfaced in our current time. For example, is cloning humans ethical and humane? For what purpose should humans be cloned? Is killing clones murder? Who decides the answers to these ethical questions? The author doesn't spoon-feed the audience an answer. Instead, he presents a myriad of characters who each have a distinct point of view or experience. The only guide is the raw realism in the emotional reactions of the characters.

Micko is an accomplished author currently living in the San Francisco area. He is a unique creative writer who introduces fascinating subjects and then exposes all the facets with an unflinching lens. His strength as a writer is balancing this with authentic sensitivity. In an interview, Micko explained that good notes are essential to his process. He conducted extensive research in developing the narrative for this novel, and it shows.

The plot twists and captivating characters of this novel will keep the readers enticed. It is skillfully written with well-developed storylines full of intrigue. Fans of science fiction and audiences that enjoy a good thriller will not be disappointed with this offering. In fact, it is highly likely that they will anxiously wait for Micko's next stroke of genius.

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