The Immortalist: A Sci-Fi Thriller
Written by: Scott Britz
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Dr. Cricket Rensselaer-Wright, the main character of The Immortalist, is a virologist who has just returned from Africa. She is coming back to the US to take custody of her only child from her ex-husband. Due to an incident in Africa, she has a staggering case of PTSD mixed with a near fatal dose of guilt. Cricket’s stability is an issue from start to finish in the book, it colors how she sees herself, how she reacts to situations and how others perceive her. It is an almost visible monkey on her back. Cricket returns to the research institute her father started and where she grew up. Her ex-husband, also a scientist, lives there with their teenage daughter Emily. Confession time: I was not always sure who had the more adolescent attitude, Cricket or her daughter.
The timing of Cricket’s return is based on her need to have her daughter. To Dr. Charles Gifford, the current director and Jack Niedermann, the VP of Development for Eden Pharmaceuticals, her timing is suspicious. They are ready to unveil the Methuselah Vector, the cure for mortality. The Vector, developed from Cricket’s father’s early work, is the cure all for everything from cancer to aging. Gifford and Niedermann suspect Cricket has returned to demand a share of the profit from the Vector, which will be historically huge. As with all human attempts at conquering death, hubris equals disaster. The Methuselah Vector has a very big flaw that only Cricket sees. Her warnings are written off to her instability or her attempts to extract more money from from the profits. No one believes her until people start dying.
The Immoralist was a good story, not a great one. None of the characters really made me care about them. Cricket’s character was shrill. Her actions towards her daughter set my teeth on edge. For a mother trying to reconcile with a daughter, she did everything wrong even when others tried to help. Emily’s was a brat. Gifford was actually stupid for a genius or maybe it was arrogance and not stupidity. Niedermann was a recycled villain. He sneered. He postured. His dialogue was taken from the Villain’s Handbook on Intimidation. The conclusion really dragged out. It was “how many different ways can Cricket be in danger” in the last section of the book.
Cassandra Campbell did a nice job narrating the book. Her volume was consistent. In the places where she did have to raise her voice, it was not distorted or loud enough to have to turn down the volume. There was enough shading in her characters to be able to tell them apart. Her accents were good. The production values were good.
I would try another book by Scott Britz. The Immortalist is compared to Coma by Robin Cook. It is a valid comparison. If you loved Coma, you will probably love The Immortalist. If you liked Coma, you will probably feel the same about the Immortalist. I have heard books by Cassandra Campbell and she is excellent. I would recommend the book just based on her performance.
Story (Plot) 3
Production Quality 5
Attention Holding 3
I received a free copy from Audiobook Reviewer in exchange for a free review.