Title: The Curiosity
Author: Stephen Kiernan
No. of Pages: 320
Origins: Harper Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 9 July 2013
Bottom Line: Designed to generate plenty of discussion about science, ethics, and modern society
“Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in the ice. Remarkably, the frozen man is brought back to the lab and successfully reanimated. As the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was—is—a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906.
Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah’s new life is slipping away…and all too soon, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.”
Thoughts: Dr. Kate Philo is at the top of her field when she makes the discovery of a lifetime. Yet her discovery sets in motion events that will force her to question everything she believed about her chosen field, her employer, and her own motives. Stephen Kiernan’s The Curiosity explores what happens when science stops being hypothetical and starts involving actual humankind and results in profound consequences for mankind.
Jeremiah Rice is such an enjoyable character. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he slips out of sight, his wonder at his surroundings, his obvious pleasure in the simple beauty of life, and his firm sense of respect and decorum are refreshing and inspiring. His profound grief at everything that he lost is incredibly touching, yet his ability to move forward and adapt to all of the many changes of the past 100 years is amazing. While the science behind the discovery and reanimation process is far-fetched, it takes nothing away from Judge Rice’s character. Even his narrated chapters have an innocence about them that is charming. Readers everywhere could take a page out of Judge Rice’s personal handbook when it comes to manners, personal appearance, and enjoying life.
As any story is bound to be when it discusses the extension of life or the mere idea of bringing back someone from the dead, The Curiosity is as much a social commentary as it is a work of fiction. The ethical implications of the Lazarus Project take crystal-clear shape as Judge Rice reenters the world and faces the barrage of interest, skepticism, and outright hatred. Mr. Kiernan chooses not to answer any of these difficult questions himself but lays out certain arguments and lets readers form their own conclusions, if there any to be had. Because of the ethics angle of the novel, The Curiosity would make for an excellent, if not potentially explosive, book club selection.
Weaknesses abound in The Curiosity; however, its individual weaknesses do not detract from the overall story. In fact, to focus on them only serves to distract from the beauty of the main story, and it is a beautiful story. The simplicity which defines Jeremiah also serves to highlight just how low society has gotten with its prurient interests, uncouthness, and the prevailing media frenzy. While Jeremiah’s reanimation causes ethical debates, it also makes a statement on modern society, one that will resound with readers and generate plenty of discussion.
I really liked this book as well (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=9108), I would have liked to explore historians angle of this issue but I thought it was well written and engaging.
Right. There was a bit too much focus on the love story and not enough on the historical aspect or the science of everything. Oh well. It was definitely entertaining.
I’m so glad that those weaknesses didn’t detract from your enjoyment on the novel overall. It sounds like a book that will really make readers think!
Thanks for being on the tour.
Not at all! The book is definitely very sweet and I still think it would make a fabulous book club selection. So much food for thought!
I wasn’t aware that this was a SF type story. Despite that I still think it sounds like one I might like (I am not too big on SF typically).
The science is definitely more fiction than anything else, so I think you will be okay!
Man does this sound interesting! I’ll be on the looking for it for sure 🙂
Yay! It is different, but it makes you think.
I was hoping the author would also explore the science behind it. I might still like it, it does sound interesting.
Well, the science is still fiction since we cannot bring anyone cryogenically frozen back to life yet. The story focuses on the ethical questions about reanimation more than anything else. I really liked it because of that and am glad Kiernan kept the science to a minimum.
Not on the tour for this one but I do have the galley on my Kindle. It sounds interesting. I think I am most interested in how they pull it all off. When I first read about it, I couldn’t help but think of that horrible Brendan Fraser movie Encino Man. LOL.
No, it isn’t like Encino Man. 😉 I still think the science behind it is very, very weak, but it is the type of novel where you should not let that bother you. Granted, the idea of bringing someone frozen back to life is huge and the entire story revolves around it, but the how is not as important as the ethical implications of doing so. If you like that kind of story, then you are definitely going to enjoy it.
Cool! I won’t let this one rot on my shelves.
I liked it, and it definitely provides plenty of discussion points. I would love to see book clubs pick it.