I’ve always been fascinated by viruses (the real medical kind, not the computer kind). I’ve read just about every fiction and non-fiction book I could find on the subject. From Black Death to Smallpox, I love them all. I wanted to be an epidemiologist at one point, but it just never happened. So I settle for reading about deadly outbreaks, either real or imagined. The Eden Factor is sort of about a viral outbreak, but rather than causing disease, the virus causes hosts to become invulnerable to injury or disease. It even causes limb regeneration. Josh McDonald and his nemesis/friend Adam (more of a fake friend, like that person you knew in high school who always thought they were better than you and only talked to you when they wanted something) discover the virus by accident. Adam, a Homeland Security guy, of course wants to use the virus’ powers for evil. Josh wants to use them to win back a girl. Neither character has noble intentions in the beginning and I found myself disliking both of them immensely. Josh teams up with his ex-girlfriend to spread the gift while Adam heads back to Washington to plot his evil plan. Adam becomes more despicable while Josh starts to grow as a human being and a character.

Part medical thriller, part science fiction and part conspiracy theory, The Eden Factor melds several genres into one, proposing a bleak vision of what would happen if we suddenly all developed the ability to live forever. While it may sound wonderful in theory- to be free of disease and injury, to grow back hair, teeth, even entire limbs, to basically be perfect specimens of the human species- Peters shows how quickly society can break down when offered such a “gift,” especially when the government gets involved. The so-called gift quickly becomes more of a curse.

As other reviewers on Amazon have mentioned, the writing style takes a little getting used to. The dialogue is a little different, it kind of reminded me of the way people talk in classic movies. Especially when it came from Josh’s ex-girlfriend Belinda. She had a sweet sort of innocence to her, and her words reflected that. Although it was different, I enjoyed the dialogue, it was a nice change of pace. The plot was very well-constructed, flowed from beginning to end without any gaps, and did a good job of holding my interest. The book had an overall apocalyptic feel to it. Conspiracies, viruses and the end of the world all top my list of favorite subject matter (yeah, I’m a little warped, what can I say?), and The Eden Factor combined all these elements, plus threw in just a tiny bit of romance.

The Eden Factor is available on Amazon for .99

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