Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill / Penguin
Release: September 4th 2012
Source: Penguin Canada
Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Chapters Indigo
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.
Vividly Imagined, Compelling and Highly Refreshing!
Wow, where should I start? Jessica Khoury's debut novel impressed me to the core! Origin is unique and marvelous story where science, magic, reason and emotions intertwine to deliver a well-thought-out story with moral and philosophical content.
Origin takes place in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Here, a group of scientists have establish a small community in order to find the flower containing an elixir capable to give immortality. However, only after more than a century after constant research and studies, scientists have finally been able to create the perfect first immortal, Pia. Here in the middle of the Amazon, Pia is isolated from the rest of the world. She has never been taught about other countries or anything that could raise her curiosity and make her want to live the scientific research camp... until on day she is able to make it out of her "cage" and goes into the jungle for the first time and meet with the first boy around her age she has ever seen.
Origin is a thoughtful well thought-out story and I was gladly surprised to have find a great deal of philosophical content on this novel. The fact that Khoury approached immortality in such a thoughtful way is what I love the most about Origin. What if we could get rid of sickness and mortality? what if we could create a raze of perfect and immortals human beings? What is perfection? What would it mean to become like God? Khoury brilliantly approaches all of these questions through the raw emotions of Pia. In addition, Pia is an unforgettable character whose reason keeps forcing her to obey, yet her heart never cease to question her captivity and origin. Pia's emotional side brings many other themes into this novel that wonderfully contrasts the scientific side of the story. Freedom, love, family, lies, and sens of belonging are some of the themes that Origin wonderfully deliver through Pia's life.
There is no doubt that Jessica Khoury is a highly talented writer with a vivid and exclusive imagination. Origin 's setting is marvelous and terrifying at the same time. The presence of the powerful elements and raw and wild rainforest took my breath away countless of times. Also, the amazonian people (the Ai'oans) are the delightful addition to the story that brings magic and mythology that beautifully intertwines with the scientific content.
Origin is a vividly imagined, compelling and highly refreshing debut that provides much more than just entertainment to its readers. Needless to say the Epilogue alone will leave readers staring into space for quiet a while after they turned the last page.
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Visit the author's website at http://www.jessicakhoury.com
Jessica Khoury has a Pinterest Origin board with breathtaking images that perfectly illustrates the world of Origin! Make sure to visit it here!