"This remarkable speculative novel explores what it means to be human through a thought-provoking, pacey story of genetic manipulation, and the sacrifice of individuals in the name of science."
Arguably Sebastian Faulks’ finest novel to date (which is really saying something), The Seventh Son is one of the most profoundly human and emotionally engaging works of speculative fiction you could hope to read.
Set in the near future, the novel poses monumental questions around who we are as a species, nature versus nurture, scientific ethics, and what it means to be human. If that wasn’t enough, The Seventh Son also explores that most human of characteristics - love - and abuses of wealth and power. And all this delivered in page-turning style.
When young American academic Talissa needs to fund her postdoctoral research position, she decides to answer a call for surrogate mothers from the Parn Institute. Having been turned down for a position on one of their research programmes, she already knows their work. Though she describes its billionaire founder as “the Buddha of Bullsh*t,” she believes the organisation itself is “straight-up,” with a “sh*t-load of money”, and “proper scientists”. So, she signs up to carry another woman’s baby, to help a couple realise their dream of having a child, while also (purportedly) helping the Institute’s research into the success rate of IVF in relation to genetics.
But, as things turn out, the Parn Institute is actually engaging in experimental IVF treatments that bash the boundaries of ethics. When the child is born, he’s markedly different — a hybrid of human and Neanderthal.
What follows is an intense, characterful account of the personal repercussions of the Institute’s actions – actions that are of sweeping significance to the whole of humanity — to deliver a story that will surely have comparably sweeping impact on readers.
|Modern and Contemporary Fiction