What galvanism was to the early 1800s, cloning is some two hundred years later. This was my thought about a third of the way into The Apotheosis. All through the book, I found myself comparing the novel to another I read about the wonders and dangers of scientific advancement: Frankenstein.
The parallels are obvious, really. John Numen, the protagonist of The Apotheosis, is consumed with the desire to push his advances forward, as much for his own personal gain as for the good of humanity. (Victor Frankenstein may not have had altruistic motives, but the view of scientists has changed such that, in a modern rendition, I’m certain he would be assigned one, at least at the beginning.) This consumption does not devour John to the same extent it does Victor, but it does lead to loss and destruction all around him. Both men, through their own ambition, feed their tragedies.
The differences are more subtle and go beyond just the two different forms of science used. John is given more humanity than Victor ever was, and his story goes much deeper than the standard cautionary tale Frankenstein presents. Its framing device isn’t a story within a story: it opens instead with a diary entry featuring John discussing his own death. He is on a small tropical island with a young man and woman, both of whom are unknowing pawns in a great plan he has. Enough hints are dropped that a reader familiar with the genre will soon figure out what the plan is, but before anything concrete is revealed, we travel back in time about forty years to see how it all began.
John Numen, successful scientist, is working on the problem of creating viable clones. From the rhesus monkeys he currently has, he hopes to move on to humans. He isn’t wholly consumed by his work; however, he has enough time and humanity to fall in love with beautiful, intelligent Amira. Unfortunately, Amira is already married, but her discontent in her marriage leads her to return John’s affections. When tragedy strikes, John turns to cloning as a solution, only for it to backfire, leading to his Frankenstein-style spiral.< To call The Apotheosis a modern Frankenstein is only partially accurate. While there are many parallels between the two books, The Apotheosis is a wholly modern creation, revealing new hopes and new fears for our rapidly changing world. Many fans of science fiction will find it a fascinating and thought-provoking tale, just as I did.
|Progressive Rising Phoenix Press LLC
|Buy this Book
|Science Fiction & Fantasy