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Moonkind: Survivors of Ebola

Publisher: Bruce Merchant, MD

Moonkind: Survivors of Ebola by Bruce Merchant, MD, takes place in a near future post-apocalyptic world where a strain of Ebola wipes out all of humanity, save for a group of four scientists stationed on the moon for a multi-year stint that unfortunately turns permanent. Stationed with these four men is the salvation of the human race - a clonal program harvested from the DNA of people who were exceptional, in some way or another.

Thompson is the longest surviving member of the original four man team and once he realizes that he is all that is left and is solely responsible for the molding of the future of humanity, he creates a series of discussions meant to teach the young clones, in addition to the training they receive from Archive Central, the computerized data bank. To protect the program, Clonal Phase I isn't initiated until long after Thompson has died, to be sure that no clone is ever exposed to Q-Strain Ebola. Hence, they are taught solely by the lessons left for them by Thompson, a 90-something year old man, along with Archive Central, a selection of travelogue videos, and their Robomoms and Roboteach.

The male clone names all end is "ix" and the females all end in "ine" with the main male character being Raddix, and the main females being Vantine, his slightly younger housemate and semi-sister, and Davontine, the most flamboyant and sultry female clone. There are other characters such as Montix, Bundix, Geltine and Nandine, but to be honest, they all sort of blended together for me while I was reading, at least until the last 100 pages of the book.

The book chronicles the rise of the Q-Strain and the destruction of humanity, plus the toll it takes on the four-man team on the moon. It then moves on to cover the inception of Clonal Phase I, along with their growth from infants to children to annoying teens and finally to adulthood, where they are to take over management of the moon station and finally, chart a carefully crafted course back to Earth to reestablish humanity's foothold there.

First off, I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic storytelling, whether it be book, movie or TV series. The premise of Ebola wiping out humanity and the struggle to save humankind was interesting to me, but in reading the book, I found it a bit boring and the terminology a little too medically technical. Now, I understand that Dr. Merchant is a physician, scientist and an expert in his field, but looking at the book from a layman's point of view, it may be a bit too technical for the average reader. I say this coming from a background of 15 years of working in the medical malpractice field and having a pretty diverse and substantial vocabulary of medical terminology, so for someone without that background, it may come off as daunting or boring. While I understood much of the terminology used (especially in the early portion of the book), there were some terms that I was unfamiliar with and this could be off-putting to a reader. Further, I found some of the vernacular used by the clones to be a bit dated. Exclamations such as "Ye gods!" or phrases such as "giving him the good eye" or "hot rocks" just seemed a bit dated, and while I got what they were saying, I had never heard them some of them before. Now granted, the character Thompson was a 90+ year old man and, in this near future, people did live well into their 90's and 100's while still working, etc., so perhaps that explains why these teenagers were using phrases that sound like they are from the 50's era, but it was just a bit odd for me.

I found the book to be rather slow until about 100 pages from the end, when several environmental and physical attacks occurred among the tight-knit clonal community, and then the book finally picked up in speed. However, overall, I must admit that I found it tough to get through and typically, I tear through a book in a matter of days. Moonkind: Survivors of Ebola just didn't grab me, personally, but I applaud Dr. Merchant for bringing about a story that was crafted around his own personal and professional expertise.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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