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Friday, September 25, 2009

Chop Shop by Tim Downs

Nick Polchak, the Bug Man is back with his second adventure. After being suspended from teaching at NC State again, he goes on the entomology trail again and gets caught up in another investigation with a local forensic coroner.
This time the investigation has pointed them toward PharmaGen, a genetic company with an interesting mission: to do extensive DNA research to find out exactly what certain people are genetically allergic to or what they genetically lack and fix it-with "borrowed organs". These organs have come from people who "don't deserve to have them". PharmaGen is just doing a service to mankind by killing them.
But don't jump to any conclusions because during the investigation, Nick and his friends don't do the right thing every time either. They do many slightly illegal things throughout the book.
While, we're on this subject, I must say that this is one of the best cast of characters I have ever read in a genetic book. Nick remains the same; he does not achieve perfection in this installment.
There is one foil introduced to Nick's character-an exterminator. What better a foil for someone who is paid to examine bugs than someone who is paid to get rid of them.
While most people wonder why Kathryn was left behind in this book, it really makes a lot of sense. Nick's job took him to another state, not to the exact same place as Shoofly Pie. That would just be downright cheesy.
This is the best genetic book ever written because of its highly original end. After you read it, you have to go back and read it again because you're not sure if Tim really wrote it or not. It's just that original. I can't believe he did it, but I'm glad he did.
This is the kind of originality that belongs on the Christian market. The kind that makes you think. Perfect ends don't make the reader think; imperfect ones do. And there's not a single perfect thing at the end of this book. The public will hate this type of end because of its pure originality, but I'm glad someone finally stood up for originality.
In the end, I'm still not sure which side was right. Tim Downs handles the issue of organ donation very well. I don't really know where I stand on the issue.
But there is one sad thing about this book. After this book, Tim Downs was dropped by Howard Fiction. Afterward, Thomas Nelson picked him up. That's when he wrote Plaguemaker.
I only hope that Tim Downs finds his way back to this type of originality.
5 stars

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