Thank you so much to DartFrog Books for the review copy of Supplant by Shane M. Toman in exchange for a paid feature and review! All opinions are my own!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Supplant
- Series: N/A
- Author: Shane M. Toman
- Publisher & Release: Dart Frog Books, June 2021
- Length: 292 pgs
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟⚡ yes if it sounds up your alley
Here is the book blurb:
Chicago, 2071: a city divided by corporate and government districting.
Supplantation, the insertion of animal genes into human DNA, was once the most sought-after elective procedure in the nation. However, due to its horrible side effects, it was quickly banned and vilified, relegated to the black markets of the underground.
Now, the city is beset by a serial killer who uses his supplanted genes to commit his crimes, and supplantation is once again thrust to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. Meanwhile, amidst the media and political firestorm, corporations have begun pushing new genetic research, setting off a chain reaction that could threaten the lives of unsuspecting citizens.
Zen, a legal executive for a private security firm, and Mik, an Army veteran turned butcher’s apprentice, must face a hidden world and fight a powerful enemy that will stop at nothing in pursuit of scientific progress.
This is a fast paced, futuristic thriller. I think at it’s heart the book is about government corruption, freedom of speech and control over our bodies. How out of control will things get in another fifty years? “Supplantation” is the insertion of an animal gene into the human body. It was outlawed due to horrible birth defects caused by the process, but remained on the black market. With the presence of a serial killer with poison dart frog genes, the city of Chicago is going crazy and calling for the outright criminalization of supplanted humans, even though most of the supplants are benign. Heck I would love to have the vision of a hawk!
This book portrays a pretty interesting social statement through news segments as well, that reflects how polarized America is right now. An entire group of (mostly harmless) people can be completely condemned, hunted, and marginalized due to the actions of a few. The newscaster was a real piece of work; like so with any liberal news source. I liked the serial killer aspect even though it was never a major plot point, it served to add enough gratuitous violence to polarize the city and also show how deep the government corruption ran.
The characters are a likeable bunch. Mik is a retired Army veteran who was supplanted for military reasons, then spit out by the system. Zen is a strong Chicago born lawyer who gets past an abusive husband and recognizes the wrongness happening in the prison system. The prisoners… honestly I really liked Jose and Sean. Jose could have done anything but he decided to try to be a hero in his own right. There are so many characters but honestly I liked them all, and the switching view points made the book feel very fast-paced. I always harp on multiple view points if the voices aren’t distinct – but these really are. Even without the names I would be able to tell who the chapter was about.
So – fact paced, thriller aspect, a heist, futuristic medical experiments, fun character banter and strong characters, and one of those excellently open endings that let me imagine how things ended for various characters. I’m in! All in all – I would recommend for fans of X-men type medical thrillers, and stories where characters fight corruption. There are fairly graphic references to drugging, rape, a human body part scarecrow, and military flashbacks, so maybe be wary of those things. I enjoyed this one and once again thank the publisher for the review copy!