The Genius Gene (Catherine Fox Trilogy 1) by Howard Birnberg [Book Review]

His ideas have potential

This is a disturbing book about gene manipulation and abuse. I bought it because of the blurb and the female protagonist. Unfortunately she is more of victim and for me the real protagonist turns out to be Paul Butler her former teacher who saves her.

The premise of the story is a genius gene discovered by Catherine Fox in an archeological dig where she finds ruins of an ancient civilization advanced beyond its time. She is involved with Stephen Yates an abusive man that is something of a neo-nazi that wants to use the gene on rich peoples’ kids.

The interesting parts for me were about the digs and the archeology. The pacing and the writing unfortunately almost made me stop reading. The rhythm was off for me at least and there was excessive name dropping and irrelevant descriptions that really didn’t move the story along.

It became better as things became tenser and they started to do something about Yates. One redeeming factor is the love story between Catherine and Paul. I am a fan of those but the characters only step out of the pages when they disturb me.

I am afraid this book has some great ideas but lack in pacing and endearing characters. I hope the author continues to hone his skill and write more because his ideas have potential.

Book information

The Genius Gene (Catherine Fox Trilogy 1) by Howard Birnberg – Book Guild (2010) – Bought from Amazon UK

Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci. The names are synonymous with genius; however, is genius nurtured or does nature provide it? In the fictional scientific thriller, The Genius Gene, young geneticist Catherine Fox has the surprising answer. She has discovered a source of genius in our genes. Unfortunately, her former mentor and spurned lover, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, Stephen Yates would do anything to obtain her confidential research. Backed by greedy pharmaceutical companies, Yates has become corrupt and he wants to engineer the genius gene into the unborn children of wealthy parents. The time is the mid-21st century and Stephen has established clinics to design the genome of children according to their parents’ preferences. Catherine calls these offspring ‘Frankenstein children’ and she fears the creation of a master race. Her research may make this possible and she struggles to prevent Yates from learning the workings of the genius gene. Unknown to Catherine, there are other secrets to protect. On the eve of crucial hearings on legalizing Yates’ process, he vanishes and Catherine becomes a suspect in his disappearance.