Bonnie Doran mingles science and faith in her debut novel “Dark Biology.” The author uses biology and astrophysics to create a thriller in the classic vein of Michael Crichton’s “The Andromeda Strain.”
Dr. “Hildi” Hildebrandt left her work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to accept a new position on a team heading into space. She also leaves behind her brother Chet. The competition between them to be the first Dr. Hildebrandt to earn a Nobel Prize has damaged their relationship. Chet had hoped for the space assignment to gain an edge in the race. Hildi won the assignment and a possible boost towards the coveted prize.
The new job carries draw backs. Hildi’s team includes an old fiancé as the pilot. Can she put her past hurt aside and complete the mission in spite of Frank Schotenheimer’s presence? Dan Stockton, her current on-again, off-again love interest, serves on the crew, too. Space travel presents enough complications without issues of the heart.
Hildi’s parents lead marriage seminars. They gained their expertise in the subject by overcoming problems in their own 35-year marriage. If only they could overcome the problems between their children and restore their family.
When Chet decides to exact revenge against his parents, sister and the CDC for their perceived slights toward him, he steals a vial from the lab and plans a strategy to pay them all for his pain. He’ll release an influenza virus and show them all!
Doran takes readers on a thrill packed ride through astronaut training and the space mission. She’s filled her scenes with little details that make a reader feel part of the story rather than an observer. Yet she never loses the story in the details. The characters offer a diverse menu of heroes and villains, both military and civilian. While medicine, space and science figure in the plot, readers won’t need degrees in any of it. Doran spells the story out in ways that any reader can follow.
As her debut adult novel, Doran has woven a story focusing on the importance of faith and forgiveness. The setting may be space, but the theme is strictly Biblical.
“Dark Biology” by Bonnie Doran
Published by Harbourlight Books
Cover art by Nicola Martinez
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the author or publisher with no restrictions as to content. All opinions are my own.
Want to learn more about general religion and faith-based books and events? Click the “Subscribe” link below the photo to stay informed on what’s happening. Your feedback is appreciated – please feel free to leave a comment below.