Sue's Fingerprint by Andrew D. Carlson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When mysterious goo begins turning up all across America the Department of Homeland Security sends veteran Ted Stevens to look into the matter. Ted and a small team of scientists uncover the government's worst fear, an alien life form with the ability to clone itself into any living mammal it comes in contact with. Now, it's a race against the clock as Ted and his team must contain the situation and keep the truth from the public to prevent global panic.
With so many questions still unanswered, the team is suddenly faced with a human clone - Sue. As other clones are rounded up it’s up to Ted to keep them safe until he can figure out where they came from and why they are here. With no memory or knowledge of anything before their transformation, the clones are isolated on an abandoned air base and forbidden any contact with the outside world. They look to Sue to bring them together.
Over the course of time Ted witnesses the love and concern their charges share for one another and his team, demonstrating the humanity within this clone community. Meanwhile government officials fear a sinister alien plot and contemplate how far to take their 'damage control' protocols, leaving Ted and his small band desperate to find the truth.
Faced with a decision to trust in the human spirit or tow the government line, what Ted must do will irrevocably change all their lives. But, ultimately, it will be Sue's fingerprint that decides the fate of the clones, and quite possibly mankind.
This science fiction work is a fantastic story of relationships, trust, and our most universal desire for freedom. It's a story to share with your whole family.
20-year veteran scientist, Andrew Carlson makes his author debut with Sue's Fingerprint, a young adult science fiction containing more warmth and charm than you'll find in most novels in the genre. It’s difficult to believe that this is his first offering because the story flows with a grace that puts many mass-market veterans to shame. Clearly science plays a role in explaining the fiction but the creativity makes it a certain page-turner.
Carlson's ability to build his characters in a way that connects them with the reader is something many accomplished authors find difficult. He clearly establishes Ted and Sue as main characters but deftly introduces a supporting cast of people you probably know from your day to day personal experiences. Carlson avoids common rookie mistakes with plot and character development, keeping the story lines smooth, logical, and easy to follow. The fast pace and concise approach naturally introduces enough suspense to make it nearly impossible to put down.
While it may be billed as a book for young adults, this older adult thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Carlson's maiden voyage with a hope that he'll continue this path, and that someone takes a chance to see what this story would look like on the big or small screen.
Sad to say that I can only give Carlson’s story five stars because it’s one you definitely have to try. It's just in time for the holidays and will make a wonderful family experience.
Tom Clementson (Kindle book Review)