Randy Macklin woke up in Malaysia with no memory of the last four months of his life. His wife has died in a car wreck and his daughter is in a coma after a poisonous snake bite. Randy is currently living with his friend and business partner Young Nae, together they had been working on a way to use genetics to make people look younger, but their work has not been approved by the FDA and their project is now on hold.
To get his memory back Randy visits psychiatrist Sanantha Mauwad to fill in the missing memories of the last four months. Sanantha and Randy discover that there is more to this situation then meets the eye and not everyone is who they appear to be. There are conflicting reports on the death of Randy’s wife, she may have been murdered and Randy’s daughter’s coma may have been caused by one of Young Nae’s rivals. To make matters even more complicated someone has been spotted that looks oddly similar to Randy’s deceased wife.
Daughter Cell by Jay Hartlove is the second book in the Isis Rising Trilogy, the first book was The Chosen and both books are self -contained stories. Daughter Cell is a medical thriller that takes a look at loss and forgiveness and how far are you willing to go to be with your true love again. This is a Frankenstein type story set in an exotic location with voodoo mythology, black magic martial arts, spirituality and poisonous pufferfish.
What I really liked about this book was how the mystery unfolds slowly. I also like how it was shown through their dreams that something wasn’t quite right. Daughter Cell also wrestles with the themes of ethics and morality. In the beginning both Randy and Young Nae talk about how they have no problems manipulating genetics to make people’s lives better but Sanantha has her doubts and you get to see how playing god effects all the characters.
What I enjoyed most about Daughter Cell was how both Sanantha and Randy turn to their faith in a time of crisis. Sanantha is from Haiti and gets comfort from voodoo when things are bad, while Randy listens to classic rock. I liked hearing about the character’s different belief systems and how the two main characters work together. I also liked how Young Nae tries to get more in touch with the spiritual god within him. Other scenes I enjoyed was when Randy had to choose between two people he loved even though one of the two was no longer the same and I liked when Randy knows that the person he most wants to talk to is right in front of him but he will never get to say what he wants to say. Jay Hartlove makes his characters suffer and some of them come out stronger in the end.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that I wanted more time spent on the genetic creation. The scenes with the creation in it were great and I enjoyed how I wasn’t able to predict what would happen. This book is not your normal medical thriller, it has a lot of heart and makes you question a lot of things such as if you could be with a younger version of the person you love after they are gone would you take it? If you like horror that really makes you think then you will enjoy Daughter Cell.