Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition. She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.
All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential. The CDC wants to shut her down completely. The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious.
She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental prison with a physical one.
+5 Cover Design
I absolutely love this cover. There's an interesting science-fiction feel to it and it perfectly complements the plot of the book. The colors and font work together perfectly.
+4 Writing Style
While there was nothing spectacular about the writing, it was definitely good. It was easy to follow and perfectly descriptive. I definitely enjoyed the different perspectives, especially those of the animals. Overall, it was well done.
+3 Plot Development
Before the last fifty pages I would have given this section a four or a five. But the ending kind of ruined it for me. I was looking forward to this big confrontation when they found Robbie; a conclusion that would have decided the rest of the lives for each of the characters. But the ending had too many surprises, and not the good kind. People and events would see to come out of nowhere, holding no relevance previously in the book. And I did feel like the conclusion simply wrapped up the story in a nice little bow where everything just works out, even though it's not completely realistic.
+3 Character Relations
Again I would say this section would have been a four or a five before the last fifty pages. We felt a realistic relationship between Robbie and Jane and I think that relationship really did carry a lot of the story. What I don't like is random proclamations of love. I understand that couple was foreshadowed earlier in the book, but there didn't seem to be any development throughout the book which made the declaration of love even more out of place.
+2 Character Development
So the characters definitely changed, but I'm not so sure they matured. If I compare the characters from the beginning of the book and from the end, personality-wise, they don't seem all that different (besides from the obvious scientific alterations).
+4 Likability of Protagonist
Again there's a conflict on who the main character really is. We followed both Robbie and Jane throughout most of the book and both were pretty likable, though Robbie more so. Jane frequently became a frustrating character because of all the dumb decisions she would make.
+4 Necessity of Minor Characters
Minor characters definitely came into play here A LOT. I don't think many of this book's events were possible without other, minor characters.
+4 Setting Description
The setting was also written very well. I could picture the location fairly vividly in my mind.
+5 Interesting Storyline
The storyline was definitely the best part of this book. The idea was brilliant. I was immediately drawn into it through the elements of science intertwined into it. While the execution (mainly the ending) could have been done better, the idea behind this book was incredible.
While the book itself wasn't predictable, I would say it was non-predictable in a confusing way. Like I mentioned before people and events would take place that weren't even relevant to the ending so while I didn't see it coming, I don't think anyone could have since they seemed so random.
Final Total: 87/100 ; B+
I have to admit, once I finished this book I was disappointed. Not because it was a bad book. But because so much of it was so good and then the ended ruined it. While the ending should have been intense, to me it was mostly just confusing and didn't make an adequate conclusion to such a fantastic book. I don't want to discourage anyone from reading it and it is definitely a good and intense read, but I advise not to increase your expectations for the ending.