What’s it about?
Set in 2033 a group of scientists have discovered a method that allows recently deceased corpses to be brought back to life. This is achieved through a combination of hormone treatment and electrical stimulation, but the success rate becomes lowered the longer after death the process occurs. The novel centres mostly around Harker, an ex state Governor that was forced out of office for trying to introduce his own ideals into the wheels of power. Now a partner in a major law firm he is approached by the medical lab to both front their PR campaign and advise on any legal implications the process may have, seeing this as a risky but lucrative chance to rebuild his career, he accepts. As you would expect there is mass opposition to the procedure from both political and religious groups. Can Harker, armed with nothing more than his own self belief manage to salvage his own reputation and convince the American public that ‘reanimation’ is nothing to be afraid of?
What did I like?
The story at just over 140 pages (although the type was tiny) moved along quickly enough, and you had the feeling that Silverburg really put a lot of thought into the varying degrees of reaction such an announcement might evoke. We encounter the families of the recently deceased begging for them to be brought back to life, expertly contrasted with the other peoples fear that once dead they will be reanimated against their wishes, citing the concern that their souls may be left in limbo. There are more than a few unexpected twists, and after a few dozen pages I really thought I had the ending all sewn up, but thankfully this wasn’t the case. The science seems plausible without going into any mind boggling detail and characters that are very easy to relate to.