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Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can't, she writes about it.
After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in "Human Instincts", she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, and then she designed prosthetics in “Broken People” before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.
Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a Romanian short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”.
She received the Encouragement Award from The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.
For more information, please visit http://www.ioanavisan.tk
on July 11, 2014 :
Did I enjoy this book: When I realized a few pages in that the plot involves a good looking female scientist heading out to an isolated, all-male prison to hopefully find a way to repopulate the Earth, I feared I was about to find myself neck-deep in an, um, Adult Film. It wasn’t as bad as all that (though I’d still label the book as a B-movie sort of thing), but it wasn’t great. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a sequel — the ending was rather ambiguous — but if there is, I doubt I’ll read it.
Would I recommend it: Not really, no.
As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Nov. 21, 2012 :
Dr. Deanna Nichols is a geneticist in a post-apocalyptic world. Only a few million people are alive, after the war and subsequent release of a deadly virus. The human race was saved by a vaccine, but the vaccine had an unanticipated side-effect. In order to save the human race from extinction, Deanna is sent to a secret military prison in the arctic, where a small group of prisoners exist who had never been vaccinated. Her job is to collect DNA and somehow, the human race will be able to survive and thrive again.
Tom, a convict, has taken over the prison. Working with the former prison staff and other convicts, life here is tenuous at best. But he is willing to assist Deanna with her mission, recognizing the importance of her success.
This book takes place in the near-future and happily, has absolutely no zombies, flesh-eating monsters, werewolves, space aliens or other silliness. It's suspenseful and moves along at a good pace - though it certainly could have been much longer. It was generally well written and well edited (though "orientate" is not a word!). I enjoyed reading it, though I was never clear on why Deanna was chosen to go on such a dangerous mission, given her own value to mankind, and I thought that MacKenzie's character could have been developed a bit more thoroughly. It's a good book for those looking for a quick read and realistic post-apocalyptic fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for providing a fair and honest review.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Oct. 31, 2012 :
PDF version via author for honest review
Dr. Deanna Nicholas is the only surviving geneticist working for the General after the war. Her boss died, but before he did they were the ones to end the war by making a virus that killed. There was a vaccine made, but it had very adverse affects on those that were given it. Deanna has morals and ethics, which her senior geneticist did not. She doesn't think it's right to kill the innocent just for the good of science like he did. There is no way to make children who are not "tainted" by this vaccine's side effects, so the world is headed to ruin. Or is it? The General gets a message from a prison that was kept secure all these years and also has inmates that were not given the vaccine, so are not affected by it. The only hope for humanity is to test these inmates and see if they really are unaffected and could maybe help repopulate the world. Deanna goes to the old prison herself for medical assessments and to bring them supplies. She takes a huge risk doing this, after all these are inmates and even worse, inmates who have not seen a woman in many years and who are the most violent of inmates. She has to put her trust in Tom, the inmate who seems to have the "best" background of them all and is most willing to try and help and keep her safe. Will the inmates really be unaffected like they claim or will she have risked her life and made an extremely long trip for nothing? Will she survive the stay in the prison with all these male, dangerous inmates to even find out if they are affected or not? And what if they are unaffected, who can partner with them that is female and unaffected herself? Is this one big bust of an idea and trip and money? Deanna is willing to risk it all to find out.
I must say that at first I was a bit lost and confused in the book, but after the first chapter or so it all came together and I could jump in with both feet. This book has a very good and different plot line than others I have read or seen. It also has great characters, my favorite being Deanna and Tom. I thought it really seemed to move right along and I was happy and anxious to come back to it if I had to stop reading. I couldn't wait to see what happened next to Deanna as she dove into this mission. There are some twists and turns too, that really make the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes science, mystery, or just a great read. It was such a unique plot and book that it was made all the better! This is a truly talented author and I would read more of her books anytime.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Oct. 17, 2012 :
It took me a while to crystallize my opinion on this one, but now I have it. First of all, I was expecting to read about a better detailed apocalyptic world, with a stronger scent of death. But I guess a virus does not have any smell at all, to satisfy my terror thirst with it. Fortunately, I found enough terror for my taste in Dr.Nichols' decisions and between the prison's walls.
Second thing, the novella is very to the point and, at the same time, the characters are very well shaped. Such a rare combination!
Third thing, I had a great time reading Human Instincts as I was fully connected to the story line, eager to find out what will happen next.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 27, 2012 :
I really like this book. It was interesting and plausible. However, it was too short! I felt like there was so much more that needed to be told. I was left wondering what happened to Dr. Green and the escapees. Also, I felt like it ended abruptly. I think there is a lot more that could have happened. It left me wanting more!
(reviewed 89 days after purchase)
on Sep. 26, 2012 :
This apocalyptic novella has a remarkable concept as its base. While on the surface it appears to be a melding of several different post-apocalyptic themes, the exciting and suspenseful result contains some new twists. The fast pace starts out with definitive action in trying to solve the current problem enmeshed with an overview of how events led to the prevailing situation. The quandary lies in this question: how do you save the human race when all you’ve got to work with are hard-core prisoners with psychiatric challenges? Visan does a very good job of exploring multiple options and predicaments within the word constraints of a novella. The writing is skillful, the characters are meaty, and the premise is thought-provoking. A definite read!
Owner, Adirondack Editing
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 17, 2012 :
I received this book in return for a honest review from the author. Dr. Deanna Nichols is a researching working on a cure for the people infected with the virus that wiped out most of the planet. She is also responsible for the virus that was used to end a brutal war, feels guilty so she's trying to find a cure since the vaccine that was created has some negative affects. Deanna used to work for Dr. Larsen but he passed away, he didn't have a problem killing people in the name of science but Deanna does. The option to obtain untainted DNA comes up when the General is contacted by a maximum security prison they didn't know was still active reached out looking for supplies.
The General sends Deanna in to the prison with only a guard a former war leader who's also a criminal in the prison. He thinks that the only want to save man kind is through a new generation of children and by using the criminals with the uninfected DNA they could do just that. However Deanna wants to save the already infected people, but under the orders of the general she enters the prison. However her time is short lived, the criminals are staging a break, and if the former war leader can't save her life, all could be lost forever.
I was really surprised by this book I'm always a little nervous with the whole Apocalyptic stuff, but it was surprisingly very good. The characters are well written, Deanna comes off as a the kind of woman who made a mistake and is willing to risk it all to fix it. The story is face paced but full of entertainment, not a dull moment to be found. Your instantly drawn in, wanting to know more. I finished it in one sitting, because I just had to know. I loved the ending it just left me with a smile and wanting more. I found it unique and full of twists and turns.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on July 16, 2012 :
I really enjoyed this piece :)
I am not so used to post-apocalyptic stories (only in tv shows) so this genre was quite new to me. Was very fast drawn into the story, and while the environment was pretty clearly pictured, there were still enough tidbits and left for it to stay mysterious.
The ending left me wanting more... Which is always a good sign.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)