Editorial Review: The Cranio-Genesis Project by Terence Murphy
Dr. Heidi Davidson and her husband, Dr. Peter Davidson, accomplish one of the most incredible medical breakthroughs in history by restarting the brains of two brain-dead babies. Unfortunately, instead of changing the world for the better as they believed it would, the Cranio-Genesis Project has unforeseen consequences that could end it instead.
The Cranio-Genesis Project is the debut novel by Terence J. Murphy, who describes his writing style as focusing on the scientific plausibility that can grab the attention of readers. This is most definitely the case with this novel, which opens with the intriguing premise of a scientific breakthrough that allows scientists to revive brain-dead children and give them a second shot at life. Unfortunately, while the project is a success, it has unforeseen consequences that cause it to be classified and shuttered.
After a short prologue about the project, the story shifts ten years into the future, where Paul Schmidt, newly elected president of the U.S., is thrown into a nightmare situation. A war with Iran is the last thing he wanted but seems inevitable after a U.S. Commercial airliner is diverted to Tehran under threat of being shot down by Iranian Military jets. Shortly afterward, the passengers, who are mostly American, are executed in cold blood by the Iranian government. Schmidt is puzzled why Iran would make such a move, but his question is answered in the most shocking way possible when he orders retaliation. It quickly becomes clear that Iran has a secret weapon up its sleeve, and it is something that the rest of the world not only has never seen but has no idea how to safeguard against. Initially, it appears that Iran is making use of superior new drone technology. However, when the secret behind the six mysterious robed figures controlling them is revealed, Schmidt realizes that the answer lies a lot closer to home.
The Cranio-Genesis Project is a tense and action-packed novel that engrosses readers in the story right from the get-go. Throughout the story, the stakes are incredibly high, and the tension continues to mount as desperate measures are employed to try and prevent Iran from conquering the world. Since it is the title of the book, it’s no secret that the Cranio-Genesis Project plays a significant role in the story. The twelve children who were saved by it before it was shut down are all in their teens and have been hidden away from the world ever since. However, they might be the last hope of the free world as Iran, aided by Russia, begins to conquer all the countries around them using weaponry that seemingly nobody can counter.
Along with showing events unfolding from the perspective of the U.S. President, the novel also gives the twelve Davidson children, or the “D12” as they are later dubbed, a chance to shine. Each of them has their own distinct personality, and despite being kept a secret from the world all their lives, they are eager to step up and help out. This adds some tension to the story as the children, despite their unique abilities, are still just teens, and using them for war leaves the President with quite a moral dilemma.
The Cranio-Genesis Project is great as a standalone novel, but it is also clearly intended to be the first in a series. As such, it sets up a lot of the backstory for the project and the children while spending a lot of time on their preparations for battle. Unfortunately, readers who are eager for a spectacular showdown or a resolution to the conflict might be a little disappointed that the story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which will definitely leave readers wanting more. Nevertheless, the writing is top-notch, and the book is a page-turner right until the end. The author has done a great job giving each of the children their own unique personalities and including enough lighthearted scenes for readers to get attached to the D12. Finally, while the book contains a healthy dose of science fiction, the author has an interesting background that allows him to imbue the story with a lot of realistic details.
If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense, unexpected plot twists, and a story with a lot of heart, then don’t miss out on The Cranio-Genesis Project.