HYBRID By Lawrence W. Gold M.D., a Review by Joan Adamak

Educational, intriguing, entertaining

East Bay Cryonics, a fertility clinic, was broken into in 1992 and six test tubes of sperm were removed and replaced with six other test tubes of sperm.  The robber, per his instructions, threw the six original test tubes of sperm in the dumpster.

Three years later, Dr. Denise Berg, professor of psychology, had the sperm of her molecular biologist husband, Dr. Gabe Berg, implanted in her womb.  They were both in their late thirties and Denise especially was ecstatic to be pregnant, even if it was through in vitro fertilization.  With the I.Q. of these professors, they expected an extra intelligent child.  Denise was originally born in Basque country and sent to the US as a child because Spain and the Basque groups were in violent conflict.  Professor Jorge Moneo, from Basque country, had his mother, grandparents, wife and baby murdered by Spanish officials because of a focused resistance by the Basques and after the murders, Jorge was deported to the U.S.  Jorge taught a special school consisting of advanced children with Basque blood.

Denise and Gabe’s baby boy, Zack, was always far more developed in every way than other children his age or even close to his age.  Denise was very protective of Zack because psychologically she recognized that his extreme development and mental abilities could make it hard for him.  Besides being extremely intelligent, he was very kind and although he couldn’t read other people’s mind, he sensed the truth of anyone he met. Zack met a boy, Adam, who resembled him enough to be his brother.  It was the general consensus of Basque people that they were more intelligent than the normal human because they carried a little Neanderthal DNA in their blood. It turned out that he had a ratio of 18 Neanderthal DNA where most only had 1-4.  Eventually when he and Adam were older teenagers, they were sought out by Jorge to join his program, which he warned the boys they couldn’t talk about.  Zack especially liked these children because they were more like him and he didn’t feel so lonely.

Although written as a unique, interesting novel, it held much scientific information re Neanderthal DNA in modern man, in vitro fertilization and psychological responses.  The story is well written, the characters well defined and it has a few twists and a surprising ending.  It would be a page turner for some readers.  I recommend it.


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