Exogene by T. C. McCarthy audiobook

Exogene

By T. C. McCarthy
Read by Bahni Turpin

Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Publishing

The Subterrene War Series: Book 2

11.18 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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Exogene (n): factor or agent (as a disease-producing organism) from outside the organism or system. Also (slang): classified Russian program to merge protohumanoids with powered armor systems. Catherine is a soldier. Fast, strong, and lethal, she is the ultimate in military technology. She’s a monster in the body of an eighteen-year-old girl. Bred by scientists, grown in vats, indoctrinated by the government, she and her sisters will win this war—no matter the cost. And the costs are high. Their lifespan is short; as they age they become unstable and undergo a process called “the spoiling.” On their eighteenth birthday they are discharged. Lined up and shot like cattle. However, the truth is, Catherine and her sisters may not be strictly human, but they’re not animals. They can twist their genomes and indoctrinate them to follow the principles of Faith and Death, but they can’t shut off the part of them that wants more than war. Catherine may have only known death, but she dreams of life, and she will get it at any cost.

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Summary

Summary

A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”

Exogene (n): factor or agent (as a disease-producing organism) from outside the organism or system. Also (slang): classified Russian program to merge protohumanoids with powered armor systems.

Catherine is a soldier. Fast, strong, and lethal, she is the ultimate in military technology. She’s a monster in the body of an eighteen-year-old girl. Bred by scientists, grown in vats, indoctrinated by the government, she and her sisters will win this war—no matter the cost.

And the costs are high. Their lifespan is short; as they age they become unstable and undergo a process called “the spoiling.” On their eighteenth birthday they are discharged. Lined up and shot like cattle.

However, the truth is, Catherine and her sisters may not be strictly human, but they’re not animals. They can twist their genomes and indoctrinate them to follow the principles of Faith and Death, but they can’t shut off the part of them that wants more than war. Catherine may have only known death, but she dreams of life, and she will get it at any cost.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Former CIA analyst McCarthy delivers a stark and wrenching sequel to Germline…The conclusion is simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant, and utterly appropriate for the brutal, bloody, and magnificent story.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Catherine, known to her fellow soldiers as Little Murderer, lives to kill, but as the day of her discharge approaches something shifts inside her, a corruption known as “the spoil,” and while her body deteriorates her mind starts to question. She’s a fascinating creation, an inhuman killing machine finding her own humanity. Her perspective is at once childlike and brutal, combining indoctrinated religious fervour with a cold violence, without moral qualms. Exogene is both disorienting and an effective portrayal of a protagonist with a broken mind.” Guardian, UK
“McCarthy portrays Catherine as a complex mixture of zealotry and skepticism, depicting a mindset that is effectively outside human experience while also very much identifiable. Although the novel takes place in the midst of a war and involves a number of battles, it’s less a war story than a rumination on identity and faith, anchored by a protagonist who brings surprising and moving depths to familiar science-fiction concepts.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

by Samuel 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Different eyes, different voice, different novel

Exogene sets up as a much more traditional military sf novel than did the author's debut, 2011's Germline. Germline was read by Donald Corren, and was a drug-addled war journalism narrative, glossing a bit over technical details whether of weaponry, mech suits (other than detailing a bit of the waste system), or of the eponymous genetic engineering. Here, Exogene shares only the setting -- a near future war over mineral resources in Kazakhstan and its surrounds -- and a first person perspective. The voice has changed, as has the narrator's attention to technical detail. Turpin shows us the Subterene War from the point of view of Catherine, one of the genetically-engineered soldiers used by the United States and its allies. We find out some technical details of her flechette rifle such as its capacity, speed, and firepower. We find out more about the science and psychology and training behind the Germline project, and the lives, loves, and losses of women who were more shallowly perceived by the aforementioned drug-addled male journalist in the first book. This is not to say that there aren't a few missteps: in the first quarter of the audiobook, some post-production artifacts remain from re-recordings for corrected pronunciations, though they aren't too distracting. And for my money, though this was admittedly a review copy, some of the emotional impact of these losses don't appear fully realized or felt. (Though, again, there are drugs and psychological conditioning at work.) But overall Turpin does a quite capable job here of bringing the "girls" (16-18 year olds) to a richer life, amidst a wider and richer cast of characters than inhabited the close quarters of Germline. Turpin's turn at Russian (and other accents) are mostly well done, easily besting recent attempts from other non-native narrators (Malcolm Hillgartner's forgettable tries at Russian, Hungarian, and Chinese accents in Neal Stephenson's Reamde for example) though at times the closing words of sentences lose their flavor. It's a good thing Turpin can handle her Russians, because we see quite a few of them, and hear a fair bit of Russian along the way towards discovering what it is the Russians are up to, exogentically. (If you're guessing "exoskeleton", you're on the right track.) While Germline spent quite a bit of the capital of sf ideas for the world of the Subterrene War and had a more unique voice, Exogene sees McCarthy come a bit more into his powers of plot, and already left me wondering where he'd go with the trilogy's conclusion, Chimera.

Author

Author Bio: T. C. McCarthy

Author Bio: T. C. McCarthy

T. C. McCarthy earned a BA from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Georgia before embarking on a career that gave him a unique perspective as a science fiction author. From his time as a patent examiner in complex biotechnology to his tenure with the Central Intelligence Agency, he has studied and analyzed foreign militaries and weapons systems. He was at the CIA during the September 11 terrorist attacks and was still there when US forces invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, allowing him to experience warfare from the perspective of an analyst.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD
Category: Fiction/Science Fiction
Runtime: 11.18
Audience: Adult
Language: English