Genre: YA Thriller
Published: April 13th, 2015
Page Count: 378 pages
Source: From author/publicist in exchange of my honest opinion.
Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition. She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.
All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential. The CDC wants to shut her down completely. The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious.
She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental prison with a physical one.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
I wrote this review of Sapient a couple of months ago, a few days after I finished the book, and while all the thoughts written here still remain, I have to add what I think about this book now.
Sapient is not my typical kind of read. When I was speaking about it, a lot of friends even told me that they thought it weird that I was reading something other than YA. Well, technically, this book is a cross between YA/Regular Fiction, because it is told in several points of view and one of them is a young boy with autism. But it is so different from my other YA books. This book's reading level is more advanced, but I didn't find it difficult to understand. In the end, I came to enjoy Sapient a lot.
I'll break it down to three reasons:
The Characters & POV's. This book is not only told from Jane's pov (the mother looking for a cure) and Robbie (her boy with autism), but it's also told from a lab rat named Einstein and a one-eyed dog named Bear. This diverse set of characters was what made (in my opinion) the story all the more intriguing. I admired much Jane risks for to find a cure for her son, the length she goes through even though it's dangerous. Being inside Robbie's head was astounding since we are there with him when he has autism and when he slowly starts to get cured. Einstein and Robbie has to be my favorite characters. Their bantering, actions and quick-wits (they are submitted with autism tests with positive results) had me chuckling and enjoying their characters too much.
The Plot. I honestly thought I was going to get a bit bored with the story when I first started Sapient what with all the lab research and stuff, but I didn't. In fact, Sapient had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was a race against time full of revelations on every corner! What I learned from all of this is that research, testing and finding a cure for something certainly looks like a risky thing.
The Journey. Yes, I'm making this into a reason because even though it's part of the plot, I feel like emphasizing how cool it was for me to know about the places and a bit about the people Robbie, Einstein and Bear meet on their trek. From San Jose and all the way to small towns in Washington. That Mexican camp? I've seen it! And while I was reading that particular part of the book, I thought the author was going with the same-old stereotype that us Mexicans only eat tortillas and tamales. But just after I finished this book, I went outside and saw gramps eating Tamales and a quesadilla! You can't imagine how hard I laughed at that. But we do eat other stuff besides that of course. ;)
So all in all, Sapient turned out to be a good read. It was entertaining, though I must emphasize again that it's not entirely YA so if you aren't much into regular fiction, maybe this won't be your type of read. There's a teensy bit of romance, but it's not really something worth rooting for.
Sapient is about the lengths one goes to save the people you love, to give them an opportunity for a better life. Even when the world is against you.