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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Baby X

ISBN: 9781639106332

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Meryl Moss Media Group

Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars +(ARC)


When any biological matter can be used to create life, stolen celebrity DNA sells to the highest bidder–or the craziest stalker–in this propulsive thriller.


With a vivid imagining of the future, Gattaca meets Black Mirror in Kira Peikoff’s Baby X.


In the near-future United States, where advanced technology can create egg or sperm from any person’s cells, celebrities face the alarming potential of meeting biological children they never conceived.


Famous singer Trace Thorne is tired of being targeted by the Vault, a black market site devoted to stealing DNA. Sick of paying ransom money for his own cell matter, he hires bio-security guard Ember Ryan to ensure his biological safety.


Ember will do anything she can to protect her clients. She knows all the Vault’s tricks–discarded tissues, used straws, lipstick tubes–and has prevented countless DNA thefts. Working for Thorne, her focus becomes split when she begins to fall for him, but she knows she hasn’t let anything slip–love or not, his DNA is safe. But then she and Thorne are confronted by a pregnant woman, Quinn, who claims that Thorne is the father of her baby, and all bets are off.


Brilliantly plotted and terrifyingly prescient, Baby X is an unpredictable and relentless speculative thriller perfect for fans of Blake Crouch and John Marrs.







My Review


Kira Peikoff rocks her latest speculative thriller, BABY X — a peek into the futurist US, 2050—biological matter used to create babies and DNA sold to the highest bidder— both terrifying and emotional in this timely, captivating sophisticated suspense with jaw-dropping twists!


Three women's lives and storylines converge (Lily, Ember, Quinn) for an explosive ending.


Ember- Head of bio-security

Quinn-Surrogate, who claims Throne is her baby's father.

Lily - is a young journalist reporter.


Can you imagine? —You can conceive a child with anyone (age, class, gender, intelligence, or status) by providing a biological sample from saliva, blood, or mucus. You can rule out diseases and illnesses.


Then, created into sperm or egg cells, opening up a gambit of unethical behavior from someone picking up your eating utensil, napkin, straw, lipstick, discarded Kleenex, toothbrush, etc., to get their hands on your DNA.


Pregnancy begins in a lab with cells manipulated into egg or sperm cells, allowing couples to create a perfect biological child. They select from profiles for their embryos to be implanted.


DNA THEFT: However, in the wrong hands, this creates a nightmare when the system is corrupt and greedy—the scientists figure some will pay big money to have babies with superstars. A person's DNA can be stolen and sold on the black market - hence the SUSPENSE begins.


THE VAULT is a black market site devoted to stealing DNA. They are targeting Superstar musician Trace Thorne celebrity—then they blackmail him to pay out ransom money for his own cell matter.


The Vault steals celebrity cells to convert into sperm and eggs in a secret lab for their greedy profit. Their customers range from obsessed fans to hyper-competitive parents who want to give their future children the most desirable genes. It is easy to pick out your perfect child. Diseases are being eliminated—choose your preferred traits and personalities.


Who is behind THE VAULT and their motives?


Due to the ongoing problems, Trace, hires bio-security guard Ember Ryan to guard his goods and keep people from stealing. He is being stalked among other celebrities, especially after concerts or public outings. Trace and Ember are also now romantically involved. She will do anything to protect him.


Then, they are confronted by a pregnant young woman, Quinn, (a surrogate) who claims that Trace is the father of her baby. Can this be possible?


Lily is an "unforeseen" child and aspiring journalist who wants to expose the bias of these clinics. She wants to make a name for herself with a magazine story about genetics and hopes to use her own family, but will they agree?


However, Lily is worried that being an 'unforeseen'—a baby conceived naturally rather than 'selected'—will leave her behind.


The author brilliantly alternates with POVs: Ember, Quinn and Lily, keeping you on the edge of our seat in this intriguing and propulsive thriller. You cannot imagine how the storylines will connect. Unputdownable, clever, and unpredictable—you will not see the ending coming!


THOUGHT-PROVOKING! I usually am not into Sci-fi or speculative; however, the author infuses human emotions, drawing you into their personal lives, and you become invested in the characters and their outcomes. I did not expect to LOVE this one as much as I did. There is ongoing suspense, action, fascination, intrigue, and mystery to keep you guessing.


QUESTIONS:

Is Quinn carrying Thorne's baby?

Who is behind The Vault and their motives?

How does Lily fit into the equation?


You will be shocked at how all the pieces fit together as the storylines collide. I loved the ending! Looking forward to reading more by this mega talented author.


BABY X is a fascinating, twisty suspense thriller with emotional depth. For fans of Blake Crouch, John Marrs, and Thomas Mullen. Highly recommend!


Thanks to Crooked Lane Books, Meryl Moss Media Group, and NetGalley for a gifted digital ARC for an honest opinion. #CoverCrush



@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: March 5, 2024






A Note From the Publisher


Imagine the miracle of being able to conceive a child with anyone else no matter your age, gender, or fertility status. All you need to do is provide a biological sample. Saliva, blood or mucus will do the trick. Then your cells can be chemically coaxed to become sperm or egg cells. Now imagine the nightmare of your used napkin or fork in the wrong hands—and your egg and sperm are up for sale to the highest bidder.


That’s the terrifying premise behind Kira Peikoff’s BABY X (Crooked Lane; March 5, 2024), a brilliantly plotted, compulsively readable thriller that careens from propulsive action to wrenching emotion as a black-market operation called The Vault steals celebrity cells to convert into sperm and egg in a hidden lab for a massive profit. Their customers range from obsessed fans to hyper-competitive parents who want to give their future children the most desirable genes.


Music superstar Trace Thorne knows that his sperm and eggs are in demand and that the slightest slip up could result in a child he never intended to conceive. To protect himself, he hires gorgeous bio-security guard Ember Ryan to ensure that whatever genetic material he sheds in public is safe from theft.


Ember is a pro and knows all the Vault’s tricks. She’ll stop at nothing to protect her most famous and beloved client. As they grow closer, Ember allows herself to fall for the man himself. But what will happen to their developing relationship when a pregnant stranger confronts Thorne with his worst fear?


This thought-provoking look into the near future will make you question the price of groundbreaking technology and how it impacts our bodies, our minds, and our world. BABY X raises as many issues as it resolves, and is a great read for fans of Blake Couch and John Marrs—or anyone who enjoys a heart-pounding peek into what lies ahead.






Praise


“Piekoff pulls off a clever twist.”

—Publishers Weekly


“Peikoff does a terrific job of world-building a complex but realistic future full of jaw-dropping twists. Baby X is great sci-fi and reads like a terrifying episode of Black Mirror.”

—First Clue Reviews


“Once again Peikoff gives us a breathless thriller—with an ending you totally won’t see coming—that leaves us wondering if it could be real. Fantastic!”

—Lee Child


“Timely, smart, and suspenseful, Baby X grabbed me on page one and gripped me tight. Kira Peikoff deftly weaves a story about the implications of stolen DNA into a twisty thriller with real emotional depth.”

—Meg Gardiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“It's hard to find a thriller with a unique plot these days - but Kira Peikoff pulls it off spectacularly. Propulsive, innovative, and futuristic, Baby X unveils a chilling glimpse of the possibilities that lie in wait for us all.”

—Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Tonight


“With clever details, unforgettable characters, and jaw-dropping twists, Baby X is a slick and stylish thriller that feels ripped from tomorrow's headlines. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough—and the ending left me reeling!”

—Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here and The Spare Room


“Kira Peikoff’s Baby X is inventive, engrossing, and alarmingly prescient. Peikoff paints a chilling future that appears one headline away from reality.”

—Robin Cook, New York Times bestselling author


“What makes Baby X so gripping and scary is how plausible the whole thing feels. Peikoff has crafted a thoughtful, realistic future that explores bodily autonomy and the pitfalls of scientific advancement, nestled within a ripping thriller with breakneck twists, and carried by an incredible cast of characters.”

—Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse and Assassins Anonymous





About the Author



Kira Peikoff is the author of Mother Knows Best, Living Proof, No Time to Die, and Die Again Tomorrow. She has a degree in journalism from New York University and a master's in bioethics from Columbia. Her reported articles have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, and other outlets. She now works in biotech communications helping spread the word about transformative developments in the life sciences. Peikoff is a proud member of The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.


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