Predator / Nomad
kay bee's bookshelf
This story is set around the time of the 9/11 attacks and their clones living among us. Yes, clones. When the story opens an American scientist and underground businesswoman, Jordan Roberts, is working under a bit of suspicion. Little do some know that she's just not a scientist, but she also has what appears to be a black market network across several countries where she creates and sells clones as soldiers. A Saudi Prince commits suicide, but his sister believes that it was more to it and sets out to uncover what she believes is the truth.
Micko did a job of world-building. The attention to detail in describing the landscapes as the characters take us from San Francisco to Colombia to Saudia Arabia. He also created memorable characters in Princess Selah, who was a transwoman. I found her to be the most compelling character and is the author took us along for all the plot twists that would occur as Dr. Roberts's true business dealings were methodically revealed. There was a time or two that I was shocked to find out that someone was a clone. It was interesting to see where the line would be drawn when it came to human life vs a clone.
The prospect of cloning has been something humans have been obsessed with for some time so that makes this novel that much more intriguing to think of the possibilities. Good plot, intrigue, and interesting characters made for a pleasant read, especially when this is not my typical genre. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys scientific thrillers.
You can pre-order your copy via Amazon and be ready for its release on August 2, 2021.
"In Daniel Micko’s political thriller Predator/Nomad, a talented scientist gets involved in terrorism and violence."
"Jordan is a brilliant professor and researcher who specializes in molecular genetics, especially stem cells and genetic editing, or cloning. Jordan’s greatest, most innovative creation is a drug, scopolamine, that is made from a dangerous South American plant, Devil’s Breath. With this drug, Jordan claims to have conquered all diseases. Jordan’s other program is far more dubious: she creates clone soldiers for narco-warlords and drug cartels."
"Jordan’s research brings her to the attention of the Saudi royal house. Prince Faruq calls her to Riyadh, hoping to use her skills, and the scopolamine, for political purposes. But then Faruq dies. His sister, Princess Saleh Aisha, suspects that Jordan is employed by the Taliban and is responsible for his murder. Her suspicion drives the story; though Princess Saleh and Jordan have a romantic connection, the princess still investigates Jordan’s background."
"The intricate plot dips into science fiction with Jordan’s research; it is also set around the time of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks. Prince Faruq’s death is shrouded in mystery throughout, while the book’s invocations of international politics, from the dubious connections of American academics to the dark world of international terrorism in South America, Central Asia, and the Middle East, are layered. These diverse parts form a captivating whole, in which all elements are connected to Jordan."
"The book’s settings, which include San Francisco and the royal palaces of Saudi Arabia, are detailed well, though the book is most concerned with the interior lives of its characters; its story is told from several of their perspectives. The most prominent voices are those of Jordan and Princess Saleh. When the focus is on Princess Saleh, her investigation leads, placing her in danger; when Jordan narrates, her voice is erratic. Her duality is apparent early on: she is compared both to Henry David Thoreau and Ted Kaczynski, and she undergoes dramatic mood changes. Tension and suspension are maintained because her true nature is kept in the shadows, leaving open the possibility that Jordan is, in fact, a dangerous criminal mastermind.
But in this engrossing book, Jordan’s true nature is only one of the major mysteries. Fun is generated from the book’s coverage of the incredible, crazy world of clone armies, weaponized illnesses, and government-backed militias and narco-terrorists. The result is an innovative tale that piques interest in the future stories of Jordan and Princess Saleh."
"In the twisting political thriller Predator/Nomad, a scientist and a princess are embroiled in the case of a possible murder of world-shattering proportions."
online book review
"There are several positives worth mentioning in the book. For starters, the settings are interesting and well described, and the attention to geographical details is a noteworthy positive point. I particularly enjoyed the author’s description of San Francisco. Secondly, I enjoyed the well-developed and textured characters. For instance, Princess Saleh is a very interesting character, mysterious and sexually ambiguous, but I cannot give away any spoilers here!"
"Above all, I thought that the book’s strongest suit was its gripping plot. The author managed to create a mysterious atmosphere that kept me wondering what would happen next. It was amusing to follow Saleh’s endeavors as she strived to uncover the inner workings of Jordan’s cloning projects. There were several plot twists, especially involving Jordan’s clones and their true identities and loyalties. A subtle discussion of scientific ethics also gets skillfully woven into the plot, and the author provides readers not only suspense but also food for thought, which I enjoyed. One can’t help but reflect on what the limits of genetic engineering are. I felt that this rather philosophical backdrop enriched the story. It was what I liked the most."
indie book review
"Does the end justify the means? This philosophical question is one explored steadily in Daniel Micko’s Predator / Nomad. Dr. Jordan Roberts is a bit of a prodigy in her field of medicine, specifically genetics. An invitation to an exclusive party is her ticket into the inner circle of Saudi royalty. Jordan is offering a solution to rid the Saudi population of all disease, but her motivations and methods remain ambiguous. Quick to bed the charismatic doctor, Saleh, the Princess and security detail for her brother, Prince Faruq, must then deal with some emotional fallout. Has she actually been sleeping with the enemy? And if so, who is the enemy working for? When Saleh digs deeper, she uncovers more about Jordan’s work than anybody even knew was possible.
You can be sure you’re in for a wild ride when the author draws parallels between Henry David Thoreau’s life and musings and those of the brilliant mathematician turned domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski on the opening pages. The writing style in this futuristic novel is purposefully erratic and abrupt. The characters are frequently changing their minds, words, or actions seemingly without provocation, including a lot of random giggling coming from hardened players in the story in some of the most unsettling scenes. An endless transition from veracity to metaphor will keep readers on their toes as Micko examines the fine line separating the lunatic or psychopath from the genius! While the character development is slight, the overall story arc is imaginative and well conceived, while at the same time puzzling and provocative. Featuring a morally perplexing, yet fiendishly brilliant protagonist who specializes in human cloning, this slick novel has a few bombshells sure to take even the most thoughtful reader by surprise."
Price Laurel - Born in St. Louis, MO; lived there until his 20th birthday. 20 year old actor, insecure, desperate to achieve his movie star dream. Eager to please all his friends in San Francisco. Inquisitive, holds a hero complex. Mostly confused. Ultimately unsure how to determine right from wrong. This story spans 20 years old to 23 years old.
Dr. Jordan Roberts - Born in St. Louis, MO. Female. Lesbian. Age in Late 30s. Genius and knows it. Charismatic. Looks and dresses like a young Wayne Newton. Wields multiple breakthroughs in genetic technology. CEO of her own lucrative business. International humanitarian. Silent assistant to Terrorists in Afghanistan and Columbian Cartels. Lost her Japanese girlfriend in Columbia. Visionary, cunning, enigmatic. Morally corrupt.
Saleh - Born in Saudi Arabia. Age in late 20s. Modern day Arabian Princess. Lesbian. Periodically trans (very convincing), black sheep of her family. Poses as a man most of the time (bodyguard to her brother, the Prince). Silent pillar of her Royal Family; small time in comparison to the rest of the Kingdom (Saudi Arabia). Arrogant, ambitious with a devil-may-care attitude. Physically fit; former elite soldier, willing to do anything to help her brother, including spying on pre-Taliban terrorists. Strong sense of right and wrong.
Although human cloning has been a reality since the 1980s, Predator / Nomad is a story taking place in San Francisco, between 2000 and 2003. Dr. Jordan Roberts (scientific genius) has perfected human cloning and gone a step further with human growth acceleration.
Jordan cultivates a sapphic affair with Saleh, an Arabian Princess, therein expanding her business and genetic research. Upon learning of Jordan's unethical dealings, Saleh vows to extradite Jordan back to Saudi to stand trial for her brother's murder. This proves difficult as Jordan has the protection of Evan Chan and other clones in San Francisco. Saleh's trapped at an impasse.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Price Laurel stumbles upon Jordan’s cloning plot. On a collision course with retribution, Price and Saleh must connect and bring Jordan to justice. The only problem is they haven't met each other.
A story from out of left field and subversive in nature, Predator / Nomad tells a realistic story with fantastic elements. Daniel Micko asks us to look deeper into the words and actions of each character. Why does Price assault that house in Bayshore? Why does Saleh, a Saudi Royal, choose to hunt Jordan by herself? Why did Price move to San Francisco in the first place?
Predator/Nomad, is an enthralling and terrifying read, urging relevance by presenting a world hurtling toward a game-changing medical advancement. Price’s journey through San Francisco reflects the odyssey we all take to chase down our dream and achieve a goal. Allegorically, people, in general, are more than what they seem. A cerebral look at social deviants.