Enpidra: The Exodus by Drew Washington

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In a disease addled world, a scientist searches for a cure. ‘Enpidra: The Exodus’ tells the story of a young biochemist overcoming the many problems that stand in her way: an ambitious husband, a damaged planet and a disease that threatens everything she cares about.

Told in compelling, lucid prose, this science-fiction takes the reader by the hand and drags them through the harshly lit corridors and antiseptic labs of Shaina’s world. The book is filled with interesting images of new technology and wondrous science that juxtapose raw accounts of pure human emotion.

I found this combination fascinating, as the warmth of the relationships depicted in the novel contrasted beautifully with the coldness of scientific imagery. Washington would also masterfully experiment with this trope; some relationships would be devoid of warmth, warmth that would then be transferred to the science labs, manifested by the determination and energy of the scientists.

The novel also employs excellent use of language. A fine balance is struck between scientific semantic fields that build an edgy atmosphere and their flipside: snapshots of raw, powerful emotion, images of loss and joy. The constant, creeping threat of disease pervades the novel, keeping the reader engaged whilst simultaneously repulsing them, an effect that is nicely countered by the presence of several well-rounded characters.

It is clear that each character is a product of their environment, something that raises interesting questions about the age old debate of nature and nurture. The use of in-depth character building in the novel adds to the tension. I especially liked the protagonist, with her skill in the lab and seemingly inextinguishable energy.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, relatively short science-fiction, complete with gripping plot, snappy dialogue and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave you thirsting for more.