Splice: Zero-Point Awakening, by ZZ Adams, is a sci-fi novel set between the UK and USA. It follows the story of two characters, Elliot and Arthur, who are on a shared mission to take down Genetech, a huge corporation intent on global domination, and threatens the safety of themselves and their loved ones. The story is told using third-person POV, which is shared between Elliot and Arthur throughout the book.
The story begins with our introduction to Arthur Fortune, a self-proclaimed hero and TV star looking to make his name in show business. Naive, rich and egotistical, he often makes poor choices with regards to his career and personal life, which often have to be rectified by his agent, Gunther. This is shown in the beginning of the book when he turns down the role of being the face of Ultralax, a remedy for constipation, in favour of working with Senator Croucher in her bid to become the next president. This is met with protest from Gunther and as the story progresses, it turns out that there is much more to the assignment than meets the eye.
Elliot is a shy, highly intelligent teenager who resides in Oxford with his best friend, Kat. Despite his age, he has already completed an undergraduate degree in two weeks and unknown to most people, he has the gift of fading in and out of existence. He often uses this to his advantage in social situations, but it becomes incredibly useful in his side-job as a contract killer, taking out the people behind Genetech as revenge for their destruction of his childhood. The story reveals that his own father is involved in Genetech and taught Elliot to kill from a young age. When they take Kat as a threat to stop him from chasing them, this only serves to strengthen his desire to avenge her. The mission he receives from his lecturer to take down Genetech is the perfect opportunity for him to do this, and he is given the tools, money and resources to relocate to America and carry out the task.
The paths of Arthur and Elliot cross after the assassination of Senator Lefteri, a politician also running in the presidential campaign. When Elliot kills him, he takes refuge in an unknown and lavishly decorated flat before passing out. This turns out to be Arthur’s home, where he finds Elliot after returning from the campaign to witness the competition that Senator Croucher is up against. At first, Arthur and Elliot are fearful of each other, but when they discover that they are striving towards the same goal, they form a team which remains throughout the story as they fight to take down Genetech.
Later in the book, we discover the existence of Sam and Becky, two people who are incredibly close to Arthur. Like Elliot and Kat, Genetech take them as a threat to convince Arthur to stop chasing them. But when Elliot shares his story, this only makes Arthur more determined to take them down and become the real-life hero he has always aspired to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. It is fast-paced, gripping and fun for readers of all ages and the characters have attributes that everyone can relate to in some way. Their flaws and weaknesses serve to make them more relatable and whilst the reader may not agree with everything they do, it is easy to place ourselves in the shoes of the character and see the situation from their point of view. The jokes and funny quips are an additional factor in making the story so enjoyable.
If there is anything I would change, it would be the character development of Kat. Elliot has an incredibly close bond with her and it would have been nice to see more of what makes her so likeable to him. Considering that Elliot is gay and yet their relationship is borderline-romantic, I felt her role in the story could have been fleshed out a little more to give the reader an insight into who she is as a person.
But with the above critique in mind, the story is still completely immersive. I recommend this to readers of all genres and with more books to follow, I can’t wait to see where the authors take this next.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is available on Amazon.