A Review – The Enclave (Day 2)

The Kendall-Jakes Longevity Institute is a literal monument to science, creativity, and the ability of man to rise above his limitations: a black glass ziggurat in the Arizona desert, labs and conference rooms interspersed with rainforest atriums, coffee bars, and incredible views. True, the Institute’s director, the globe-trotting, womanizing Parker Swain, once fell out of favour with the world for his daring experiments — but that only makes his hard-fought triumphs more admirable.

Working at Kendall-Jakes means prestige, the chance to work on the cutting edge of genetics, funding, community.

Or at least, it’s supposed to. For Lacey McHenry, newly arrived with a Masters, more debt than she can handle, and a gut-level need to transcend the disappointments of life thus far, Kendall-Jakes has meant three weeks of tending frog tanks, cleaning up after absent-minded geneticist Cameron Reinhardt, and foregoing sleep.

Stressed and unhappy, Lacey is unprepared to encounter a stinking, musclebound young thug in the animal lab, a violent and deranged intruder who has somehow slipped past KJ’s infamous security. Saved by the arrival of Reinhardt, Lacey is even more unprepared to be labeled a case for the psych ward, to have her story turned into a “hallucination” and the deep cut on her arm turned overnight into a scar. Nothing at KJ is what it seems, not even her own life.

Cameron Reinhardt is similarly unprepared for the encounter, one that triggers his struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and threatens to unearth memories he’s spent years burying. A devout Christian, Cam is appalled at the Institute’s treatment of Lacey and is forced to admit that his dream of research and freedom at Kendall-Jakes is a nightmare he’s not sure he can escape.

For the Institute’s secrets are ancient, everywhere underfoot, deadly — and determined to ensnare Cam and Lacey completely.

The Enclave is a scientific thriller along the lines of Michael Crichton, a throat-grabbing story that spans centuries and chronicles man’s efforts to become God even while trying to escape Him. Its characters, from the megalomaniac Swain, whose dreams are nonetheless poignant, to the convincingly torn Cameron Reinhardt, are entirely human. Plot twists and mysteries aside, I read this book to find out what would happen to the characters. They mattered. Their struggles with faith and integrity and hope resounded with me.

Even God, who reaches into the lives of several characters and interacts with them, is portrayed faithfully — when He speaks, the dialogue uses the words of scripture; when He acts, it’s in ways consistent with the God revealed in the Bible. The role of the Bible itself was especially moving, as the author shows its power to illuminate and give us hope.

The Enclave is well-written, intelligent, intriguing. Violence and sexuality make it a PG-13 read. For discerning readers who enjoy thrills, speculation, and stories about people living by real faith, I recommend this one.

Tomorrow, revisit this blog for a chance to win a brand-new copy of The Enclave :).



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9 responses to “A Review – The Enclave (Day 2)”

  1. agnes Avatar

    I’ve got to read this one.

  2. […] to be honored this month for their creative, thought-provoking posts: ? ? ? Julie ? ? ? ? Rachel Starr […]

  3. […] ? ? ? Julie ?? ? John W. Otte ? ? ? Steve Rice ? ? ? Stephanie ? ? ? ? Rachel Starr Thomson ? ? ? Fred Warren ? ? ? Dona Watson ? ? ? […]

  4. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    Excellent as always, Rachel. I made myself wait to read your review until I’d written my own. You do such a wonderful job of reconstructing the story. I can never faithfully portray the events without delving into spoilers (so I usually truncate that part of my review), but you gave nothing away. Super job.


  5. […] ? ? ? Steve Rice Crista Richey ? James Somers Speculative Faith ? ? Stephanie ? ? Rachel Starr Thomson ? Steve Trower ? ? ? Fred Warren ? ? ? Dona Watson ? ? […]

  6. Isabelle Lussier Avatar

    Thanks for coming on my site and commenting on my review. I am Canadian indeed as well as homeschooling my kids. Nice to see that you are a homeschool grad. My oldest will start grade 3, then I have a senior K and a junior K as well as a toddler.

    Busy household for sure.

  7. Karen Hancock Avatar
    Karen Hancock

    Great review, Rachel! And yes, of course I’m biased, but I loved as much how you wrote it as what you wrote. Your synopsis of the set up was wonderfully done, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I enjoyed yesterday’s post, too.

  8. Timothy Avatar

    Thanks for a good review. Enclave sounds interesting. Your review makes the main characters sound believable, and story sound like it pulls you right in. The DNA research sounds similar to recent genome research which only adds to believability.

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