On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the gripping new novel by Eve Smith, Off Target. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
A longed-for baby
An unthinkable decision
A deadly mistake
In an all-too-possible near future, when genetic engineering has become the norm for humans, not just crops, parents are prepared to take incalculable risks to ensure that their babies are perfect … altering genes that may cause illness, and more…
Susan has been trying for a baby for years, and when an impulsive one-night stand makes her dream come true, she’ll do anything to keep her daughter and ensure her husband doesn’t find out … including the unthinkable. She believes her secret is safe. For now.
But as governments embark on a perilous genetic arms race and children around the globe start experiencing a host of distressing symptoms – even taking their own lives – something truly horrendous is unleashed. Because those children have only one thing in common, and people are starting to ask questions…
Bestselling author of The Waiting Rooms, Eve Smith returns with an authentic, startlingly thought-provoking, disturbing blockbuster of a thriller that provides a chilling glimpse of a future that’s just one modification away…
I loved Eve Smith’s debut novel, The Waiting Rooms, and once again, she has explored a scarily realistic idea that doesn’t feel too far away in the future. Her latest novel is Off Target. In Eve’s version of reality, people are able to edit the genes of their unborn babies, which was specifically introduced to help prevent specific diseases. But people are now taking advantage of this science and are using it to create designer babies, and this sparks huge ethical questions about gene editing.
We meet Susan, who is facing an impossible dilemma when she becomes pregnant with her first child. She and her husband have been desperately trying for a baby, so she should be thrilled to learn the news that she’s pregnant. But Susan is sure that the baby isn’t her husband’s after mistakenly having a one night stand. But there are ways that she can get around this.
I loved the original spin that Eve Smith put on her idea. It’s what made this story so exciting, and so tense as it made me think that what she was planning to do would go horribly wrong. I’m sure this book will make many people wonder what they would do if they were in Susan’s position. What makes Eve’s idea so different as well is that she includes newspaper reports on different events, linked to the plot, happening around the world. You can see just how well Eve has researched this topic.
Following on from the drastic decision that Eve makes, we fast forward several years later, when her baby, Zurel, is now, almost, a grown adult. We can begin to see the consequences of the decision Susan took when she was pregnant, and we can see how Susan is plagued with guilt. But it is not clear if, what is now happening to Zurel is linked to what Susan did all those years ago. She is constantly living in fear, that someone will discover her secret, but she is also extremely worried about her daughter’s health and if she is to blame. The uncertainty about Zurel’s situation also drives the fear and the tension in Susan’s life. Zurel also has questions about what happened very early on in her life.
It was interesting to see the relationship between Susan and Zurel play out, now that Zurel is just about to reach adulthood. There is a lot of tension there and it made me wonder what would happen to their family if the truth about what Susan did came out. Eve Smith kept me utterly gripped as I waited to find out what was going to happen to them and how things would unfold.
I love books that blend genres and Eve Smith achieved that so well here. She has become a must-read author to me and I’m certain that I’ll read anything that she writes next. I highly recommend Off Target.
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 17th December 2021 (kindle) 17th February 2022 (paperback)
Print length: 300 pages
Off Target is available to buy:
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