Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ovum Factor: An environmental thriller book review

The Ovum Factor begins with a hero, David Rose, a young and single investment banker, who is ready for an early midlife crisis and a big change. Then fate catches up with him, his boss sends him on a due diligence mission with an eccentric biophysicist, and he gets involved in a big story that flings him all around the globe, Indiana Jones style. The plot brings together adventure, espionage, science, investment capital, and a bit of science fiction for good measure. All to save the planet from an environmental destruction, of course.

I wrote here recently about
Earth: The Sequel, a new book that describes the current state of technological developments in the field of clean energy, and the struggle of investors and entrepreneurs to avert the same sad fate. It describes various technological developments: solar cells, wave energy, biofuels, geothermal energy and others. While The Ovum Factor's author, Marvin L. Zimmerman, does put venture capital backers as the engine behind the scenes of any plot to save the world, it is interesting to note that the technological solution he thought up is none of the above.

According to The Ovum Factor, humanity as it is does not stand a chance. What it takes is a new biological agent that will be able to accelerate the development of brain cells in a human baby during pregnancy. Such a development will create a generation of super babies, that will be able to finally make sense of our society's woes and ills, and come up with the right solutions, whatever those may be. In Zimmerman's world, like in
James Lovelock's, we're way past the tipping point, and it is going to take a whole new kind of humanity to make things right.

What I loved about the book in particular were the parts set up in the Amazon jungle. The author's love to the region and its inhabitants clearly shows, and the diversity and immensity of Brazil shines through.

The Ovum Factor
Author: Marvin L. Zimmerman
Publication Date: February 1, 2008
Pages: 383
Synergy Books

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