Editorial Review: Defying Destiny by Karen Liddard
If you were offered everything you could ever want - youth, beauty, money, health – what would you agree to? This is no longer an abstract ethical conundrum to Ashleigh Daniels, but a real choice as she becomes Alexa Dartmoor.
Brilliant and intimidating, Ashleigh Daniels has hit fifty years old and has grown bitter. She has lived an incredible professional life with career success and glowing references. What she has not managed, however, is any kind of personal life. Being tempted into a tropical getaway with her good-looking colleague but being discarded for a younger model before he even gets there, leaves Ashleigh stranded at the reception desk. While a week on her sleazy boss’s credit card would have been nice enough, Ashleigh meets Rick Malvern. Little does she know that this not-so-chance meeting will change everything. Rick is gorgeous and attentive but seems mature beyond his 30-year-old body. Frankly, he seems to be too good to be true.
When the penny drops, Rick appears with an offer for a job. A job with benefits that Ashleigh can’t quite believe. A new body and a huge salary come at a high cost, but even though she’s read the crazy NDA Ashleigh doesn’t yet understand how high.
Emerging from the process gorgeous, fit, and young, Ashleigh – now Alexa – thrives in her new position. Though her perfect memory is making things hard for the lab techs when she keeps seeing things she shouldn’t, she seems to come out of every scrape miraculously unscathed.
GenTech, Rick’s company, is ahead of the game in almost every avenue – rapid healing, intense memory and learning enhancement, and other things that they won’t tell her about. When Alexa starts to unravel the macabre truth, she is devastated to learn of the depth of their betrayal, manipulation, and lies. GenTech’s plans for the world are comprehensively opposed to Alexa’s ethics, how can she choose to die for her beliefs when dying for them will change nothing?
Touching on the ethical challenges of advanced biotech without bogging down the prose with detailed arguments, K. A. Liddiard does a good job of allowing the reader to form their own opinions and still side with Alexa.
The writing is quick and action scenes well-formed, Liddiard does the story justice with her pace and character arcs.
Fast-paced and full of twisty questions of ethics and bio-tech, Defying Destiny is a deceptively deep dive as well as an action-packed thriller.