Synopses & Reviews
An electrifying action-romance that's as thoughtful as it is tragic....
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home — and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin — a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.
"Set in a secret scientific compound in the depths of the Amazon, this well-written first novel concerns 17-year-old Pia, who, as the result of advanced genetic engineering, is invulnerable and immortal. The scientists who created her are fanatics, morally compromised by their work; they've raised her to be what they see as the ideal scientist rational, objective, and heartless repeatedly telling her, 'You are immortal, Pia, and you are perfect.' Her sole purpose, they say, is to eventually create more immortals. Pia, who has never been outside the compound and knows nothing about the world beyond, is content with this role until, sneaking through a hole in the fence one night, she meets Eio, an indigenous boy her age, who shows her that there is significantly more to life than she knows. Khoury's scientists are mostly one-dimensional monsters, and their scientific protocols (keeping knowledge of geography and culture from Pia) make little sense. Her descriptions of the rainforest and the native people contrast beautifully with the laboratory setting, however, and Pia is a fascinating protagonist. Ages 12 – up. Agent: Lucy Carson, the Friedrich Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Origin is a startling mystery played out in the vivid and lush Amazon jungle. In this deadly clash of science and nature, a heroine emerges. Pia clawed her way through the pages and left her mark on the landscape of my imagination as the almost tangible danger left me breathless." Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of Tiger's Curse
"I loved Origin's action, romance, and mystery — and I couldn't stop thinking about the questions it raised." Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe
"Is this science fiction? It feels too scarily real. This spellbinding tale of the horrors of genetic engineering gone made is both thriller and love story, breathlessly paced and beautifully told." Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied
"A lush, dreamy page-turner that will live forever in the hearts of its readers. Pia may be the perfect antidote for those suffering from Katniss withdrawal." Josh Sundquist, author of the national bestseller Just Don't Tell
About the Author
Jessica Khoury was born and raised in Georgia. She attended public school followed by homeschooling, and earned her bachelor's degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. Origin is her first novel. She lives with her husband, Benjamin, in Toccoa, Georgia.