05 March 2009


by Sophie McKenzie

Simon & Schuster Australia. Young Adult, Crime, Mystery, Science Fiction. Paperback rrp $18.95

Here is a story of two English 15-year-olds who seem to have typical teenage lives. When Theo discovers his father may still be alive, his actions catapult both himself and Rachel on a life-and-death race around England and America. This is a plotline so “out there” that one day it could become non-fiction.

Theo’s life is a little unusual. Although his mother struggles to afford the basics, he goes to an exclusive private school and he has a bodyguard, Roy, with him at all times - 24/7. Theo isn’t allowed to go to the movies or to friends’ places without Roy. He doesn’t even have a mobile phone.

Rachel’s life is very normal. She is a bit chubby, not popular and her parents are a lot older than most. Her mother constantly reminds Rachel of how beautiful, smart and talented her sister, Rebecca was. But Rachel doesn’t want to know because Rebecca died before Rachel was born and every day the number of times her mother compares her to Rebecca is the number of times Rachel is reminded of how fat, ugly, dumb and stupid she is!

Theo constantly tries to give Roy the slip and Rachel constantly tries to forget about Rebecca. Through searching the internet Theo locates a man who may know where his supposedly dead father is. The man is Rachel’s father. When Theo locates Rachel and then meets her father, strange and dangerous things start to happen. Theo and Rachel are attacked by men from RAGE (the Righteous Army against Genetic Engineering). The next thing Theo and Rachel are on the run – a race to escape the men from RAGE and to save their own lives. All the questions and answers seem to lead back to Theo’s father. But where is he? And how will they find him?

What Theo and Rachel discover is so startling that neither can believe it. And what happens to their lives will change forever their beliefs in the present, the future AND the past!

Blood Ties is a fast-paced, big-screen story. Even though it is recommended for 12+, any adult who likes a great psychological thriller will enjoy it. The issue of human cloning is a very real scientific occurrence and it has been used in this book to further the debate – good or evil. Brilliant! The only question now is when is the movie coming out?


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