Review: Embryo

Posted September 24, 2012 by Karen in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Embryo
Author:J.A. Schneider
Genre: Medical/Thriller/Suspense
Grade/Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Book Synopsis:
“Maria Moran’s first inkling of trouble was the coppery taste in her mouth. It came suddenly, a rushing whoosh of something that made her gag, and when she reached to wipe her mouth, her hand came away smeared with blood.”

So begins this thriller about a young intern, Jill Raney, determined to investigate tragedies and terror at a famous fertility and genetic engineering hospital. When two pregnant women die and a fetus is delivered with severe chromosomal abnormalities, Jill’s superiors – including handsome, smitten-with-her resident David Levine – insist there’s no common link.

But her suspicions deepen with the grotesque murder near the hospital of another pregnant woman – her belly drained of amniotic fluid. And when a woman miscarries in the hospital and then disappears, Jill frantically searches for her – following a terrifying path that seems to link all the victims: Is someone playing with life…and the structures of human life itself? An unforgettable tale of suspense with a shocking denouement, Embryo takes you deep into the mind of malignant genius.


I had the pleasure of being given the opportunity to read and review Embryo by J.A. Schneider. Her e-book was sent to me for purposes of this review.

For those of you that know me, I have difficulty staying in one genre for too long. I do love my romance but ultimately I need a break once and awhile, and so arises my love for fantasy, science fiction, and certain thrillers.  I was very excited to hear that a medical thriller came to us on our list of books to be reviewed.  Being a nurse, I was rather intrigued to say the least…actually, I was jumping for joy.

Let me be up front and say this is a medical thriller, and it is not for the faint of heart.  Medical means that yes, blood will be involved, and that yes, there will be some terminology that a lay person may not be familiar with.   And this is not just any type of medical thriller, it is an obstetrics medical thriller.  Meaning that there will be babies and mothers that will not have happily ever after endings.  In reality, OB is not always the happy unit we would like it to be.   But, if you can get past this hurdle and jump ahead to the thriller and suspense part, the reader will not be disappointed.  If you can’t, then this book is certainly not for you.

For those adventurous enough to move past these obstacles, you will be treated to a fast paced and well researched book.   It is clear that the author has some form of background knowledge in medicine, because her description of the medical field and the daily activities of a new interns life is spot on.  Her use of medical terminology within the story  may seem overbearing to some, but for those that have worked in the hospital setting, it is appropriate.  Her writing is superb and flows well.

As I read this, I found myself uncomfortably attached to these mothers.  I was able to easily relate to their stories of pregnancy and to their feelings of grief  and hopelessness.  Yes, it is difficult when there is a loss of life, and the reader feels empathy and sadness towards these characters.  Yet the pace is so quick that the reader is quickly able to move on without becoming overly engrossed in the actual death of the mother or the infant.

The only area that I found somewhat distracting was all the secondary characters. There seemed to be too many for me and I had, at times, difficulty keeping all the characters straight.  I found myself more than once going back to previous pages, trying to remember who they were and what part they played in the story.

This was really the only critique I had with the book. Other than that, this was a sit on the edge of your seat, hold on to your computer, type of thriller. The ending is just plain wicked and disturbing. Readers will absolutely love it!

I will be looking forward to reading more of her work in the future.  One question for the author though… when will you be making a novel about nurses? Hint 😉

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