Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Venom of Vipers / K.C. May

Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller

Approximate word count: 90-95,000

Availability Kindle: YES     Nook: YES        DTB: YES


A software developer, technical writer, and now full time novelist, K.C. May has lived a nomadic life, living in Hawaii, Taiwan, and Arizona among other places. She has one other novel, The Kinshield Legacy, called “a rousing hard-hitting fantasy adventure” by Piers Anthony.  For more visit
the author's website.


A virus is killing off the population. The best hopes for survival of the human race are saphers, a genetically engineered human subspecies that are immune. A team of scientists is searching for a cure by trying to isolate what makes saphers resistant to the virus. Not all those outside of the research compound want the team to succeed.


If you’ve read my page talking about submission of books for review you’d have noticed I discourage submission of science fiction and fantasy. This is largely a matter of taste. I prefer books that are at least close to reality. Too often, either genre is too far removed from the world I live in to relate. Add to that a tendency for me to feel the world the author has created too often overshadows the characters and it’s a recipe for me to dislike a book, regardless of its quality. Those prejudices of mine were not an issue when reading The Venom of Vipers.

The primary characters, Katie (a doctor/researcher) and Ryder (one of the saphers) were likeable. Although Ryder had many faults, his temper being one, this just made him seem more human. The fictional science was a big part of the premise and overall story, but not so far out as to be unbelievable – it seemed very conceivable by extrapolating current scientific knowledge out just a few years. Most important, the story revolved around the characters rather than the science. As with any well-told story, I found myself pulling for the characters I liked and against those I didn’t, regardless of if they were Homo sapiens or the sapher sub-species.

The latter portion of the book turns into to a thriller. This part gets very intense, as you’d hope for a thriller. However, this is also the only part of the book where I had any quibbles. Specifically the head of security was a character that became less and less believable. His motivations and goals were clear; however, his actions seemed less than credible at times. Despite this I found Venom of Vipers an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Format/Typo Issues:

I spotted no issues in this area.

Rating: **** Four Stars

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