After hurricane Adolph turns New York City into Big Apple Sauce, the good life goes on and on and on for one-percenters like Margaret Hughes. Margaret looks like she's twenty-two, but she's really more than a hundred years old thanks to the life-extension technology she and her father developed in the 20th century. As the chief neurosurgeon of the Hughes Renewal Center, she "youthanizes" only wealthy clientele. Her practice virtually nsures the statusquo.
Rich, famous, beautiful: Margaret has it all. But she's kind of bored until Chase Lyman saunters into her life one hot and thirsty afternoon. Chase comes from the wrong side of the tracks - or would if there were any tracks left. The infrastructure crumbled decades ago. As a rollerblading medical courier,
Chase relishes the challenge of swiftly transporting organs from donor to recipient. He has his pick of the "grinder" groupies, his own pigeons and all the warm beer he can drink. Yep, life is good until Chase begins a steamy affair with Margaret, who pretends she's only a nurse.
Margaret continues the ruse until Chase is mistakenly kidnapped by religious fanatics with a grudge against life-extension, her father and the center. Driven by guilt - certainly not love - Margaret mounts a daring rescue attempt that forces her to rethink the consequences of her life's work upon herself, Chase and humankind.
-- "Creepily Brilliant!"
-- "Smart and funny (and thrilling too!)"
-- "A razor-sharp that, like the best speculative fiction, is really a sly, funhouse reflection of the world today."
-- "You're confronted with some disturbing moral choices, but left laughing out loud along the way."
-- "I was intrigued on page one and hooked on page two. After the first chapter I couldn't put it down."
-- "Reminds me of some of T.C. Boyle's more outrageous novels, darkly funny, slightly preposterous and yet so so possible."
-- "Hilarious and haunting, spinning us into a future that makes today look like a cake walk."
-- "Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's speculative fiction."
-- "It's a short hop from today's obsessions with youth and surgically-enhanced beauty to total body recycling, at least for the top .01 percent."
-- "One minute I'm completely creeped out and horrified. The next I'm laughing. And yes, feeling a little guilty for doing so."
-- "If you like a fast read, with wit and incredibly interesting characters and more plot than you can shake a cosmetic surgeon's knife at, you'll love The Vessel."
-- "Sign me up for renewal at The Hughes Renewal Center. I want my own vessel. Hell yeah I do."
If you enjoy Margaret Atwood, Robin Cook, Philip K. Dick or Neil Gaiman you'll love Rita Kempley's THE VESSEL.