K I R K U S R E V I E W S | In this compelling debut sci-fi pastiche of existential crises, millennia-old religious prophecies and modern-day fanaticism, the supernatural aspirations of a Muslim scientist collide with the modest, earthly aims of a secular American couple.
When the empires of reason and faith collide, the authority of each is called into question. Sean and Maddy begin to build a life together in New York City, but their endeavor is complicated by Maddy’s choice, prior to meeting Sean, to become pregnant via artificial insemination. Unbeknownst to her, however, the child she carries—Victor, whose destiny the second half of the novel traces—is a beacon of paradigm-shifting research... Masterfully told from its benign beginnings to its tragic end in a Jerusalem cemetery, this novel charts the intersection of men and women made anxious by the question of life’s purpose and its seemingly paltry answers. Fantastic in its arc, the story nonetheless roots itself in moments of genuine psychological discord, revealing itself via anachronistic chapters that flit between past and future. This is a fable of sorts for the modern world, spanning the events of 9/11 and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as the doctrines of Hegelian philosophy and Islamic theology. A study in the ethical limits of science, the novel also traces the blurry line that divides sanity from insanity, as Jal’s views degenerate from philosophically reasoned convictions to sadism and self-delusion.
A confident mix of high-minded intellectual arguments and fast-paced fiction.
I N D I E R E A D E R | The Other Son is a fascinating look at the intersection between science, philosophy, and religion. Dr. Jal is captivating in his lack of humanity and the choices that he makes. As he becomes more loathsome, he becomes curiously remarkable.
The Other Son was the winner in the Philosophy category of the 2015 IndieReader Discovery Awards.