Book Review: Spliced

Counting down to Halloween with another thrilling and chilling tale!

Spliced (2017, Holiday House, Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian)


From the publisher:

In this gripping sci-fi thriller, genetically altered teens fight for survival in a near-future society that is redefining what it means to be human.

Sixteen-year-old Jimi knows people change, but nothing could prepare her for what’s about to happen to her best friend, Del. Del is obsessed with becoming a chimera (ki-mir-a): a person who pays back-alley geneticists, known as “genies,” to illegally splice animal genes into their own. The resulting physical changes have scared lawmakers into drafting legislation declaring chimeras officially nonpersons―so when Del goes missing, Jimi is desperate to find him before he alters himself forever. 

As she tries to save him, Jimi must face down unscrupulous people and risk her own life―all while knowing that if getting spliced is the choice Del has made, it means he’s leaving her behind forever.


Spliced, written by Jon McGoran, is a fast-paced science fiction thriller that will have readers staying up late into the night to read just one more page. Jimi shines as the unlikely heroine in this book and the chimeras are both beautiful and scary, at least at first.

The storyline is a nearly perfect blend of incredible, science fiction plot, and normal teenage worries set against a somewhat dystopian future. The reader will root for Jimi as she struggles to figure out who she is, while everyone around her seems to be choosing one side or the other in a heated debate. At times, the dialogue is a bit heavy on the human/non-human dilemma, but in this near-future fictional world, the debate plays out politically in a very real way, and has serious consequences for the chimeras.

Hopefully this is the first in a series, because the reader will be wanting more and the ending is left a bit too wide open to be truly satisfying as a stand-alone book. Overall, an entertaining and exciting read that will get readers thinking about the future of science and what might be possible. Highly recommended for readers ages 14 and up due to some scenes of violence and adult situations.

5 stars for this page-turning, thrilling adventure

Thank you to Holiday House for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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