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The Gryphon Project

by Carrie Mac

In the future world of The Gryphon Project, the latest novel by B.C. author Carrie Mac, a governing body called the Chrysalis Corporation has developed the ability to bring people back to life when they fall victim to an early death. This process of cheating death, called a “recon,” is bestowed upon citizens based on their social status: three recons for doctors, business execs, and politicians; two for academics and accountants; and one for service workers. For everyone else, the jobless and the destitute, no recons are allotted.
    The story revolves around one of the privileged, a teenaged girl named Phoenix who is fortunate enough to live in a “three-per” family. Due to a premature birth and a drowning accident at the age of six, Phoenix has already been brought back to life twice, leaving her with only one more recon and a jaded perspective on life, death, and the people around her who don’t realize how lucky they are to be blessed with three more chances at rebirth.
    Despite this intriguing premise, the novel is very slow to start, and it’s not until about halfway through that the story picks up the pace. Phoenix’s beloved brother Gryphon has a suspicious accident and may not be reconned; she races to solve the mystery of Gryphon’s death and save his life.
    The Gryphon Project is, in essence, an adventure story, an exciting tale that young readers will easily latch on to. Cautious parents, however, should be aware that although the novel is supposedly suitable for children aged 12 and up, mildly inappropriate language is present throughout the story, with a few harsh swear words and at least one case of a strong sexual reference.
    Although the novel is set in a seemingly distant world, readers will still relate to the wide range of characters dealing with similar issues to their own: shifting friendships, budding romantic relationships, and the struggle to keep a family together during times of hardship and grief. – Suzanne Gardner,