Brink of Life is filled with new complications and ramifications for the series’ consideration of eternal life.
Rick Moskovitz’s science fiction novel Brink of Life continues the story of those affected by clandestine contracts to receive the Ambrosia Conversion and through it, eternal life.
A widow stands graveside, disoriented. After going through the motions of the funeral in a daze, she glances in the rearview mirror on the way home and sees “the face of another stranger and recoiled. This face belonged to her. And she was certain she had never seen it before.” As this mysterious woman navigates life after the funeral, the fog lifts. She’s able to piece together a haphazard recall of her past.
Although she’d had the Ambrosia Conversion as a member of Ganymede, something has gone wrong. Her world is just enough askew that her doubts about the Ambrosia Conversion and Ganymede’s mission start creeping in. And when a former lover falls for the mysterious woman in her new incarnation, he reveals himself to be a secret agent working for a subversive counter-group, Mandala. The woman explores the issue of eternal life from the other side as she infiltrates Mandala as a resurrected woman. As the one person who can breach Ganymede and shut it down for good, she has just begun finding her feet when she’s forced to decide whether or not death should follow life.
Even though she’s in a new body, the woman’s past follows her, and ongoing problems connected to her body’s former identity are an additional complication. Unable to escape trouble in either the civilian or clandestine worlds, her new life is fast-paced and action-packed. Even when the action lurches between major event sequences, her afterlife advances with all the gusto of a spy thriller.
The woman has different problems to grapple with than her men counterparts. Sex defines not only her but the major choices and outcomes she faces. Unlike the men who’ve taken the money from the Ambrosia Conversion and universally benefited, her body donor was a sex worker who struggled before receiving the money, blew through it in short order, and continued to live a precarious life under the thumb of powerful men.
In this most sexually explicit book of the trilogy, the lead navigates questions about her sexuality; her new body doesn’t have the same orientation as her past body. Although the narrative is thoughtful in suggesting that trauma would be part of switching bodies, it is not clear what information and trauma are encoded in the new body, and what has been left in the haze of memory. Often, the boundaries shift in too convenient ways in order to keep the heterosexual sex hot and heavy, and any weightier burdens remain at a distance.
Brink of Life explores the Ambrosia Conversion from a woman’s perspective, filled with new complications to the ramifications of eternal life.
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