Welcome to the VITRO blog tour! Jessica Khoury, the talented author of Origin, is back with a death-defying tropical adventure. Follow along over the next two weeks as Jessica takes readers behind the scenes of her latest novel.
Jessica’s Guest Post:
Corpus is the link between Origin, my first novel, and Vitro. Though I felt that Pia’s story was fully told at the end of Origin, I found myself drawn back to Corpus, the enigmatic, visionary corporation responsible for creating Pia. It’s mentioned in Origin that Corpus has other “projects” all over the world, so the door was wide open for more Corpus stories.
Like the term “corporation” itself, Corpus’s name comes from the Latin word for body. This refers both to the company’s united identity as well as its proclivity for the type of research that seeks to improve, experiment with, and better control the human body. Though they pour millions of dollars into biological research like the projects in Origin and Vitro, they’re not limited to just science. Characters in both books drop hints that Corpus’s affairs span a much broader range of interests.
Corpus employees are key players in Vitro, and here are some of the ones you can expect:
Sophie’s mother isn’t exactly the maternal type, and chose her work over Sophie a decade before the story opens. She’s brilliant, dedicated, and visionary, but also conflicted. Her research has become a veritable rabbit hole of moral and ethical dilemmas that make abandoning her only daughter seem almost kind.
All I can tell you right now is that Connie Andreyev is Russian, calculating, and filthy rich. He’s arrived on Skin Island about the same time as Sophie and Jim, to inspect the Vitros and be wooed by Corpus into investing in the project. The future of the Vitros and Moira’s work is contingent on his decision to fund the research.
Moira’s young research assistant is no stranger to Corpus—readers of Origin may recognize her surname and match it to Dr. Hashimoto from the Immortis Project. Hana is the daughter of Pia’s “Uncle Haruto,” and she’s forging her own career on Skin Island by basically being everyone’s errand girl, ferrying the Vitros around and shadowing Moira Crue’s footsteps.
When Sophie is summoned by her long-absent mother, a scientist who works in a classified lab, Sophie throws caution to the wind and heads to the South Pacific. She sweet-talks her way onto a tiny supply plane piloted by Jim Julien, who lives on Guam with his alcoholic father. Jim is captivated by Sophie and against his better judgement agrees to take Sophie to the secretive and tropical Skin Island where her mom has been working for so many years.
There Sophie and Jim are met not by her mother but instead by Nicholas, a handsome, brilliant boy who leads them to Lux–a girl who looks exactly like Sophie. Lux is Sophie’s genetic twin and was bred using in vitro fertilization. But why? And just what have the scientists created Lux to be capable of?
With lyrical writing and ever-increasing tension, Jessica Khoury draws out the explosive answers in her much-anticipated followup to Origin.
Jessica Khoury is 23 years old. She has red hair. She was homeschooled. She’s an avid soccer player and was a three-time All-American striker. She is of Syrian and Scottish descent. She went to college in the same tiny Georgia town in which she was born and raised. And she’s a prodigiously talented writer with a huge following.
Jessica Khoury lives in Toccoa, GA with her husband, Benjamin. You can visit her online at www.jessicakhoury.com.