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***** - The Family Experiment


THE FAMILY EXPERIMENT

JOHN MARRS

*****

Some families are virtually perfect . . .


The world's population is soaring, creating overcrowded cities and an economic crisis. And in the UK, breaking point has arrived. A growing number of people can no longer afford to start families let alone raise them.


But for those desperate to experience parenthood, there is an alternative. For a monthly subscription fee, clients can create a virtual child from scratch who they can access via the metaverse and a VR headset. To launch this new initiative, the company behind Virtual Children has created a reality tv show. It will follow ten couples as they raise a Virtual Child from birth to the age of eighteen but in a condensed nine-month time period. The prize: the right to keep their virtual child or risk it all for the chance of a real baby . . .


MY REVIEW

*****


I read The Marriage Act last year and loved it, so I was excited to read John Marr’s latest – The Family Experiment.


Ten couples are given the chance to raise a Virtual Child in the metaverse, they are competing to win the prize of best parent and get a chance to keep the child… or keep any of the prize fund that they’ve saved from raising them.


The Family Experiment is set in the same universe as The Marriage Act, The One and The Passengers, so there are some nice Easter eggs for readers familiar with these books, but it works well as a standalone for those that haven’t. The book is interspersed with news articles and internet forum chats which keep the pace high. The babies also jump in development stages per week as well which is interesting and really shows the affect that parenting can have on a child.


With 10 couples and their children to keep track of initially, it is quite a few characters to get your head around, but this does decrease down further into the book. Each couple has their own secrets to keep and are well distinguished from each other. The plot builds well, and I was hooked throughout – powering through the pages to find out what would happen next.


Overall, The Family Experiment is another great read from John Marrs – perfect for fans of his other stories but a great read for those who haven’t read them as well. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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