from Popular Science review by Brian Clegg:
I've read a good few novels that attempt to provide edutainment - to work as a good story while simultaneously providing the reader with the kind of interesting information about science you might find in a popular science book. Most don't work at all. Either they fall over on the fiction writing, painfully lathering on the facts and writing amateurish prose, or they are so science-light that they are, in effect just straightforward hard science fiction, perhaps with a 'science behind the story' at the back. This title by Wallace Kaufman and David Deamer, I would say, is the best I've ever read in terms of achieving a balance of the two.
In the Hunt for FOXP5 we meet genetics professor Michelle Murphy and her extremely intelligent daughter Avalon (yes, really), adopted from a Kazakhstan orphanage, the way you do. In a mix of archeology, genetics and nationalist political intrigue we get a feel for how the FOXP2 gene may have resulted in human language ability distinguishing early humans from the other humanoids - and how a later single mutation, producing the (fictional) FOXP5, could result in extraordinary human intelligence. This change is something that the scientific leader of Kazakhstan wants to make a national treasure, so we end up with plenty of fun involving capture, escape and rescue attempts to give the plot action.
from a Manhattan reader:
I was hooked, and in no time I had finished a very enjoyable page-turner of a book. There are so many things that I can say about it but what I liked and appreciated the most is the differentiation of each of the characters. Each is distinct with his or her individual personality, voice, and gesture--even the relatively minor characters. I particularly liked Akenov, a wonderful affectless villain.
Wallace Kaufman and David Deamer
Kaufman has immersed himself in many cultures absorbing the full range of human behavior. Deamer has traveled beyond the solar system discovering clues to the origins of life, and along the way becoming one of the leading thinkers in gene sequencing.