Jessica Khoury is of Syrian and Scottish descent, and was born and raised in Toccoa, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. She still lives in Toccoa with her husband, Ben, where she writes and coaches youth soccer. Origin is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.jessicakhoury.com.
Pia has always known her destiny. She is meant to start a new race, a line of descendants who will bring an end to death. She has been bred for no other purpose, genetically engineered to be immortal and raised by a team of scientists in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work.
For as long as she can remember, Pia’s greatest desire has been to fulfill their expectations. But then one night she finds a hole in the impenetrable fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time in her life, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia’s origina truth with nothing less than deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, electric new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever. But is eternal life worth living if you can’t spend it with the one you love?
"Khoury's debut captures the lush rhythms of the rainforest. . . . The plot moves at breakneck speed. . . . Utterly refreshing." —Kirkus
"This well-written first novel concerns 17-year-old Pia, who, as the result of advanced genetic engineering, is invulnerable and immortal. . . . [Khoury’s] descriptions of the rainforest and the native people contrast beautifully with the laboratory setting . . . and Pia is a fascinating protagonist." —Publishers Weekly
"This first novel is a gripping read . . . with a clever blend of elements. It is an adventure story with romantic overtones, has a lush exotic setting framed by science, turns the eternal-love concept on its head, and rotates around a compelling moral quandary." —Booklist
"Readers will be thrilled with the page-turning adventure/survival scenes in a descriptive and imaginative setting, and will root for Pia and Eio to the end." —SLJ
"Origin is a startling mystery played out in the vivid and lush Amazon jungle. In this deadly clash of science and nature, a heroine emerges. Pia clawed her way through the pages and left her mark on the landscape of my imagination as the almost tangible danger left me breathless." —Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of Tiger's Curse
"I loved Origin's action, romance, and mystery and I couldn't stop thinking about the questions it raised." —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe
"Is this science fiction? It feels too scarily real. This spellbinding tale of the horrors of genetic engineering gone mad is both thriller and love story, breathlessly paced and beautifully told." —Judy Blundell, National Book Award winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied
"A lush, dreamy page-turner that will live forever in the hearts of its readers. Pia may be the perfect antidote for those suffering from Katniss withdrawal." —Josh Sundquist, author of the national bestseller Just Don't Tell