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. Today, Jessica's here to talk about the setting of Vitro, which I can tell you (you know, having read and most thoroughly enjoyed it), is one of the shining aspects of the book.
Skin Island Unveiled
Skin Island is the primary setting for Vitro. It was once home to a resort called Halcyon Cove, but when the resort closed, the island came under Corpus control. Some of the old buildings were renovated into state-of-the-art laboratories, and Corpus scientists and employees took up residence in the abandoned villas overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Much of the resort was left untouched, however, and has been overgrown by jungle.
Skin Island is part of the archipelago known as the Marianas. The closest airport to the island is A.B. Won Pat International Airport on Guam, where the story opens with Sophie having just flown in from the States. Immediately she runs into a roadblock when she is unable to find a pilot willing to fly her to Skin Island, which is wreathed in rumors of disappearances, strange experiments, and hostile guards.
To bring Skin Island to life, I had to learn everything I could about the Marianas. This meant reading up on Guam, the Chamorro people, the flora and fauna of the South Pacific, the weather patterns, the tidal charts, and even the flight regulations for small aircraft in the area. In order to get a feel for the island atmosphere, I spent time in the Caribbean while writing (yes, we writers really suffer for our craft, I know, I know...). It's details like these that make a setting believable, and I hope readers will feel as if they are truly sitting beneath the palm trees, toes buried in the sand and ears filled with the rush and roar of the surf as they read Vitro.
Gillian again! Thanks for all the awesome info, Jessica. Doesn't that place look amazing? Aren't you all thinking, "I want to go to there?" Well, you might want to rethink that wanderlust after you read the synopsis for Vitro by Jessica Khoury:
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.
About Jessica Khoury:
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.