• Immunity Index

  • A Novel
  • By: Sue Burke
  • Narrated by: Chloe Dolandis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $25.51

Buy for $25.51

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Sue Burke, author of Semiosis and Interference, gives listeners a new near-future, hard SF novel. Immunity Index blends Orphan Black with Contagion in a terrifying outbreak scenario.

In a US facing growing food shortages, stark inequality, and a growing fascist government, three perfectly normal young women are about to find out that they share a great deal in common. 

Their creator, the gifted geneticist Peng, made them that way - before such things were outlawed. 

Rumors of a virus make their way through an unprotected population on the verge of rebellion, only to have it turn deadly. 

As the women fight to stay alive and help, Peng races to find a cure - and the cover-up behind the virus. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

Sue Burke spent many years working as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines before writing her critically acclaimed Semiosis. A Clarion workshop alumnus, Burke has published more than 30 short stories in addition to working extensively as a literary translator. She lives in Chicago. 

©2021 Sue Burke (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“Prescient and powerful, this is a gut-punch of a book...Sue Burke only gets better and better. She is a genuine if unsung hero of our genre.” (Seanan McGuire, author of A Killing Frost)

“Riveting world building by a rising star of science fiction.” (David Brin) 

What listeners say about Immunity Index

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring, unoriginal thinly veiled social commentary

Bought this because I greatly enjoyed her other books, which were original and had nice bit of hard sci fi. This has neither. It's not terrible, just quite a letdown from her other work.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wish fulfillment... just not mine

This was a very good story. I got invested in the characters, and the eerily-believable future setting is reminiscent of recent William Gibson titles. It was satisfying along numerous dimensions, many of which are topical right now. I imagine M Burke got a lot of pleasure in how she conveyed certain concepts and archetypes.

What this book is NOT--and I'm not saying anywhere that the material represents otherwise--is a follow-up to the Semiosis Duology. Don't expect the content to bend the way you think about consciousness, community, or communications.

The performance here was good. I would have liked a LITTLE more differentiation between the voices of the protagonists, but I recognize that the similarity is exactly the point of the story.

In summary, if you understand this genre you will probably like this title.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

What is this book about?

I really liked Semiosis and thought I'd try this. it's like it's written by a different person. the story doesn't draw you in. it's like you get thrown into the last act of a play. there's no suspense about what will happen and the characters are interesting but they don't arc. the theme of genetic manipulation isn't developed at all; I'm not even sure why these girls had to be clones. the voices were great; good distinct voices for the girls and lots of emotion. too bad the story was such a let down

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A story deeply influenced by the 2020 pandemic

The events of this book are set in a medium near future world somewhat different from ours- people talk about coronavirus without ever mentioning Covid19, under a federal administration that favors the wealthy and privileged which no one compares to the Trump Administration. This can be an advantage when it depicts features of life we have become familiar with over the last year and a half ourselves, but may also be distracting when we notice things which don't match our current situation. Where was the anxiety of being in crowds of strangers, the hand washing, the gigantic social media corporations? Of course it doesn't mean anything for these to go without a mention, but it's hard to ignore the nagging reminders of the present pandemic.

We see the action of the novel through a group of young women all living in the upper Midwest who share a secret that could prove to be damaging to them. The technology is an extrapolation of what we have now (self driving cars, genetic manipulation) but with food shortages, and still the same kind of cultural and political divisions we see in the US and between the US and other nations. There are engineered animals including a mammoth but mostly appearing only as tourist attractions (though engineered animals are mentioned at one point). The women are in peril at different points, trying to understand what is happening, lied to by people in authority. The additional character of genetic expert Peng, who is sequestered while a pandemic threatens to overwhelm the country, takes on a kind of thriller aspect.

As to the story structure, things are told in parallel points of view by the different characters, which was rather confusing for me in audiobook form because there was no discernable demarcation between one story and the next so I really had to pay attention. There are shadings of character suggesting how the women have different personalities owing to the influence upbringing and wealth along with their different ages. When the situation with the pandemic begins to spiral out of control they each have a tense scene full of chaos and pluck, but there is no overarching narrative that pulls everyone along while they struggle to survive and to help others. The relationship between Irene and the woolly mammoth Nimkii she is caring for is the most touching one in an understated way. It all kept me going without really having a big climax and denouement. The antifascist social commentary is definitely there to see but there are no scenes of preaching a message or calling people to change their ways.

I think the audiobook narration did help to make the characters seem more like individuals with different lives.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

gimme some of that old-time freedom

Not so much a dystopia as just a lousy place to live, this novel takes place in a US ruled by a strongman. You may not find such a setting compelling. If not, don't bother picking this one up.

Otherwise, it's about some young women, whose connection with each other is not initially apparent. Oh, and a geneticist too.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gosia Furmanik
  • Gosia Furmanik
  • 08-06-22

Good book, but too real

I think this was a good book, but I can't say I enjoyed it: I read sci-fi primarily to escape from our doomed world, and this book just hit too close to home. I was glad it ended on a hopeful note, this, in the end, made it worth it to persevere.

Sue Burke's writing is very engaging and I really got invested in the characters (especially the mammoth 🥲), all of whom had depth and development. The story was a bit lacking and not super innovative though.

The narration was excellent.