New York Times

Like all of Jones's work, Life demands -- and amply repays -- close reading. In addition to writing well about the thrills and tedium of scientific research, she manages to be both clinical and lyrical in describing her characters' exploration of their sensuality.
—New York Times Book Review, November 14, 2004

The Library Journal

The lives of biologist Anna Senoz; her husband, Spence; and their university friends intertwine as they evolve from idealistic students into adults with concerns that may affect their world. When Anna discovers a curious genetic trend with implications for the human sexual identity and gender relations, she finds herself a pariah among her colleagues. This latest novel from British author Jones (Divine Endurance) portrays a near future of commercial globalization in which gender discrimination persists in subtle ways, forcing biology to find a way to fight back to equalize the sexes. Beautifully written and elegantly paced, this story conveys bold speculative concepts through intensely human characters. Deserving a wide crossover readership, it is highly recommended for both sf and general fiction collections.
—Library Journal (Starred Review), Sept. 15, 2004
Science Fiction Weekly

Jones' prose is deeply engaging, drawing readers fully into her near-future setting. Anna is a well-drawn protagonist, one who inhabits a role usually reserved for male characters in SF: the obsessed scientist, willing to make big sacrifices to unlock the mysteries of life.
— Science Fiction Weekly, November, 2004

If you are ready for something beyond ray guns and rockets, with a taste of the real world and a touch of science fiction, try Life; it will take you to a world you thought you knew.
— SFRevu, November, 2004
Midwest Book Review

Life is a novel that poses the quintessential question: what does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? Sex, science, the limits of love, and the struggles of individuals seeking to find meaning in their own lives, in a future world so close to our own, set the stage for a dramatic play of human emotions and the crushing press of ruthless events. Highly recommended.
—Midwest Book Review, Vol. 3, No. 11, November, 2004.

"Handsomely done, a strong and serious exploration, with convincing people you come to care about and high, very high stakes..."
— Suzy McKee Charnas, author of The Holdfast Chronicles and The Vampire Tapestry

"Violence manifests itself in a multitude of forms leaving survivors with psychological damage. Gwyneth Jones’s Life (2004) portrays myriad acts of violence against women in science with a specific critique of patriarchy that devalues women’s place in science as the “second sex.” The novel depicts “genderization of science,” questioning whether there are essential biological sexual differences through the psychology of a haunted woman bioscientist who discovers the Transferred Y chromosome that will change the future of gender with the death of male chromosome and birth of many diverse sexes. This article discusses how gender becomes a visible barrier to advancement in almost any field, but most importantly in the sciences due to gender stereotypes and gendered professional culture. This is achieved by exploring the threshold of madness the woman scientist is driven to as a response to the strain of ongoing patriarchal violence, in addition to the consequences of her psychological dilemma of balancing her multiple roles in professional career and personal life . . .

Sumeyra Buran, 2020

Violence against Women in Science: The Future of Gender and Science in Gwyneth Jones’s Life

Read the Prologue here