Imagine our world spiraling down towards the climate catastrophe we dread. Imagine a last-ditch effort to clone old species to mitigate the damage. Imagine a scientist caring for a new baby, a resurrected Neanderthal. There you have the premise of “Ghost Species,” the seventh novel of master lit-sci-fi author James Bradley, and it’s a premise handled in masterly, brisk, yet reflective fashion. The author’s prose is elegant and precise, the interweaving of the setting in Tasmania with an angular picture of escalating catastrophe is masterful. In spite of the professionalism at work, I found character engagement took root only gradually, as if we were meant to stand apart from it all, but by the time the climax rolled in, the emotional impact was strong. A dystopian novel with a difference, unrelenting yet not overwrought, well worth a read.