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Syndrome

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  1,242 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
For the desperate and dying, a promised miracle cure is the only chance for survival. But soon, the medical miracle of stem cell technology becomes a bizarre secret experiment that reverses the aging process--and it's out of control. Original.
Paperback, 382 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Pinnacle
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Elli
Aug 13, 2011 Elli rated it it was ok
Uuuuuuuughhhh. This had so much potential! And it started out so well, but took a huge nosedive in the second half. The author requires you to suspend disbelief a little too much. I guess I was able to go along with the CFO of a company just happened to be the brother of an interior designer who just happened to be the old flame of a reporter who just happened to be the son of the CEO of the company. I think. But I really draw the line at believing an Amex card is going to open a pass-card type ...more
Roberto
Dec 08, 2010 Roberto rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tabitha
Nov 16, 2011 Tabitha rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I keep attacking these overlong "hard" (sorta) sci-fi and/or medical thriller books, when I don't even want to admit I've read half of what I actually have. So much potential, crumbled into wasted time.
I have a weak spot for a medical thriller. But man-o-man, this was not a good book. It was written like a first-draft hash-out of what might have become an action movie staring Nic Cage as Stone Aimes. No I'm not making up that name, Tommy Hoover beat me
...more
Candace
Nov 09, 2011 Candace rated it did not like it
Shelves: dislikes
What made this book so unappealing I stopped halfway through? Firstly, I just didn't connect with the characters. In part, that's because they felt like characters, not real people. It was as if I was reading a play, and they were playing a part that was not who they truly were, because each seemed so flat, and without dimension. If I can't connect with the characters, there really is no redeeming the book for me, but I will give a little bit of feedback on the story anyway.
As I've said in other
...more
Angela White
Nov 25, 2011 Angela White rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
While the premise of this novel holds tremendous promise, the execution failed to deliver upon that promise as I'd hoped. Perhaps it's because I'm such a fan of medical and psychological thrillers, but this novel never drew me in as fully as I expected.

Amid a number of improbable coincidences, the lives of the main characters are intertwined in a mysterious clinical trial that's gone horribly wrong...except it's not until the final third of the novel that the reader is given information that bri
...more
Erin
Aug 31, 2011 Erin rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Only people who don't know anything about stem cells.
Shelves: kindle-free
This was a free kindle download so my hopes weren't necessarily that high, but I still didn't like this book. I started reading this book three months ago and at some point stopped reading it and never started again so it's probably safe to say I'm just not going to finish reading it.

My main issue with this book is that the science is just so terrible. Hoover didn't change things enough to make the the science futuristic or alien so I couldn't even read it like science fiction; I did try really
...more
Jeff Hatzenbuehler
Dec 31, 2014 Jeff Hatzenbuehler rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-ebook
I can't believe that such writing is actually published. The writing was dry and child-like with technical terms to try to show off. Don't waste your time on this one.
Patricia Wedertz
Nov 07, 2016 Patricia Wedertz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking

It was an interesting read. Having been a recipient of stem cell technology it definitely makes you think how far it might go.
Laurie
May 20, 2013 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
Dr. Karl van der Vliet is an undisputed genius who's medical research results in the ability to work miracles. He realizes a way to use adult stem cells that when injected into unhealthy organs, they can rebuild, regenerate and basically fix themselves. This process is the proverbial fountain of youth that can keep diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cirrhosis at bay indefinitely. Enter Alexa, she suffered an illness as a child that resulted in scar tissue in her ...more
Kristin
May 28, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, ebooks
This was the first full-length eBook I've read and I enjoyed it. The issues I had were more with the eBook format than the book itself, such as some of the text appearing 2-3 font sizes smaller than the other printing on the page and odd line breaks in the middle of the line. Also, the book needed a proofreader, as I noted many spelling, grammar, and perhaps AutoCorrect errors, but they didn't affect the book too much.
Plotwise, it was very fast moving and could probably be finished in an afterno
...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 15, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading Thomas Hoover...I've found that overall I enjoyed his writing and I think I'll be revisiting him again in the future.

Syndrome is a medical thriller based on cutting edge stem cell research. I admit that I don't have a full working subject of the novel so I can't really comment on the veracity. I will say that, as a work of fiction, this isn't that unbelievable. One of the strong points of Hoover's writing is that while it revolves around a heavily scientific subject
...more
Mike  Owens
Feb 19, 2013 Mike Owens rated it liked it
A medical thriller based on the concept of increasing longevity and curing disease by repairing damaged DNA with enzyme infusions. The concept is certainly mainstream, and stem cell infusions have been in use for years now. I did have some issues with this work, however.
Stylistic issues: too much backstory. The entire first chapter, with the exception of Ally taking her dog for a walk is backstory, Ally's aortic valve disease, Mom's Alzheimer's, Dad's suicide, husband's death, etc. This doesn't
...more
Mars
I think this book would benefit from a good editorial eye. I thought the story was interesting enough, but there was SO MUCH DESCRIPTION that it could easily be cut down a few hundred pages.

For example, "Ally was walking down the second-floor marble hallway... They [stairs] were wide and blue marble and had a kind of splendor as they seemed to literally flow down... The marble hallway upstairs ..." across two pages seems redundant. There was a little over an entire page describing one character
...more
Kay (Brigidsmomma) Compton
Jul 14, 2015 Kay (Brigidsmomma) Compton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys good literature
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are mostly well-developed, and believable, and so is the science behind the story. There is just enough truth to the genetics and research that makes this just at the edge of science fiction, but very close to reality to be able to suspend belief for me. I would say that within a few decades, this will be proven to be true, just as an early short story about surrogate motherhood by one of the leading women in sci-fi turned out to be true a few ...more
Jenny
Sep 27, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very good and enjoyable medical thriller.
It took a little while to get really drawn in for me, but then it picked up and was very exciting. My one character complaint is that the main character was described as a strong independent woman but seemed to be easily bullied into things. Though I suppose the plot could not have progressed if this were not so.
The concept being explored in the book was thought provoking and interesting, even if the science wasn't perfectly accurat
...more
Leanne Hunt
Jul 10, 2015 Leanne Hunt rated it really liked it
In spite of some negative reviews I read about this book, I actually liked it a lot. The subject matter is medical research and experimentation. The specific area of experimentation is stem cell technology. Although some of the plot elements are entirely of the author's making, they are nevertheless within the bounds of possibility and have received some critical attention from experts in the field of tissue regeneration. Other parts of the plot are actually a reality in advanced medicine today, ...more
Bob
Dec 21, 2011 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Kindle $.99 or freebee, don’t remember which, but it turned out to be a fairly good read. Alexa Hampton is running her fathers interior design business after his suicide and is facing an early demise from a serious heart problem. Enter her estranged brother who is working for a biomed research company. He is offering her a chance to be a late entry in stem cell treatment trials that could repair her heart. Brother and boss have an ulterior motive though which is not in Alexa’s best ...more
Sabine Mitchell
Feb 13, 2016 Sabine Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting fiction that makes you wonder or wish

The promises of medical treatments can lure an otherwise rational person into irrational or irresponsible actions such as letting your mother undergo treatments at a facility that is shrouded in secrecy. But fiction often mirrors life. This book was well written with an easy fluid style and kept me reading. The open ended chapters almost force the reader to continue, and the date and time stamps connect the reader to some reality. It also good to
...more
Ann
Mar 14, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
Interesting concept - written in an unconvincing style. No real depth or warmth to the characters which would have helped you to empathise with them and make reading about what happens to them more compelling. Odd, disparate people & no character development make the tale less convincing. Some characters seem to change mercurially with no explanation so difficult to determine motivation. Too many psychopaths with no conscience to believe and difficult to follow the relevance of weird dream ...more
Jennifer
Apr 12, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Very, Very creative read. Sometimes a little predictable, but for everything you figure out you are surprised by an unexpected turn!
The syndrome has to do with regenerative medicine gone horribly right and horribly wrong. A series of experiments led by a genius doctor who has a pretty decent moral compass but is easily influenced by his very off-balance financier. After curing many individuals with "regenerative medicine and stem cell" they push the boundaries too far. Eventually leading to coer
...more
K.R. Bankston
Jun 03, 2011 K.R. Bankston rated it really liked it
Great read!! definitely a rollercoaster ride with very memorable characters. I hated the supposed victim/herionne from start to finish. Not sure I was supposed too, but she was just way to overthe top extra for me. I loved Stone, the reporter and even the villains Winston Bartlett and Dr Van...the supporting cast was also enjoyable and i liked the flow of the story. I'm thinking perhaps there is a slight bias however to paint stem cell research as some dark sinister force of evil, when it's ...more
D. Redhawk
Jan 13, 2012 D. Redhawk rated it really liked it
I liked this one. It’s a medical science-fiction genre, along the lines of Robin Cook and late Dean Koontz. A brilliant scientist finds the cure to damned near anything if the thing is chemically manipulated properly. Unfortunately, one of his human trials backfires, and there’s a cover up. I had to suspend my belief with the main character—if there were that many things indicating I was being railroaded into joining the human trials of an experimental process, I’d be damned if I’d walk in the ...more
Jessica Buike
Aug 24, 2011 Jessica Buike rated it liked it
I found this story to be rather boring until closer towards the end - it just seemed to drag. I kept hoping for more action, more mystery, more SOMETHING, but nothing really pulled me in until the ending. I think that if it were a little shorter and/or had more action, it would be a much more interesting read!

There were some interesting medical ideas, but I don't know that they were truly believable. The story switches between the two main characters' points of view, which can sometimes get a li
...more
Sara
Jun 13, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
I don't recommend it. I gave the book three stars because I liked it enough to obsessively force my way to the finish, but it just was not good. The plot was good enough that I wanted to know the ending, but the dialogue and such was stereotype black and white detective agency tripe. The beautiful reporter obsessed with her youth was named Kristen Starr. The daring investigative reporter who will stop at nothing for the story and to save the heroine? Stone Aimes. I mean, I think Thomas Hoover ...more
Oven Joy
Aug 26, 2011 Oven Joy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in genetics, longevity, stem cell research, and mystery-thrillers
Recommended to Oven Joy by: Amazon Freebie
Well, Syndrome bugged me at first because of the typos and poor editing, but it made a great comeback as the story grew more and more fascinating. As someone with a background in genetics, maybe I appreciated the story more than others would, I don't know. But I really enjoyed the plot, and if you can ignore the errors, this was an entertaining and worthwhile read for sure!

I thought the way the author chose to wrap up loose ends at the end of the book was a little corny, but it didn't hurt the o
...more
Lee
Mar 03, 2012 Lee rated it did not like it
Shelves: wombat
First, the bad hyphenation in the Kindle edition makes this book maddening to read. Lazy, lazy, lazy production -- he chose speed over getting it right.

Second, Karen's aortic stenosis would have resulted in an aortic valve transplant years before the defect became life threatening. My husband has had two, so I know what I'm talking about. If Hoover got that wrong, why would I trust any of his medicine or science?

But mainly I think the book crapped out on the ending. It wasn't good enough for me
...more
Peggy Holloway
May 13, 2013 Peggy Holloway rated it it was amazing
WOW!! Move over Robin Cook. This book is every bit as good as his. It involves the issue of stem cell research. I love medical thrillers and especially one where they experiment on humans. This is such a book and it is so wonderfully scary, suspenseful and mysterious. It was a little long winded in places but now bad at all. I enjoyed it so much. I had never read this author before, but will read more by him in the future. For some reason, he is not charging for his books. He should, this one is ...more
Kim
Aug 28, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, e-book
Well, the descriptions of the science were often oversimplified and not quite right... Putting that aside, it could use quite a bit of editing (it sometimes feels like autocorrect was left to run rampant, changing words willy nilly), and the font/font size seemed to change randomly. And putting that aside too, it was an interesting medical mystery story with a lot of potential, and while I'm not sure it quite reached its potential, it certainly kept my attention and kept me reading!
Melba
Jul 18, 2013 Melba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery/thriller readers
I truly enjoyed this book by Thomas Hoover, and I hope to read others that I haven't read by him (if I can find them). This book was kind of roller coaster ride of emotions, but I truly enjoyed the ride.

I believe anyone interested in thrillers, mysteries, medical/ethical dilemmas would enjoy this book. I know I plan on reading it again in the future, and I have recommended it to several of my friends who do not have FB or Goodreads.
Danielle
Jan 03, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
I originally downloaded this book cause it was a free Nook book, so I wasnt expecting a whole bunch out of it but I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It may not be all scientifically correct and have some unrealistic coincidences to some, but I really enjoyed this book. I didnt care so much about the realism as I dif with the suspense part. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an awesome medical thriller.
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Thomas Hoover has a doctorate in oceanography and served as senior vice president of an architect-engineering firm in New York, where he has lived for several decades. His vices include being an avid sailor and a recognized collector of the classical music of India. He began his writing career with two classic non-fiction books on Far Eastern art and religion and then moved into fiction writing ...more
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“It's funny, but after you break up a family, no matter how dysfunctional, you start repressing the bad memories. But then something comes along to remind you all over again.” 0 likes
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