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Invasive Procedures

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3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  2,549 ratings  ·  342 reviews
George Galen is a brilliant scientist, a pioneer in gene therapy.But Galen is dangerously insane - he has created a method to alter human DNA, not just to heal diseases, but to "improve" people - make them stronger, make them able to heal more quickly, and make them compliant to his will.


Frank Hartman is also a brilliant virologist, working for the government's ultra-secre
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2007)
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Liz B
In a word: Tiresome.

If you're considering buying/ reading this one, be aware that Card did not write it. It's based on one of his earliest short stories, and he collaborated with Aaron Johnston in planning it, but I have no doubt that every actual word was written by Aaron Johnston. Bless his heart.

The science was boring and predictable (probably made a great and creepy short story 20+ years ago), the characterization was unbelievably superficial, the dialogue was painful. The evil characters we
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Ben Babcock
Genetics is one of the reasons I'm glad we have science-fiction authors. So far physicists have conspired to make faster-than-light travel impossible (or at least highly impractical), so perhaps we won't be meeting any intelligent alien species any time soon. In the past ten years, however, our understanding of genetics and the human genome has grown considerably. As we become more adept at manipulating our genome, whether it's to cure hereditary diseases or augment healthy genes, we must confro ...more
Bryan


SAY IT AIN'T SO!

An author's name should represent something - it's a brand after all, and gives some kind of quality assurance.

So Mr. Card: "Say it ain't so!" Did you actually write a single word of this mess? Or was it just based on your short story from way back?

Top Five Reasons why you should read this book:
1) you find ways to enjoy second-rate writing
2) you don't mind unrealistic science being used as a key element in a thriller
3) you can tolerate awkward plotting designed to keep the sus
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Wendy
I like Orson Scott Card, but this book is not really written by him, which I think is the problem. It's based on a short story of his, but then Aaron Johnston turned it into a screenplay and later this book. We're told in the back of the book that Aaron is a "successful Hollywood screenwriter", of the kind of movies that I don't like, I'd imagine. The writing might be fine for a screenplay when the actors will bring more to it, but I found the descriptions generic, and the attempts to express wh ...more
Nick
Two weaknesses in this novel are:
a) an inadequate level of hard-science as background to some fairly significant advances in genetic technologies.
b) some strained 'leaps-of-faith' of character behavior changes at some key points in the novel (no spoilers here).

Nevertheless, you will probably enjoy this novel as escapist 'vacation' reading.

It reads like a novel from a screenplay. Enjoyable, but Card did a much better job with his novelization of the screenplay from The Abyss.

'Genetic SF' novels
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Jonathan
This is actually a collaboration with Aaron Johnston. Originally a short story by Card, Johnston developed it into a screenplay with help from Card, and then Johnston turned the screenplay into a novel. It's well-written, definitely different from Card's usual style. I liked it a lot; it has suspense, interesting social commentary and biology, and it keeps you guessing.
Doreen
This novel totally freaked me out. And not in a good, thriller kind of way: what boggled my mind the most was how a writer as smart and self-examining as Orson Scott Card could possibly allow his name to headline this sophomoric mess. The lead male and female are virtually cardboard cut-outs, and I was honestly surprised by all of one scene in this book (and that was about 300 pages in.) Otherwise, it was predictable and unexciting. Card virtually apologizes in his afterword for how the book was ...more
Virginia
It is apparently a tragedy that Orson Scott Card's name is attached to this book. I've read a little by him, and thought it was better then this book, and Drew has read most things by him, and, after reading this book, said that it was far below Orson Scott Card-level writing. And, if you read the front of this book, it's because the actual author of the book (whose name is listed in smaller print underneath the ginormous lettering of Card's name) just collaborated with Card for ideas, and Card ...more
Sri
As background - I really enjoy thrillers based on modern technology. Another bit of background- i am a huge, huge, orson scott card fan.

Having said that, you will understand why this review pains me. I really thought that i would like this book. It had everything i could want. Or so i thought. Unfortunately, despite the fun little bits about technology there were serious issues.

First, the technology was poorly thought out. Second, the characters seemed anything but believable.

Third, and what b
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Carrie Robinson
Well, I hate to spoil the fun for Michael Crichton lovers, but I'm a Card fan and his name appears in bold letters on the book, so what was I to think?! Aaron Johnston's name should have appeared in bold letters and Card's in small letters, since Johnston basically wrote the book based on a Card short story, Malpractice.

I don't like reading books that are wanna be movies (like Michael Crichton's books) because the movie is better than the book, and that's what this is. A book that's meant to be
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Mark McFaddyn
I didn't look closely enough at this book when I bought it: I thought it was by Card, with help from Johnstone. It is really a novel by Johnston based on a short story by Card. It is an interesting idea for a novel, and much of it is good and exciting and interesting. But it has some flaws: a bit contrived and predictable in some places, and unbelievable in others. Still, for Johstone's first novel, I suppose it is decent. I'll stick to OSC in the future though. From Reed Business Info:

In this i
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Will
I found a new hardback version of this book at our local grocery store for $3.00, but hey, Orson Scott Card is one of the authors, so I had to get it. It was worth what I paid (and a little more), but it did read like a screenplay. In fact, sometimes while reading I felt like I was watching a season of 24. The lead character, Frank Hartman, is like a medical Jack Bauer (without the torture). The federal agency even seems kind of like CTU (and has a three letter abbreviation I can't remember). Ha ...more
Timothy Ward
A virologist with military training, Dr. Frank Hartman, must find a way to stop a genetic scientist's insidious plan that goes beyond healing genetic disorders. This scientist, George Galen, believes he has the science to take humanity to their next step in evolution. His followers' physical advancements make them formidable opponents and the stakes our heroes have to overcome to avoid unleashing a catastrophic virus, let alone maintain their sanity, make this story a thrilling ride.

I picked up
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Annette
Basic Plot: Crazy evil scientist type creates a cult of personality and healing around himself and his techniques for individually tailored "super viruses" that can cure otherwise fatal diseases - or create super-humans. Next step: take over the world.

This book was not, IMHO, up to Card's usual standard of story telling, plot, pacing, or narrative.
In fact, it read like a movie script - or maybe one of those "based on the movie" novels that try to cash in on a popular film. Not to be too insult
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Benjamin Spurlock
A very interesting read. Aaron Johnston lives up to the ambitious premise of his book- a new virus that promises nothing but death to those who catch it, while at the same time, a new cult in Los Angeles- known as the 'Healers'- use unknown and highly dangerous techniques to cure genetic diseases that society deems impossible to treat.

Dr. Frank Hartman is thrown into the middle of this, and the journey through the investigation is interesting. However, while the use of genetics and reprogrammin
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Mason Kuhlmann
In this book, a man named Galen has started a new religion of men, named by the public as Healers. They have no medical degree. They have little equipment. Yet somehow they are managing to create extremely dangerous viruses, that can heal a young man with sickle-cell, and kill a healthy full grown man. He is planning something big. He has recruited men and women off the streets, and is setting up for the procedures that he will preform on them. One boy named Jonathan, who is homeless and 18 has ...more
Maria
I had a really hard time giving this more than two stars. Not so much because the book was "bad," actually it was quite entertaining, but because I know how good of a writer Card can be, and thus it was a little disappointing. I had the most trouble getting into the characters. Card is usually a genius when it comes to adding depth and insight into his characters. I did not feel connected in any way to these characters. I felt almost emotionally detached, which is usually not the case when I rea ...more
Jenny GB
Well, it was quite clear that this novel started as a screenplay and was turned into a novel. I was largely disappointed with it for many reasons. The characters and plot were very much like a movie, which in this case is not a compliment. It lacked the depth and complexity of a lot of Card's novels. Also, as far as the genre of futuristic scientific thriller novels it wasn't top class. I much prefer Michael Crichton who tells you enough science and facts to make you believe in the incredible in ...more
Jeffrey
This story was terrible. First off the characters were wooden, the motivations were transparent and predictable, the love story that was forcibly inserted into it was insipid. The story betrays Card's lack of knowledge on everything from policy procedure to medical ethics to research to biology. It was absolutely inane. It wasn't even particularly well written, with many of his fictional acronyms for non-existent government organizations either never been explained or being explained three chapt ...more
S
Aug 29, 2013 S rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I've just started reading some books by Orson Scott Card, and picked this one up on a random whim while idly browsing the library stacks. I like reading thrillers and I'm a scientist, seemed like a win-win.

Unfortunately, this was nowhere near as enjoyable as the other stories I've read by Card. Turns out he is only a nominal contributor -- I'm guessing in the most literal sense of the word, because there's another writer. I think Aaron Johnston, the 'co-'author, did most of the actual writing on
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Margot
This medical thriller story came across like a season of 24 without the charisma and likeability of Jack Bauer or the the high personal stakes that make each episode an edge-of-your-seat thrill of moral and ethical dilemma. I was interested enough in the story to keep reading (listening, actually, to the audio version), but I never fell in love with the characters so didn't feel the tension and drama this story really needed.

In Invasive Procedures, the corrupt scientist George Galen has created
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Anne
I thought parts of the book would have done better on the screen; parts definitely did better in the book than they could ever have done on screen. The characters were well developed, and while some of the motivations were definitely "movie-ish", they were also well enough written that I cared about them anyway. The story was excellent and engaging and I didn't put it down even when I really should have. Some parts of the science were a little "Hollywood" as well, but the plot and characters wer ...more
Rachel
It took me a few days to review this one -- I'm still not entirely sure what I thought of it. It gets points for being the creepiest book I've read in years (I usually avoid horror, but this is definitely bordering on it, if not crossing the line in spots), but loses points for being somewhat overblown in the writing, such that at times it seems more like a farce than a thriller. Probably comes of being written by a screenwriter.

The plot is based on one of Orson Scott Card's early short stories
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John
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
This was interesting and I don't regret reading it... but I do regret that they sold it as an OSC book when it really isn't. The writing style really shows it.

This only bothers me because I am so hesitant to spend money in a way that it gets back to him so I have been borrowing his books from the library hoping that it diffuses the money spent on the book between a lot of people and allows me to carry less culpability in furthering his political and moral crusades. But damn, I really do enjoy hi
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Dlora
I picked this book up anticipating an Orson Scott Card type of story, and the storyline really was intriguing, but I missed the interpersonal relationships that Scott Card is so good with. Invasive Procedures is based on a short story by Card. He and Aaron Johnston had lots of email conversations in the writing of the book, but I'd say this was more a Johnston book than a Card one, though Scott Card gets the bigger byline (probably so the book will sell better).
That said, it was a pretty good
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Stephanne Stacey
This is more of a 3.5 star. I will always enjoy Card's writing style, characters, and the mind games he can play. But I have to say that this story has been done before and it really didn't impress me. There were a few concepts that he nicely backed up, and some that were less used or original. But overall not as good as I would have hope or expected from Card..
Lorena
Apr 17, 2009 Lorena rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in the ethics of gene therapies
First of all, this is clearly written by Aaron Johnston, based on a short story by Card, so keep that in mind when you get the book. Since my expectations were high, I was disappointed with the writing style. It is stilted, such that it interrupts the flow of the story. You remember you're reading a book, and not living the tale, so to speak.

The story line is interesting, and there are plot twists and turns that make it readable. The ideas brought forward about science and the changes that coul
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Gregg
I actually really enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting it to be great, and I could tell right off the bat that this wasn't Card's writing style. But Johnston does pretty well, even if some of the writing isn't the best. The story was told well and at a good pace and as he matures as a writer I think he'll get even better.

I couldn't take the book too seriously from a biologist's viewpoint. The overall themes of genetic manipulation were accurate for the most part, and the details of the techniqu
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Tracey
This is a futuristic medical thriller. It was really good, really fast paced and so so hard to put down.

Basically there are a sect of people called "the Healers" and their original mission was to provide medical help to the homeless, their leader developed a gene therapy that enabled them to cure genteic diseases such as sickle cell anemia etc..but the cure was only coded to that individual persons genes and anyone that came into contact with that person within a three day period died from expo
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
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More about Orson Scott Card...
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

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