Dead End Deal is a fast-paced thriller dealing with corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, and the forces that value money over the wellness of huDead End Deal is a fast-paced thriller dealing with corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, and the forces that value money over the wellness of humanity. If you could cure Alzheimer’s Disease, you’d want to make that happen, right? Unless you knew that you could take that cure and make billions of dollars from it. Wyler pits the genius doctor Jon Ritter against Richard Stillman, a big pharma exec who sees Ritter’s discovery as his only means of keeping his position in his company. However, Ritter does not believe in the greed of corporate medicine and doesn’t want Stillman to have the rights to this important discovery. Money can buy a lot of things, including assassins, so Ritter soon finds himself in the midst of a conspiracy, running for his life.
Dead End Deal felt very cinematic to me. Many of the chase scenes read as if they could have been straight out of some movie starring Matt Damon, so if you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy this book. After what was initially a slow start for me, the plot picked up the pace and moved along quickly. Part of this was due to the short chapter structure of the narrative and the way it bounced back and forth between characters.
I appreciated Wyler’s background as a neurosurgeon, because it lend credence to his descriptions. The story and medical jargon was completely believable. I also really enjoyed that much of the story is set in Seoul, a place I know almost nothing about. We can see Ritter’s confusion at being chased by unknown villains in a place where he has no clue about the language or culture. What didn’t work for me as much was the relative lack of character development. I never felt like I really knew many of the characters intimately, and would have liked to have seen more done with the relationships between characters as well.
I had a lot of fun reading Dead End Deal. It’s a great book if you want something quick and fun, like a thrilling movie full of car chases and intrigue....more
With the countdown to 12/21/12 in full effect, it seems like perfect timing for 12.21. I think most people know that nothing is going to happen when wWith the countdown to 12/21/12 in full effect, it seems like perfect timing for 12.21. I think most people know that nothing is going to happen when we reach the (questionable) end of the Mayan long count calendar, but there's still an inkling in the backs of our minds of "what if!?", kind of like when Y2K happened. 12.21 takes that uneasiness about the impending date of doom and creates a potential pandemic scenario that involves both airborne madcow related prions and a mysterious Mayan codex that spells out the downfall of a kingdom. This book combines biblio- and medical-thrillers into one large end-times threat.
12.21 races along, moving the plot forward at a quick pace. While this can be good, I felt at times like the tempo of the story served to cover up holes in the plot. This was one of those books that I think could have stood to have taken its time a little more, to make more connections between ideas and plot points, and to meander a little longer with characters in order to flesh them out. There were a few times when I had to think about whether I'd somehow skipped some pages, because the flow of the story just didn't feel like it was entirely there. Along the same lines, the ending felt rushed and abrupt, and I'd have liked to have had more of an explanation for the resolution.
What I did enjoy about 12.21 was the medical description. I'm a sucker for a good disease that makes people go crazy, so a prion disease with no cure that makes people into psychotic insomniacs was a lot of fun to read about. My final verdict: there's enough fun medical and apocalyptic thriller in this novel to keep you entertained if you're into that stuff, so it's worth overlooking some of the flaws in writing and storytelling to read it....more
First, I want to say that, in general, I love stories about plagues and disasters. The Way We Fall really fit the bill. There is a strange new illnessFirst, I want to say that, in general, I love stories about plagues and disasters. The Way We Fall really fit the bill. There is a strange new illness, numerous victims that seem to get sick at random, quarantine, and the madness that follows when it seems like the entire world is lost to the disease. If you are a fan of books like Richard Preston’s The Cobra Event, but want it in a quick-to-read YA form, this is the book for you.
Crewe’s protagonist, Kaelyn, speaks in the first person, telling the story through a series of diary entries. This made the book really remind me of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Kaelyn’s voice is of a girl who is more kid than woman, who is full of insecurities and worries, but finds strength in her desire to help others. I often feel like the protagonists in YA books sound too adult and too prescient, but Kaelyn’s voice was very believable.
The only issue I had with this book was the ending. Crewe leaves things very open and unresolved. I don’t know if this is because there will be a sequel, and I hope there isn’t. The book works so well as a standalone that a sequel would detract from the power of the original story. Still, I’d have liked a bit more closure.
While at once a horror story and a tale of hope, I really enjoyed this latest from Megan Crewe. Poignant scenes stuck with me after I put the book down, and every once in a while I feel a little worried about the itch on my arm....more
Feed is set in a future when the cures for the common cold and for cancer have interacted to created something much worse: zombies. As a result, the wFeed is set in a future when the cures for the common cold and for cancer have interacted to created something much worse: zombies. As a result, the world has changed drastically. Each person is a carrier, and has the potential to shift into outbreak at any moment. Every person who dies becomes a zombie, unless the brain is destroyed. The news media is no longer trusted, so bloggers have taken over to spread information. A young group of these bloggers, George, Shaun, and Buffy, are selected to travel with a presidential candidate to cover his campaign. They quickly find out that somebody is working to sabotage the group, putting all of their lives at risk. However, the conspiracy goes deep, so deep that not all of them can hope to survive.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It has it all: zombies, disease, government conspiracies, threat of the development of a totalitarian state. Some of it may be too pop-cultury to stand the test of time; for example, the people that characters are named after (George [Romero:], Shaun [of the dead:], Buffy...). There is a major, shocking plot twist toward the end that really surprised me. The author does a great job at "fleshing out" (get it!?) this world, and creating characters and a mythology we can really get behind. I can't wait to read the rest of the series....more
To me, this book was a blending of several other stories: The Stand, Salem's Lot, Dracula, I Am Legend, and The Cobra Event. It wasn't very original,To me, this book was a blending of several other stories: The Stand, Salem's Lot, Dracula, I Am Legend, and The Cobra Event. It wasn't very original, but it was still entertaining. The vampires in this book are caused by a parasitic bacteria that turns its host into a physiologically new creature altogether. When CDC directors don't listen to the warnings of the hero, Ephraim, the disease quickly spreads throughout New York City. An unlikely group of heroes emerges to try to halt the inevitable apocalypse that looms on the horizon.
The book reads like a movie. If you like action/horror/adventure films, this is the book for you. If your taste is high literature, or handsome vampires who sparkle, I'd skip it....more
This book didn't really do much for me. I felt like it took a while to really get going, and that the majority of real action happened toward the end.This book didn't really do much for me. I felt like it took a while to really get going, and that the majority of real action happened toward the end. I would have liked a higher sense of tension, rather than just seeing that Winnie is worried. I felt like the emotion was a bit flat.
That said, I think this would be a good book for a young reader. I liked that it took a look at a slice of time at the end of WWI when a massive flu pandemic was rampant. ...more
This book is set in the late 15th to early 16th centuries, roughly the period of the Italian Renaissance and the early stages of the Spanish InquisitiThis book is set in the late 15th to early 16th centuries, roughly the period of the Italian Renaissance and the early stages of the Spanish Inquisition. While mainly about the development and protection of medical knowledge and midwife herbal remedies, the novel addresses such major historical events as the plague and the witch burnings that swept Europe. Also discussed are the Malleus Maleficarum and the advent of the printing press. This is a rather fast-paced read, covering nearly a century in a mere 240 pages.
At times, Wells' dramatic writing and historical subject matter reminded me of some of Anne Rice's non-horror novels. The whole book operates on a tenor of high drama and danger, which can make it a bit taxing at times. I understand that this is to make the reader aware of what women faced during that period, but I think it would have helped pacing if there were more parts of the story with a bit less tension. In fact, I think overall the book could have stood to have been a bit longer, in order to create more time between major plot points. I'm giving it two stars to indicate that I thought it was okay because I was incredulous that the main character could have done so much. I felt that she was given far too much importance in the history of medicine, and would have liked to have seen it spread throughout more characters, perhaps of more generations....more
This book explains vampirism as the result of a parasite that can be transmitted through kissing. Peeps is short for "parasite positive," individualsThis book explains vampirism as the result of a parasite that can be transmitted through kissing. Peeps is short for "parasite positive," individuals who have contracted the parasite and all of its worst symptoms, which include a hunger for human flesh and an aversion to sunlight. The book is like a cross between a Christopher Moore book and I Am Legend. A very fun read!...more