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The explosive new thriller from  New York Times– bestselling author and master of the medical thriller, Robin Cook.
Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.

Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.

When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published October 20, 2015

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About the author

Robin Cook

290 books4,164 followers
Librarian Note: Not to be confused with British novelist Robin Cook a pseudonym of Robert William Arthur Cook.

Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thriller genre of writing. His books have been bestsellers on the "New York Times" Bestseller List with several at #1. A number of his books have also been featured in Reader's Digest. Many were also featured in the Literary Guild. Many have been made into motion pictures.

Cook is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University School of Medicine. He finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard that included general surgery and ophthalmology. He divides his time between homes in Florida, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts where he lives with his wife Jean. He is currently on leave from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has successfully combined medical fact with fiction to produce a succession of bestselling books. Cook's medical thrillers are designed, in part, to make the public aware of both the technological possibilities of modern medicine and the ensuing ethical conundrums.

Cook got a taste of the larger world when the Cousteau Society recruited him to run its blood - gas lab in the South of France while he was in medical school. Intrigued by diving, he later called on a connection he made through Jacques Cousteau to become an aquanaut with the US Navy Sealab when he was drafted in the 60's. During his navy career he served on a nuclear submarine for a seventy-five day stay underwater where he wrote his first book! [1]

Cook was a private member of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Board of Trustees, appointed to a six-year term by the President George W. Bush.[2]

[edit] Doctor / Novelist
Dr. Cook's profession as a doctor has provided him with ideas and background for many of his novels. In each of his novels, he strives to write about the issues at the forefront of current medical practice.
To date, he has explored issues such as organ donation, genetic engineering,fertility treatment, medical research funding, managed care, medical malpractice, drug research, drug pricing, specialty hospitals, stem cells, and organ transplantation.[3]

Dr. Cook has been remarked to have an uncanny ability to anticipate national controversy. In an interview with Dr.Cook, Stephen McDonald talked to him about his novel Shock; Cook admits the timing of Shock was fortuitous. "I suppose that you could say that it's the most like Coma in that it deals with an issue that everybody seems to be concerned about," he says, "I wrote this book to address the stem cell issue, which the public really doesn't know much about. Besides entertaining readers, my main goal is to get people interested in some of these issues, because it's the public that ultimately really should decide which way we ought to go in something as that has enormous potential for treating disease and disability but touches up against the ethically problematic abortion issue."[4]

Keeping his lab coat handy helps him turn our fear of doctors into bestsellers. "I joke that if my books stop selling, I can always fall back on brain surgery," he says. "But I am still very interested in being a doctor. If I had to do it over again, I would still study medicine. I think of myself more as a doctor who writes, rather than a writer who happens to be a doctor." After 35 books,he has come up with a diagnosis to explain why his medical thrillers remain so popular. "The main reason is, we all realize we are at risk. We're all going to be patients sometime," he says. "You can write about great white sharks or haunted houses, and you can say I'm not going into the ocean or I'm not going in haunted houses, but you can't say you're n

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5 stars
1,071 (21%)
4 stars
1,577 (31%)
3 stars
1,558 (30%)
2 stars
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1 star
241 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 600 reviews
Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,206 reviews69 followers
October 23, 2015
Psst...I have to tell you something about Michael!

It's been many years since I've read a Robin Cook book. While I do appreciate them, and give him full props for pretty much starting the Medical Thriller genre with books like Coma, I got just a bit tired of the formula.

Having read Host, I may go back and see what Robin Cook books I've missed. The medical thriller portion of the book was intriguing and suspenseful and the action is great.

But you'll notice I gave this two stars. There was one major distraction.

I liked the characters, but I loved Michael. He's handsome, smart, funny, and a good friend.

And black. Michael is black.

Normally, that isn't something I would tell you about a character. Unless it's central to the plot, his race isn't important. It's like hair color or eye color - just description.

But I know Michael is black because the author reminds us every time Michael is in a scene.

Michael knows poverty. He's black.

He can speak intelligently or like he's from 'the hood'. He's black.

He can yell 'Mothaf____' at all the right moments (because top of their class medical students totally do this). He's black.

He knows what people are thinking about him when he talks to his best friend, who's a southern white woman. Because he's black.

And he can charm Russians because Russians love black people and, in case you haven't figured it out, Michael? He's black.

I was 60% through the book and I didn't really know much about our medical mystery, but you know what I did know? Michael...was black.

Now if only his being black HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE STORY.

The thing is that Robin Cook is a good guy. You can tell from his descriptions of Michael that Cook thinks racism is idiotic. He loves his own character and Michael is a really good one. But there was so much emphasis on his race that, instead of worrying over the characters and the dangerous people they were encountering, I was just racing to see how Cook would emphasize Michael's blackness in the next chapter.

I'll accept that maybe it's just me, but SPOILER ALERT!!!! Michael...is black.
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Profile Image for Simone.
800 reviews24 followers
June 2, 2016
When I read a book, I keep notes in preparation for my book review.

I disliked this book so much, that I don’t even care to spend the time fleshing out my notes into a proper review – here are the bare bones:

•This story was a re-run of Coma.
•Something generally implausible about amateur sleuthing. In this book is was completely unbelievable.
•Jive-talking sidekick is borderline offensive “Damn girl! You burning up!”. Stupid.
•Too much useless back-ground filler that might be ok in a series but not a standalone book. Filling in blanks that don’t need to be filled.
•Ends in a cliff-hanger that’s not even tempting.
Profile Image for Montessahall Montessahall.
377 reviews39 followers
November 7, 2015
I am HUGE fan of the audiobook narrator, George Guidall, but not for this book. I didn't relate to the Lynn character at all. Upon realizing her boyfriend of many years is brain dead, he immediately becomes a "case." Also, why so much emphasis on Micheal's race? We get it: Micheal is black. So what? Evolved 21st century folks don't notice these distinctions anymore. The repetitive reference to race and the "street talk" references by Micheal makes the story come across as dated. I haven't heard the offensive use of the word "Oreo" since the 70's. Okay, I give up. I have reached the part where Micheal exchanges lessons on "how to talk like a brother" with the Russian computer programmer to hack medical records. Very disappointed with the outdated, stereotypes by this author. They don't add anything relevant to the story, just a lot of offensive filler.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
66 reviews
January 28, 2016
This book was so bad. I couldn't even finish it. The dialogue was ridiculous. And the two main characters have to be the dumbest medical students on the planet.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,334 followers
April 29, 2016
“How nice -- to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

----Kurt Vonnegut

Dr. Robin Cook, the international best-selling author, has penned his another gripping medical thriller, Host that unfolds the story around two fourth year medical students discover that in their hospital some patients are going into coma due to anesthetic complications and then they need to figure out who or why they are behind such inhumane activity that are taking away innocent patients' lives, before they jeopardize their medical scholarship or rest assured their precious lives.


The explosive new thriller from New York Times–bestselling author and master of the medical thriller, Robin Cook, takes readers back to where the genre began, with Coma: what happens when innocent hospital patients are used as medical “incubators” against their will.

Lynn Pierce, a fourth-year medical student at Mason Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, she doesn’t know it’s the last time she will see him whole again.

Devastated by Carl’s death, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Edward—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Sentinel Healthcare, including the one attached to Mason Dixon, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine surgery.

When Lynn and Edward begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Sentinel Healthcare can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

Even the synopsis says that the book is a copy of Cook's sensational debut medical thriller, Coma. Who would have dared to thought when you are buying the book, that the author will not write a new story instead explore Coma in the best way possible as per him. Well it should have been the sequel to the debut book. I'm not ranting just because the author have copied his first book into this new one, but I'm screaming that I've wasted my money on the author whom I used to think as one of my favorite authors, just because of the way he penned the stories with so much suspense and thrill.

Neither suspense nor thrill greeted me in this 400 pages long book and I'm terribly dissapointed. Well I'm so dissapointed that I cannot even write a formal summary of the story. I think after this review I shall write a hate fan mail to my favorite author, Dr. Cook. I mean why did you do this? Where is your Cook-styled flair that will arouse the minds of the readers with a new kind of energy to jump inside the story? Never mind, it seems, Dr. Cook has lost his touch and charm. Even Cell, the book published right before Host, enthralled me and made me fall for Dr. Cook all over again.

The problem is with the readers like us, who are a die-hard fan of a particular author, is that they start expecting too much and one day the author when the author could deliver his best, the readers like those will scream and rant at the top of their voices. The story is tad boring from the very first page, the tension was missing from the very first page itself. The opening was not good enough I feel.

The writing is okay but not that brilliant or fascinating. The narrative, yawn, is IDK what was that. The prose is very unlike Cook's previous books, not good I mean to say. The pacing is very slow, as there is not much layers to explore in this story. The passion and zeal of the author were itself missing from the writing style of the author and that really put me off.

Where's adrenaline rush or the deadly adventure or chase to find out the truth, even though there was a bit of it, but the author could not project it, like he did in previous books. In a nutshell, I would suggest the regular Cook fans to not to waste their money on this book and for the non-Cook fans, I would also advise them to skip as there is nothing to hold on to while moving through the story.

Verdict: Bland, boring and there is no thrill!

Courtesy: I hate this part for today!
Profile Image for Emily.
362 reviews
January 17, 2016
This was the first Robin Cook book I've read in well over a decade, and I wanted to enjoy the way I used to enjoy all his stories. Unfortunately either the stories have changed, or I have. The plot is still intriguing but the writing is embarrassingly weak, and there's an emphasis on race that is 1. Forced 2. Irrelevant to the plot 3. Artificial and 4. Overemphasized to an extreme. Cook is effectively shouting 'HELLO READERS! PLEASE NOTICE THAT ONE OF MY PRIMARY CHARACTERS IS NOT WHITE! IN FACT HE IS BLACK AND I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE BUT DID I MENTION THIS GUY IS BLACK? HERE IS SOME SLANG I MADE UP THAT I'M SURE SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING A bLACK PERSON WOULD SAY.'
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,035 reviews646 followers
November 16, 2015
Caffeinated Aspects:

We meet Lynn Pierce a fourth year medical student on the morning of her boyfriend’s routine knee surgery. Carl fails to regain consciousness after the procedure.  Lynn and fellow classmate Michael investigate and uncover something disturbing.
I loved the investigation and all the geeky medical talk; it had an easy of readability and kept me flipping the pages to uncover what was happening. Cook shared the story of other patients ramping up the suspense angle and the threat to our protagonists.
Russians, hit men, and those in power added twists and turns as we uncovered what was happening to patients. Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals with profit as their end game were believable villains.
The convalescent center and its futuristic care system and diabolical treatments are sure to please your inner geek. Some aspects felt plausible and will give you cause to shiver.
While Lynn sometimes annoyed me, her tenacious determination to uncover the truth made her a strong heroine. Michael was the more level-headed of the two and I admired him from the start.

Decaffeinated Aspects:

Michael is black and about to graduate second in his class. While I love diversity, I do not believe his race, nor his ability to speak both as if from the “hood” and as an “English professor” should have been so heavily weighted. The author I believe was trying to shed light on racism but I hated the attention drawn to the color of his skin. While I certainly respect the message, I would have preferred a showing not telling approach. I felt like I was reading one of those learning books in school that was meant to be fun but teach a lesson. It was unfair to Michael who was a strong, humorous and bright character.
Discussions on the of cost of medical care, pharmaceutical companies with their hands in Congress’s pockets and the cost of new drugs took up a significant chunk of page time. While I completely agree, it did not flow well and felt more placed into conversations for "the message".
Having read Coma by Cook, Host felt like a revamped “newer” version leaving me feeling a tad disappointed. The similarities were substantial.

Copy provided by publisher. This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Profile Image for Jim.
562 reviews85 followers
May 15, 2016
Coma Redux

Anyone who has read Coma or seen the movie will experience a sense of deja vu. The name of the hospital has been changed. The location has been changed. The characters are different. Otherwise this is basically the same story as Coma with a slight tweak. It would appear that the author made little effort in developing a new story.

Lynn Peirce is a fourth-year medical student at Mason-Dixon University in Charleston,South Carolina. Her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine knee surgery but fails to return to consciousness after the procedure. Racked by guilt because she had recommended the hospital to Carl, Lynn enlists the help of her classmate and friend Michael Pender to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice. What Lynn and Michael discover is that Mason-Dixon Medical Center has a high rate of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness folowing routine hospital admissions. Middleton Healthcare, parent company of Mason-Dixon Medical Center, and their partner Sidereal Pharmaceuticals appear to be engaged in a conspiracy involving biologics that could be worth billions of dollars and puts the lives of Lynn and Michael at risk.

This story was okay. As I mentioned it was basically a rehash of Coma. It was not very believable that a pair of fourth year medical students uncovered the unexplained anesthetic complications at Mason-Dixon Medical Center and none of the doctors, nurses, or anyone else on the hospital staff picked up on this. That is none of the hospital staff that wasn't part of the conspiracy. IMHO there was too much emphasis on Michael Pender's being black and Lynn Peirce's being a woman and the difficulties they overcame because of race and gender. It really didn't add anything to the story and wasn't necessary in a story about a conspiracy involving a group of hospitals, a pharmaceutical company, and development of biologics.

Hopefully the author's next effort will be something new and original and not just a rewrite of a previous work.

Profile Image for Nan O'Leary.
22 reviews3 followers
March 19, 2016
This book was just completely implausible. The main character, Lynn, was annoying and the dialogue between her and her fellow med student was almost laughable. The author wants to remind everyone that he is a doctor so there is much medical jargon throughout the book. This becomes almost boring. I gave it one star and finished the book just because I was curious as to how the story would end. There was a little intrigue that some readers may enjoy.
October 21, 2015
Ho hum - I did read this before!! it was titled COMA. Thought it sounded like something I had read before so I checked reviews and what do you know - same formula, different title. I feel cheated.
Profile Image for Krystelle Fitzpatrick.
609 reviews30 followers
April 21, 2020
Where. To. Start.

This is a book. It is a book about a creepy hospital doing shady stuff. It is a book about a sad lady. It is also a book about a black man. You know all these things because the author constantly punctuates every second line with either shadiness, sadness, or pointing out how black Michael is. I wish I was kidding. I wish that black characters could just be in novels without a white author constantly writing in ridiculous stereotypes and punctuating every sentence with what little AAVE he knows. It’s horrible.

The thing is, I don’t think that the author’s intentions were bad. He tries to clunkily draw attention to fact that discrimination is rampant in the medical world, and that’s a very fair point. The thing is, if you’re going to write a novel about these problems, you need to be very on the ball and ensure accuracy. You can’t batter your readers over the head with harmful stereotypes to try and ‘prove your point’.

Put this in step with the fact that the fourth year medical students have less knowledge about medicine than I do (and my specialty field is law) and have a very questionable plot, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The other reviews insinuate that this is a rip-off of one of his older novels, and I wouldn’t be shocked. The dialogue is shonky and feels like a badly written textbook, and there’s so little plot substance. I had no investment in the characters, I didn’t care what happened, and it just felt like it was a cardboard novel. Appallingly dull and honestly makes me feel as though I wouldn’t want to touch another of his books with a barge pole.
Profile Image for Nadine in NY Jones.
2,749 reviews217 followers
August 24, 2020
CW for gratuitous violence against animals ( and women ().  None of it was necessary to the plot.

This is reasonably entertaining, but also ridiculous, and offensive.  

I'd never read a medical thriller before, so when it popped up as a 2020 reading challenge category, I thought I'd go with the purported master: Robin Cook.  And this book happened to be available from my library, so this is what I read.  Frankly I probably won't ever read another book by Cook, nor will I read another medical thriller.  This just wasn't very good.

Cook's dialogue is terribly dated - the man is stuck in the 60s.  Why didn't his editors fix some of this?  And the characters are often blatant stereotypes.

First, we’ve got Michael, who is a Black man.  He is a great character but he’s also overlaid with ludicrous stereotypes.  He's from "the hood" ... because of course he is.  Then we’ve got the classic Russian bad guys (eau de Cold War).  Naturally, the Bad Russians engage in a spot of rape here and there (we are mercifully spared those details).  There are Friendly Russians as well. (NOTE: the Friendly Russians never play a major role in the plot - what was the point???)  Michael actually offers to teach a friendly Russian how to speak “Black talk.”  I'm pretty sure I literally cringed when he said that.  We are also informed that Michael calls his (white) friend, Lynn, “bro,” and she in turn calls him “son” as a sign of their deep and strong Platonic relationship.  And I’m sorry, are there actually Black men who enjoy being called “son” by their white classmates??  I really doubt it.

One would think that an author of Cook’s standing would be able to obtain the assistance of a sensitivity reader to spare the world from the cringe-inducing faux Black slang used for Michael’s dialogue.

Lynn and Michael are - supposedly - two of the very best medical students.  They are clever in some ways, but extremely dense in some ways.  Lynn continues to make shocking discoveries, she's assaulted, she makes even more shocking discoveries, and Michael continues to tell her to calm down.  Michael, my dude!  I think she's earned the right to be a little worked up!
18 reviews
April 25, 2017
I started reading it because the words "medical thriller" were on the cover. I had never read a Robin Cook book before.
The book was almost entirely mediocre, only made memorable by the amount of awkward writing in it. It reads like it was written by someone new to writing, who doesn't know which parts to keep and which to leave out. Except the previous works list had 33 items on it. It led to a lot of moments where I felt the flow failed, felt things were redundant, or felt entire paragraphs should have been removed because they didn't fit in at all. In some places the focus was put on irrelevant and odd things that sometimes made me cringe, and took me completely out of the story because they were out of place, and felt forced. Like the writer wanted to make a point that had no bearing on the story or context, but that he wanted to make anyway.
It's my first experience wanting to edit a published book in an attempt to improve it, like I do when encountering someone new to writing fanfiction.
Profile Image for Angie.
1,097 reviews73 followers
November 10, 2015
Host started off strong for me but gradually the stars dropped off a little;)

I would define it is a medical suspense. It is more of a "surface" story... There's not much in the way of emotional depth with exception of the first chapter or two. That's ok, just know when you are going in.

The storyline centers around best friend medical students (the "twins") Lynn & Michael. Things go awry as they try to figure out a medical issue surrounding Lynn's boyfriend Carl. The slang banter between the friends is kind of annoying but I did appreciate their bond. I liked parts of this book but felt it could've been better with more detail and better dialogue. It is just a bit similar to Coma, an early Robin Cook novel.

Profile Image for Linda.
496 reviews14 followers
November 9, 2015

This book was really gripping. It kept me glued to the pages. The characters were well written and easy to relate to.
Profile Image for Terri Lynn.
997 reviews
March 8, 2016
Generally I liked this story about two 4th year medical students who discover that some higher-ups at the medical school/hospital they are at is purposely inducing severe brain damage in young healthy patients having routine surgery so to take them to the Shapiro Institute next door where they use them as medical guinea pigs in studies a Russian biologic drug company is running illegally when the young woman Lynn Peirce suggests her boyfriend Carl use that hospital for minor knee surgery and becomes one of the victims. Her friend Michael Pender reluctantly helps.

There was a lot of thrilling action in the book but some issues that made me lower my score from a 4 to a 3:

(1) The Shapiro Institute is right next door to the Mason Dixon Medical School and Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina where Lynn and Michael are 4th year medical students. It is highly automated and cares only for brain damaged patients using automation so few people go in and out but those have to use a fingerprint reader then a retina reader to get in.

Michael and Lynn want to get inside but even families of those in there only get in twice a week to look at their family member through a glass window so Michael walks up on one one of the highly well-educated Russian tech guys who has a PhD in science and starts talking to him after seeing him come out of the building. This is where it starts to get very weird.

By weird I mean that Michael is a black man who is a college graduate and is now almost a medical school graduate going on to a 4 year medical residency afterwards. He is well-educated and well spoken. He isn't some ghetto hood speaking ebonics. Yet Cook has Michael thinking that Russian men (from Russia) admire black men and black ghetto culture!! WHAT?!!! Apparently Cook does not know any actual Russians with doctorates. I do and I can assure him that well educated Russian men think American blacks are thugs and baby mamas and welfare ghetto trash. There is a LOT of that thinking in Russia. Michael could approach the guy as the educated man that Michael is but to come up and say "I can teach you some of my black talk if you help me out and share some of my rap recordings" is beyond the pale. In real life this guy would have insulted him and taken off. Every conversation between them was this weird. And what is the likelihood that this guy would take a stranger into the institute, let the guy have his admin log in on the Shapiro system, and give Michael those biohazard outfits with helmets for him and Lynn from the Institute because Michael said they were going to a Halloween party (in the spring?!)? This was bizarre.

(2) Come on Robin Cook! Do you think we're stupid? When Lynn and Michael decide to don the outfits and sneak inside the Shapiro Institute, we get more nonsense. As you will recall, I said you had to have a fingerprint scan and retina scan to get in. Well, Michael had the Russian over the night before for beer. He claimed he got his fingerprints from the sweating bottles on to paper. So that is how they got in (!!!)- a piece of paper with a smudged print. But hey- how about the retina scan. Cook forgot that.

(3) Lynn was a fool. She kept doing things designed to get them in prison for medical privacy violations, acted like a nut, and we are supposed to believe that she and Michael volunteered to help after an accident brought a lot of people to the emergency room, were mistaken for doctors, given a patient who was dying and they diagnosed him and performed a procedure they had never done or even seen done. Lynn wasn't going to classes or participating in the clinics she was assigned to yet no one noticed? She and Michael kept showing up at Carl's room and getting his current records and were allowed to?

It's a good story but those things should not have been in there.
Profile Image for Archana Amaragandhi.
Author 1 book160 followers
February 17, 2019
I've read many of Robin Cook's works and this one had an oddity about it, almost as though it was written by a ghost writer instead of the author himself. But, that could be just me. I liked this book but couldn't help but notice that plot line play out very similar to Coma. Hospital conspiracy, compromised anesthesia, escaping through the HVAC pipes and climax in the OR are too many similarities that it could be called a Coma remake. That said, if you have not read Coma, or if you don't mind reading it again, you would possible enjoy this book. I did.
Profile Image for Mandi.
84 reviews
February 1, 2016
I always love Robin Cook's books, but not this one. However, I listened to the audiobook version and I think that I would have liked the actual print version a teeny bit better. Yes, as many people have mentioned, this book is very similar to 'Coma', but it certainly has its own plot. Similar, but not. The idea of anesthesia induced complications is an ever-present fear in the minds of many. I found that part of the book to be interesting, the medical jargon and info was typical Cook. The characters in this book and the dialogue between the characters is what really turned me off. Michael-the very 'obviously black' cohort of the female main character, seemed to be a cartoonish caricature of a 70's tv character with his dialogue and actions. I really liked him at the beginning and then just got annoyed at how often we are reminded that he is black. That was established the first 5 times it was mentioned. The female main character-Lynn, is at once incredibly smart and annoyingly stupid at the same time. His constant reference to them as 'the students' in the text got old very quickly. This just didn't seem like Cook's writing. Yes, the medical speak was there, but the character development and dialogue was not. I hate rating it so low, but I was not impressed. Also, the narrator chosen for the audiobook was not a good choice for this book.
Profile Image for Deborah.
1,193 reviews82 followers
October 26, 2015
It'd been a very long time since I'd read a book by Robin Cook. I have a vague inkling that I read much of his work at the same time I read Stephen King and inhaled a never-ending supply of spy and espionage books by Robert Ludlum, David Morrell, John LeCarre et al. You know... WAY back in the 1990s.

However... I struggled a little with Cook's latest—Host—probably for the very reasons I once enjoyed his work.

And that’s because, I had to think too much. Not in an over-analysing way, which I quite enjoy, though suck at. (Big time!) Rather I had to focus because a HUGE amount of detail came my way and I struggled with the question of whether I needed to take it all in. #informationoverload

I'm also not a conspiracy theory fan so struggled once the book drifted into that direction.

Despite all of that I kept reading Host because I came to care for our two lead characters. Lynn and Edward, who have their lives ahead of them and hope to achieve great things. The threats they face are two-fold... firstly the very obvious threat of death; but also the 'powers that be' are able to destroy them professionally.

It’s not you Robin, it’s me.

Read the full review on my blog: http://www.debbish.com/books-literatu...
Profile Image for Jordyn Redwood.
Author 21 books437 followers
April 21, 2017
***3.5 Stars***

Listened to this book on audio CD.

This is essentially his novel Coma rebooted to current times. What I did appreciate was a medical thriller author staying mostly true to medical details. At least he acknowledges the characters are violating HIPAA and could face serious consequences for doing so. Most authors don't do this. Thank you, Robin!

However, some of the medical details seem implausible-- like a 4th year medical student not knowing what the Glascow Coma Scale is. However, the medical inaccuracies annoyed me far less than other medical thriller books I've read. The novel is a little slow in its pacing and seemingly wants to give a lesson in racism which were the distractions for me.

If you like medical thrillers and have never read Coma I recommend this book to you. If you have read Coma, it will seem pretty familiar, but I liked his new theory set in current times.
491 reviews
January 28, 2016
totally unrealistic. When is the last time Dr. Cook has been in a hospital??? There is no way a girl friend would have the type of access to a chart of her boyfriend that his character has. The girlfriend violates HIPAA any number of times. The surgery is also unrealistic. The author might want to ask orthopedics how ambulatory knee surgery is done.
Really a shame other books are much better. This seems like a flash back to Coma.
Profile Image for Audrey.
Author 13 books111 followers
January 27, 2016
Well, I wanted something mindless, and I got it. I had high hopes in the beginning that this would be a page turner with an interesting twist, which would help me overlook the clunky language and the two-dimensional characters. Unfortunately, I had kind of figured out what was going on by the first third of the book. I kept reading, just in case Cook might have had something truly surprising in store, but unfortunately not. I wish I could have liked it more because I love a good thriller.
Profile Image for Jenny Palliveettil.
241 reviews33 followers
June 2, 2016
This book was like making a mountain out of molehill. But I liked the genuine friendship b/w Lynn Pierce and Michael Pender. Extravagent!! I thouroghly enjoyed the pace,character,devolopment and the last roll off. This gave me a good break from contemporaries and a fresh start. But I don't feel over the top or anything like that. It was an 'okayish' book for me.

P.S: Mylenoma and Monoclonal Gammopathy are two assets from this book which I will be looking into in near future.
Profile Image for Scot Parker.
268 reviews51 followers
October 10, 2018
I have not read a Robin Cook novel in 15 years. I remembered enjoying his work, so when I found Host at my local library, I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The story was ok, but the characters were flat and unsympathetic. The plot itself read like a rehash of Coma, a much better example of Cook's work. I was also bothered by Cook's heavy-handed attempts to include messages of social justice in this work. Social justice is critically important, and the issues of gender and racial equality are nuanced and sensitive issues that deserve serious consideration. I did not feel like a black supporting character (whose skin color was mentioned in what felt like every scene in which he appeared) who was a stereotype of African-Americans worthy of 1970s cinema was a helpful vessel through which to advance the idea of racial equality. Thanks for trying, Dr. Cook, but this needs to be done better.
Profile Image for Jacob Peled.
387 reviews6 followers
March 27, 2017
40 years ago Robin Cook wrote the famous book “Coma” Coma by Robin Cook which was a hit among the medical thriller lovers . “Host” Host by Robin Cook is quite a similar book with the same intense and breath taking story. It is great to go through it all, with a similar book. For someone who loves Medical thrillers an barley remember “Coma” it was great to relive that Goosebumps experience with a similar book.
I am sure that some of you will see it as a drawback to have a book with similar outlines as “Coma”, but if you liked the original and loved it, why not dive into the new book and just re-enjoy this one as well.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
844 reviews
August 4, 2020

Just what I expect from Robin Cook - fast-paced, cover-ups, villains! I was listening as an audiobook, and got a bit lost towards the end when things got rather complicated, but it was easy enough to go with the flow!
Profile Image for Whitney Borup.
1,027 reviews43 followers
March 21, 2020
This was so bad. Haha. I was reading it as pure distraction - I thought a medical drama would work well for that right now - and I guess it worked! It was distractingly terrible.
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