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Invasive Procedures

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  3,228 ratings  ·  395 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-secr
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,228 ratings  ·  395 reviews

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Liz B
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a tricky one to call - I have known of the book for some time but only recently got round to buying it. The works of Orson Scott Card has always been a bit random for me - the story of Ender Wiggins is one of my all time favourites while some of his other series have struggle to inspire me (Memory of Earth - although I should try and give it another go)

However his stand-alone fiction has usually been rather good as it can be so random and varied. However I think this is the first collab
Kara 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
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf


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
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This sci fi novel has a few interesting ideas. The plot, however is so-so. The story is fast-paced and sometimes exciting. But the psychological concepts for which the author is well known for developing are not developed here as well as they could be. For example, what is it really like to have two sets of memories?

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller for summertime reading, then this book is for you.
Jun 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm shocked. OSC's books normally get 3 or 4 stars, but this one just sucked. The idea behind it seemed OK - gene therapy used for morally ambiguous purposes - but the execution was awful. The writing wasn't tight, a lot of redundancy & useless description. The science was bogus, not just SF, but unbelievably ridiculous & miraculous. The characters were caricatures & the plot just became stupid. I got about halfway through &, as much as I wanted to hang on, I just couldn't. Rudnicki's reading wa ...more
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Margaret Lozano
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I finished this book because it honestly made me feel better about my own writing and I needed an ego boost. It's terrible. But terrible in a "jr. high student with a wild imagination and sense of humor wrote a book over the weekend" kind of way.

I'm giving it two stars out of generosity, but the writing did make me laugh, and it's honestly not too much worse than Dan Brown. In fact, it's considerably better than a few of Brown's books!

I haven't read Orson Scott Card, and based on the reviews I
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: medical, don-t-bother
This book is NOT written by Orson Scott Card. It's based on a short story written by card, but this actual book is written by Aaron Johnston.

This book started out promising, but by the end was just kind of far-fetched and lame. There were interesting ideas and medical bits through-out, but overall a bit of a let-down. 2-2 1/2 stars
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Timothy Ward
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
What starts off as an interesting, futuristic medical thriller quickly turns fantastical and unbelievable half-way through... just like every attempt Card has made to quasy break into main stream fiction... The only saving grace is that the book is a stand alone novel... Perhaps Card should have rested on the laurels of Ender's Game and simply stopped writing there. The world of literature would be a better place for it. ...more
Ben Tipper
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was pretty damn bad. The science wasn’t good and the fiction wasn’t good so it wasn’t very good science fiction. I didn’t feel drawn to the characters at all, and they were not complex, and the plot I also didn’t fuck with very much which is a shame because usually the plot based novels like this one have a good plot. Sometimes novels like this one will throw so humor or something cool at you too; not this one. Basically I just thought it was really subpar in a lot of ways. I wouldn’t ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is unlike any of Card's other books that I've read. Perhaps that's because it's co-authored with someone else, and is based on a screen play which was in turn based on a short story of Card's. Whatever the reason, this focuses more on biological and medical science than do Card's other science fiction works, which are more in the nature of space opera. I enjoyed that about it, and found the characters interesting. It had a bit of a mystery/thriller aspect to it as well. Overall, I'd say it ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Card is one of my favorite authors but this one didn't sound like Card's voice to me. It was interesting but some of the characterization felt caricatured. I would recommend every Ender book (there's over a dozen of them) first. ...more
Lynette Burrows
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The story concept is intriguing. There are characters I cared about. But I had to overlook a writing style that isn't Orson Scott Card and the fact that viewpoint characters disappeared for too long in the story. Overall, it was an entertaining read but it was not as engaging as it could have been. ...more
Sean Patterson
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fast paced book that does a fabulous job of transitioning from "what is" to "what if". A lot of the twists are a bit foreseeable, but it doesn't detract from the fun and intensity of reading this book. ...more
Sheila Myers
The plot was good and had a consistent pace. The characters could have been a little more interesting had I known a little more about their backgrounds. When it comes to the science, I think things were a little inconsistent so some of it seemed silly instead of serious.
Rebecca Heywood
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I loved that it wasn’t terribly vulgar or graphic. No sex either. It started out as a lot of novels about a “runaway virus” disguised as a cure. But, not giving too much away, there is a plot twist. A far fetched one, but unique in my opinion. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t enthralled.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
genetic modification and the consequences
Debra Meyer
I don't know I can't make up my mind if I liked it or not, it was ok ... different but am glad I got it from the library and didn't pay for it ...more
Chloe Lessard
Oct 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Terrible sci-fi with trashy science, written for the movie screen. I was stuck in a car for 9 hours and had to finish.
John Musgrove
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty good, but not great.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book on the whole, but, it didn’t really read like a Orson Scott Card book, instead it felt like a science fiction book by a completely different author.
Angel Stacy
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A page turner—and I tend to put down books often never to return.
Tamara Peterson
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun, clean medical thriller. Good audio reader.
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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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