Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: Forty-Eight X: The Lemuria Project by Barry Pollack

My Thoughts on Forty-Eight X:
Awesome, Awesome Book! The blurb initially caught my attention but the story itself is what kept my attention.
I saw many touchy subjects brought up in this post 9/11 based work of fiction. One of the biggest things that caught my attention was a theory that has been brought to the forefront in recent years: nature vs. nurture. I, of course, have a lot of opinions on that theory so when I came across it toward the beginning of the book I was totally sucked in.
I'll say that I think it's necessary to pay attention while reading because this one is not a "light" read. There's genetic dealings, war, bloodshed, and so many more facets to this book. I enjoyed the varied cast of characters which really gave the story different perspectives and depth. There are military, scientist, and archaeologists, etc. who all played there part wonderfully in pulling the story together.
Honestly, I really liked this one and was totally engrossed with the story. I think Forty Eight X can cross into several genres: thriller, suspense, sci-fi, and probably more that I'm not thinking of at the moment. I also think men would like this one. (and I'm not saying that JUST men would enjoy it but I recommended this one to my hubby because he is picky about the books he reads.)
Book Summary:
(from Pump Up Your Book Website)

On the tropical island of Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the United States has gathered together its most talented geneticists to work on the top-secret Lemuria Project. These secret experiments create a revolutionary new warrior so strong and so valiant that the age of casualties of war would become only a sad and distant memory. Haunted by a dark and dangerous past, Colonel Link McGraw is the officer chosen to train these new soldiers. He understands the rules of engagement and agrees to serve his country, reestablish his professional reputation, and secure his freedom in the process. As a trained and commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces, McGraw knows what constitutes the perfect soldier: following orders without question. When Egyptian beauty Fala al Shodaha and Israeli Joshua Krantz, scientists in their own right, stumble across the top-secret project, they are determined to uncover its true nature and pursue their quest to Diego Garcia. Tensions mount as Krantz and McGraw clash over the project—and vie for the affection of the lovely Fala. When they discover they aren’t the only ones on the island competing for her attention, shocking truths are revealed that beg the question, Is it too late to save themselves—and the entire human race—from almost certain annihilation?

About The Author:

Barry Pollack, who still works in the frontline trenches of medicine as an ER doctor, has a creative life that spans a variety of venues. After a master’s degree in film from Stanford and a fellowship at the American Film Institute, he began as a documentary filmmaker and went on to write and direct two feature films — MGM’s Cool Breeze in 1972 and the Fanfare release This is a Hijack in 1973. In 1980, Pollack graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School and began a new career as an emergency physician. However, he never stopped writing. Pollack’s subsequent work includes several prime time television dramas, such as Trapper John, M.D. and Hotel, magazine short stories, several screenplays, and ten years of newspaper columns for the Ventura County STAR in California. Forty-Eight X, his debut novel, was published by Medallion Press in December 2009.

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Read an Excerpt:

“The history of men at war is writ large with stories of heroes,” General Shell had said before sending him off, “stories of young men who fight and often die for noble, sometimes ignoble causes. Their actions sometimes elevate them to superhuman or biblical status. They become the legend of an overmatched David defeating a Goliath; a blind and bound Samson defeating the haughty Philistines. But remember glory is fleeting and the ends of war for survivors are most often filled with nightmares, with trinkets of ribbons and medals, and uniforms which will soon no longer fit.” The general then paused fitfully. “Put an end to it, Link,” he said, pressing on McGraw the firmest of handshakes.

That farewell speech reminded McGraw of his own heroes:
Sidney Coulter, Eagle scout, valedictorian, age 19, died in battle, Amsar, Afghanistan.Jaime Garza, Mexican immigrant, father of two, age 24, died by RPG, Ramal.Richard Neilson, car salesman, poker player extraordinaire, age 20, died by IED, Baghdad.
There were plenty, too many, more. Perhaps with this success, he thought, there would soon be no more.

McGraw had made one adjustment on the eve of battle that he knew his general would have frowned upon. He had given each of his troops a shot of brandy. Not enough to get drunk but enough to slightly dull the frontal cortex that controls executive functioning, that area of the brain that breeds doubt. A little alcohol, he believed, allowed one to think more simply, to dull the noises on the periphery. He took his own swig of the red from his canteen. He too needed to dull his doubts.

The village he was attacking was a terrorist camp and the men there were not novices and not innocent. They were well trained soldiers who had killed many times before. They not only professed that they were unafraid to die, but that they were eager to die for their cause.

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