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 Mutation - a review by rainshadow

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rainshadow
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PostSubject: Mutation - a review by rainshadow   Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:59 am

MUTATION
by Robin Cook

Image: Paperback Edition



It turns out that Robin Cook is right up my alley. Not so much in the sense that I am a brainiac when it comes to the medical world. It would almost be a stretch to say I know the difference from an ingrown toenail and a charley horse. However, Cook has a way of explaining the medical world to the average joe, all the while weaving his vast knowledge into crisp, engaging storylines.

Book summary:

Spoiler:
 

Mutation takes the reader down the dark path of the genetic manipulation of human zygotes. This is a field that very few of us could really understand, but Cook is a master at explaining the incredibly complex in very simple terms. As a reader I felt I understood, while not fully grasping the intricacies of the science that Cook was laying out, the basis behind everything the characters did. To me this is the most satisfying thing about Cook: you don’t have to have an M.D. to know what the hell is going on.

I won’t go as far as to say that the storyline is a believable one. From beginning to end, the characters feel more like metaphors, each an extreme emphasizing a particular aspect of the world on display, than actual people, with the lead character, Dr. Victor Frank, emphasizing science to the point of obsessed tunnel vision, and the antagonist emphasizing science gone wrong when ethics are cast aside. Dr. Frank very much epitomizes a line from the movie Jurassic Park: “… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.” Because this tale deals with extremes, there is very little middle ground in switching between the character’s point of view. You know what a character is going to think before Cook actually delves into their thought process.

However, the trick to writing a thriller is allowing events to take center stage, rather than characters. Rather than steady building up to a particular end, a thriller uses twists and turns at every corner, and Mutation is no exception to the rule. Despite the overall predictable plot (in the case of Mutation, the suspense of that is virtually wiped away in the second paragraph of the book’s description where it is compared to a classic horror novel), Cook keeps readers guessing in terms of what is coming next.

I had to be objective when I sat down to write this review, because I realized that not everyone is going to share my tastes in literature. Personally, Mutation is a fun read and overall page-turning goodness, but it isn’t a novel one should pick up if you really want to be surprised by the outcome. More so it is a good lesson in ethics.

To put it simply: I would compare it to a slasher flick in terms of plot development. You know the ultimate conclusion when you go to the theater, but it’s a wild (and creepy) ride from beginning to end. Also, if you like a retelling of a classic every now and then (see book summary for details), which is an easy read to boot, Mutation may be right up your alley. If you long for originality, you would likely be best going elsewhere.

Score: 2.5/5

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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about getting out there and dancing in the rain.

We should create a loop. That way when he gets back he can feel jealous that he's been out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Mutation - a review by rainshadow   Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:16 am

A very good review rainshadow. Very well done. The book does sound interesting.

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Nicci
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PostSubject: Re: Mutation - a review by rainshadow   Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:48 am

Nice review rainshadow. I don't really think this would be my type of book though.
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