Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Transformed

Dr. Robert Newman is a man obsessed--obsessed with the death of his wife from a rare genetic disease--obsessed with finding a cure to save her sister from the same fate. After years of single-minded effort, he has developed a revolutionary gene therapy procedure. Now the most devastating of human diseases can be stopped in their tracks. But within weeks, his discovery has unleashed a deadly cancer epidemic. His life is threatened and everyone he loves becomes his enemy. As he searches frantically for clues, he discovers a long dormant secret hidden within the human genome. 

Dr. Newman realizes that malignant transformation in human cells is not a random event. The marked increase in malignancies has a more horrific explanation. Silent for millennia, Cancer is now awakening as a rationale entity with an agenda of its own. And unless it can be stopped, no one--least of all Dr. Robert Newman--has long to live. - Goodreads 

*May Contain Spoilers*

Oh my scary! The Transformed by Raphael Hirsch is a novel epidemic. The entire book has completely dumbfounded me. The science background that I have has instilled within me a need for explanation, documentation, and theoretical support. Well, Hirsch gives so much more than that. 

The idea that we, as humans, could be sharing our bodies with a parasitic organism that was "created" the same time that we were is unbelievable. Until Hirsch explains it to you, in depth. Dormant for thousands, perhaps millions, of years, it now chooses to come out of the DNA, so to speak, and wage war against humans. 

A plot line like this is so creative and fantastic, I fail to do it justice. I found myself wondering, countless times, how the hell Hirsch was going to jump the hurdles of this plot, and each time I was amazed, and impressed. And the characters, oh goodness. What to say? And I never run out of words... 

The characters are human (until they aren't...) carrying emotional baggage and a hope to achieve their dreams. Bob Newman, one of the main characters, is a ball of tense emotions that he refuses to express. The death of his wife destroyed him and all he can focus on, as a scientist, is curing her disease. Readers will connect with him on the foundation of love and what it does to everyone it touches. 

Ellen is a wonderful, strong female character. Which is more than needed in novel overrun with men. As a med student, she helps Newman and other characters explore their deepest thoughts while pushing them to make the right decisions when faced with absolute human extinction. As a character, she coincides with the motherly role while Newman and his friend, Malcom, face the collapse of the world. She's the support system, cheering them on. A role that is vital in an apocalyptic visionary novel.  

Overall, I think Hirsch's writing style made the novel. He went into just enough eloquent detail that anyone reading this novel will understand it. It was simple and to the point with only key elements included. And trust me, everything in the novel is key. It was an astounding read, even if it did scare the daylights out of me. 

on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

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