Adrenaline (Anglais) Broché – octobre 2003
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James Parker is a much-heralded graduate student in biochemistry. He is desperately seeking a cure for muscular dystrophy, a disease that not only he, but his sister also, suffers from. Already confined to a wheelchair, James figures he has about four years left to fight, but his sister Jenny is already in the final throes of the disease. Finally, James seems to be on the brink of a breakthrough, as a certain chemical derivative of adrenaline has induced motion in his MC-afflicted test mice. In the throes of hopeful joy, he heroically barrels into a crowd of Glass-heads (drug addicts) threatening a young woman outside the chemistry building, and the mysterious character of Darcy Williams enters his life. Darcy is a difficult character to decipher early on; she is incredibly paranoid, seeing agents of a mysterious Dark Man all around her, refusing to let anyone know where she lives, and keeping all manner of secrets from those who would befriend her. She begins to help Parker with his experiments, bringing along, somewhat reluctantly, a young suitor of hers named Jason. There is a lot of romantic tension between Parker and Darcy from the beginning, one that builds into a lot of "does he like me? - does she like me?" material -almost too much, actually.
Confident that he has discovered a cure but knowing his sister Jenny will never live long enough to benefit from it as it plods its way through years of testing and approval, James violates everything he knows is right and medically ethical and begins testing the drug on himself (despite the fact that the drug caused incidents of extreme aggression in his test mice). It has quite an effect on him, initially setting him on fire internally, causing spasms of immense agony, and similar nasty side effects. It also, however, begins working. In short order, he regains the ability to walk; eventually, he acquires a degree of unnatural strength and agility. He also experiences disturbing nightmares and unsettling blackout periods, often waking up later in the unhealthiest of places and conditions. As the work proceeds, mysterious men begin following our heroes, destroying their labs, attacking them, and seemingly going after the medical secret Parker seems to hold. Although a lot of the action gets repetitive, and one wonders where everybody else in Berkeley is all the time, Olson makes it difficult to figure out exactly what is going on. Is it the obvious? Is it Darcy's Dark Man? What about the fictional professor Jason created in order to publicize the research, a scientist who seems rather well-known for a nonexistent person? The ultimate conclusion is surprisingly satisfying, although I just can't accept a couple of the conclusions I'm apparently supposed to accept here.
James and Darcy are engaging characters you will be rooting for with great enthusiasm. On a few occasions, however, they do or say things that struck me as clichéd or a bit overdrawn, reminding me that this is in fact a novel about people who don't really exist. The action also seems a tad repetitive in places, but these are small complaints on my part. Olson has no trouble whatsoever in terms of pace, suspense, and action. You have to stop and take a breath between chapters because Olson doesn't slow down for a second; he maintains the energy of this story all the way to the end, an accomplishment that is really quite remarkable.
Confined to a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy, biochemistry grad student, James Parker, found a cure for this crippling disease. Yet, it would have taken years for the drug to go through the tedious and expensive testing required for government approval. James and his sister Jenny didn't have that kind of time. In an act born of desperation and determination, James took his "cure"; a drug he named Adrenaline 355. After observing the amazing results this drug produced in his lab mice, he felt there was enough data to consider this compound his last and only chance to overcome the disease. However, when some bizarre side effects surfaced in his lab animals, James had to decide if saving his own life was worth jeopardizing the lives of others.
Against the backdrop of the excitement of a major medical breakthrough, there was the softer and more tender side of love. James Parker's life became linked with Darcy Williams, another grad student. Together they shared the thrill of Parker's discovery and the terror of the possible complications. Darcy also had some secrets in her past, which were crippling her in an emotional way. Will James's love for her be the cure she needs?
John B. Olson has written a stimulating story that throbs with excitement. The author has a degree in biochemistry and his knowledge in this area allowed him to write with accuracy and detail. Readers will be able to glimpse life and victory from Parker's wheelchair. The author has created a different kind of hero; one that is produced from the ashes of despair. The issue of science versus sacrifice is brought to life and examined in the actions of the characters. Readers will be challenged in their thinking and also eager to reach the final pages.
Adrenaline pulsates with heart-pumping action and a story line that stimulates the senses.
Courtesy of "Love Romances"
When Parker tells Darcy about his experiment, she and her overzealous boyfriend Jason eagerly volunteer to assist him with his research. Parker is overjoyed but it doesn't last long when he discovers his sister is running out of time.
He decides that he cannot wait on the normal refinement and testing process that his drug must go through. Influenced by his sister's worsening condition, Parker desperately takes matters in his own hands. Then things really start to go wrong.
Darcy is paranoid and running from someone or something that she won't reveal to anyone. Jason seems obsessed with the possibility of the drug making lots of money and his genuineness is questioned as he witnessed hanging out with some questionable characters. Creatures with incredible strength are creeping up everywhere and terrorizing the college campus, causing massive fear and bloodshed. Eventually all the secrets, schemes, identities and motives are revealed.
John B. Olson is no stranger to science and stories of suspense. He received a doctorate degree in biochemistry and has co-authored Oxygen and The Fifth Man.
Olson's characters are so real I find myself feeling like I almost know them. They have both deficits and credits to their accounts. How the characters handle them is an intricate part of the story. Even characters almost incidental to the story have haunting qualities. Perhaps it's my 65 years showing, but my favorite parts of the book have to be the tiny peeks into family life. Such love, fun and joy!
I've know several real people with Muscular Dystrophy. I have a strong empathy for them and read every news story I can find about medical advances which will help their plight. The cure conceived by Parker is pure fantasy but I look forward to the day when genetic engineering will work better on the mice - and then the humans.
The plotting of the book is superb. As in "Oxygen" and "The Fifth Man", there is more excitement in one chapter than in many entire books. If "Oxygen" made you breathless and "The Fifth Man" left you exhausted, "Adrenaline" will give you atrial fibrillations.
I believe John B. Olson, Randall Ingermanson and Ted Dekker are three of the best young fiction writers around. These guys can write!!