Friday, August 2, 2013

Mutation by Robin Cook ***

Opening with a Mary Shelley quote,  Mutation by Robin Cook immediately declares its intention to update the classic Frankenstein. The monster in this horror story is a super-intelligent ten-year-old boy named VJ.

Here's a little science behind this fantasy. During development growth factors turn on and off to sculpt our bodies and brains. Before and after birth different areas and systems experience rapid growth and long periods of stasis. Imagine if we could extend the period of rapid brain development. Could we make a super smart person? Should we?

 This book reads like a thriller, Cook spins a tale that keeps the plot moving forward and the pages turning. However, while the pages turn, the ultimate resolution is obvious from the beginning. In addition the flat characters prevent the horror from reaching its potential. Thus, when the book is over, it feels like a hike through an amusement park ... upbeat music, fast turns,  flashing lights, but no experiences of lasting impact or value.

An excellent book to kill time on a long airplane flight.

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