Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fated Genes, by Harry Lee Kraus, Jr.

Hello, folks! It's time for another post from the husband. Carrie (err, that is, my managing editor) generously lets me contribute reviews every once in a while when I particularly like a book. If I had my own book review blog, it would probably be called "Reading to Enjoy". And you'd only see about three posts a year. So, this arrangement works out just fine.

Anyway. Fated Genes. Really, really awesome book. Harry Kraus, the author, does a great job of weaving Christianity throughout the novel in a way that doesn't come across as distracting or cheap. (This is a rare quality in Christian fiction, which I also admire in Randy Alcorn's work.)

The story is fundamentally about good vs. evil, on a playing field that encompasses a ton of social issues confronting our world today. (To start with, genetic engineering, euthanasia, eugenics, and the politicization of these ethical struggles within the government.) These are all subjects that I would certainly agree are important, but don't find myself thinking much about on a daily basis, and they're easy to ignore when you're not confronted with them often. This book does a great job of putting you smack-dab into a world where they make a difference between life and death on a daily basis. So, in that sense, it's very positive in having given me a broader perspective on the importance of these issues. And it's fun to read.

I've actually never read a medical thriller before, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed that side of the writing. It's a fast-paced, white-knuckled ride through a plot that doesn't shy away from some intense situations. (A bit of medical gore, with some descriptions of occult practices as well. It's presented very well, but not something I would recommend for the extreme faint of heart.)

The author, Harvey Lee Kraus, Jr., MD, is a practicing surgeon, and, after reading the book's frenzied description of life in the operating room, I can't believe he found the time to write it. But this is one of almost half a dozen similar novels he's written, which I'm looking forward to acquainting myself with. Anyway, his medical expertise certainly comes out in the writing style.

Dr. Brad Forrest sipped the black coffee slowly as he listened to the chief resident drone on about tracheoesophageal fistulas in the neonate. How many times have I heard this discussion? he thought sleepily.

Show-off. (And I have to take a jab at the title of the book, "Fated Genes", which must win some kind of award for cheesy homophone usage.) But don't let it deter you.

The writing and pacing of the plot is truly fantastic. At 375 pages long, it's not a heavy reading commitment. (I finished it in a day.) A very, very enjoyable book, with an extremely solid Christian message to it. I heartily recommend it. Five stars.

P.S. from Carrie. I read and reviewed Fated Genes over at 5 Minutes for Books. Then I handed it over to Jonathan to read. This was one of the rare occassions when, following our son's naptime, I was the one called on to play with the two year old and keep him entertained while daddy finished up the thrilling book. What goes around comes around, I suppose!

1 comment:

Lisa Spence said...

"cheesy homophone usage"--now THAT's funny! :-)

Sounds intriguing...I'll have to add it to my "want to read" list!

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