Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Review: The Organ Takers – Richard Van Anderson

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
The Organ Takers
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: White Light Press; First edition (November 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990759717
ISBN-13: 978-0990759713
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A disgraced doctor is on the verge of rebuilding his medical career, when he’s approached to help a mysterious organization harvest organs. To refuse, may cost him his life, or worse, the life of his family.


David McBride – Lab Technician, with a background in donor organ removal.
Mr. White – A Mysterious figure controlling David’s strings.


This story begins dark, and proceeds to get darker from that point on. We initially see a man named Michael Smith. He sits up, and notices a pain in his side. He stumbles to the street where he collapses. He’s taken to the emergency room, where they determine he’s recently had surgery to have a kidney removed. There are problems however, and he succumbs to problems from the botched surgery. It goes on fairly unnoticed, until other homeless people end up with their kidneys missing.

David McBride is a former transplant surgeon. Due to a scandal with a fellow doctor, he is fired, and reduced to working as a lab technician. Just as he’s gotten a second chance at life, a mysterious stranger approaches David with a dark offer. It turns out however, that David doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. At this point, the story begins to remind me of a medical thriller version of The Firm. You know who the bad guys are, but David has no clue.

The medical details are very well done, and well explained. I actually learned a lot about the process involved in kidney donations. While the subject matter is a bit dark, I’d recommend it for older teens and adult audiences.

I found myself really enjoying this story, and running along in David’s footsteps as he tries to find a way out of the mess he’s in. But will he get out, or will those he loves suffer. To find the answers to that, you’ll have to read the book. So go out, grab a copy, and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Richard Van AndersonI’m a former heart surgeon and now write full time. I have a medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine; performed my general surgery residency at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana; attended a two-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; and trained in cardiothoracic surgery at New York University. Following my training, I served as a surgical attending at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and held a joint appointment as Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital. My writing instruction includes Internet-based courses, night classes at the University of Washington, and I earned an MFA degree in creative writing from Pine Manor College in Boston, where I was mentored by a distinguished faculty, including New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane. I live in Bellevue, Washington, which is a suburb of Seattle.

During my surgical career I violated every cavity and laid hands on every organ in the human body. I’ve drilled holes in the skull, amputated big toes and excised, resected, patched and repaired every body part in between. I know human anatomy, physiology, the pathology of human disease and the carnage that can be wreaked upon the human organism by his fellow man, by machine and by Mother Nature. I’ve spent countless hours standing across the operating table from egomaniacal surgical attendings, and I’ve personally witnessed high-achieving members of a noble profession become corrupted by the quest for notoriety and wealth. This vast experience, combined with a deep understanding of story and character, has resulted in works of fiction that will not only entertain, but will venture below the surface to explore how men of intelligence, drive and compassion sometimes choose, or are forced, to venture down dark paths.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Larissa at Claire McKinney PR for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: The Violinists Thumb – Sam Kean

Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0316182311
ISBN-13: 978-0316182317
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DNA and how we’ve come to be. Sounds like one of the driest topics you could possible imagine. But in The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean he takes the reader on an entertaing and informative ride through the history and discovery of DNA.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I discovered a lot about myself, genetics, evolution, and just the overall mystery of being part of the universe around us.

If you are interested in science, biology, genetics, or just love learning new things, then you should definitely pick this up. I think like I did, you’ll find many of the stories within it to be fascinating and informative.

About the Author

Sam Kean spent years collecting mercury from broken thermometers as a kid, and now he’s a writer in in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and Science, and has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab” and “All Things Considered.” The Disappearing Spoon, his first book, was a New York Times national bestseller. Read excerpts at

(un)Official bio: Sam Kean gets called Sean once a month. He grew up in South Dakota, which means more to him than it probably should. He’s a fast reader but a very slow eater. He went to college in Minnesota and studied physics and English. He taught for a few years at an experimental charter school in St. Paul, where the kids showed up at night. After that, he tried to move to Spain (it didn’t take) and ended up in Washington, D.C. He has a master’s degree in library science he will probably never use. He wishes he had a sports team he was passionate about, but doesn’t, though he does love track & field.

See our Giveway here for your chance to win one of 2 copies. This giveaway is courtesy of Hachette Book Group.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.