Tuesday, October 1, 2013

‘Peril’ by Jordyn Redwood – Book Review

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Due to the fact that I don’t have as much time to review books as I used to (as I am attending seminary and have many other obligations), I try to be more selective in the books I read and review these days. The latest book that ‘passed my test’ (!) is ‘Peril’ by Jordyn Redwood. 

Here is the synopsis of this novel:

Dr. Thomas Reeves is at the pinnacle of his career. The Department of Defense has awarded him a lucrative contract for his new research into superior autobiographical memory, which promises the ability to create combat troops able to quickly learn complex battle plans and enact them perfectly under the most demanding battlefield scenarios.

An elite unit has received neural grafts from fetal cadavers of genetically altered brain cells with enhanced NMDA receptors. The results are remarkable . . . until the recipients begin suffering hallucinations, nightmares, paralysis, . . . and death. Dr. Reeves searches for answers, but DOD insiders want him to stop the search.

The situation becomes public when pediatric ICU nurse Morgan Adams, Dr. Reeves’s daughter, is taken hostage by three research subjects in an attempt to force Dr. Reeves into disclosing why they are sick. If answers aren’t revealed within twenty-four hours, patients in the pediatric ICU will be killed.

This spine-tingling conclusion to the Bloodline Trilogy raises spiritual and ethical dilemmas torn directly out of today’s headlines. When does life begin? How far does commitment to family go? And can the sins of the father ever be forgiven?

Here is the biography of the author:

Jordyn Redwood has served patients and their families for nearly 20 years and currently works as a pediatric ER nurse. As a self professed medical nerd and trauma junkie, she was drawn to the controlled chaotic environments of critical care and emergency nursing. Her love of teaching developed early and she was among the youngest CPR instructors for the American Red Cross at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has continued to teach advanced resuscitation classes to participants ranging from first responders to MD’s.

When she discovered she also had a fondness for answering medical questions for authors, this led to the creation of Redwood’s Medical Edge. This blog is devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction.

Jordyn lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters and one crazy hound dog. In her spare time she also enjoys reading her favorite authors, quilting and cross stitching.

In addition to Peril, she is also the author of Proof and Poison. Jordyn loves to hear from her readers and you can contact her at jredwood1@gmail.com.

Being that Jordyn works as a pediatric ER nurse, I was not surprised at her expertise in writing about medical procedures, etc… But this novel also includes some military elements. She handled those areas with talent and ease, as well:

He [Dr. Adams] marched down the hall back to his work station and entered the order for the scan. With this current patient’s symptoms on his mind, he began to read through the nurse’s notes on several of the other protocol patients. Something was going on. Something he didn’t understand.

          Nightmares. Symptoms that mirrored post-traumatic stress. He wouldn’t find these symptoms usual in a recruit that had served an active combat mission. Problem was, some of the men experienced these symptoms hadn’t even been shot or left the US to serve on the front lines. (p. 44)

It is always of additional benefit when reading a book to actually learn something! And one learns a lot when reading a Jordyn Redwood book, apparently (this was my first time reading her work)! I’d heard this about cancer before, but Jordyn goes into additional detail – and with such flair!:

That pathology class had been a real eye opener. All cancer was, in the end, a cell that had lost control of itself. The reproductive mechanisms ran amok, dividing rapidly into a mass of nonfunctioning cells, crushing out the viable ones from doing their work. At times, they spread their havoc to distant areas of the body; metastasis. When that occurred, they grew wildly other places and pushed those normal cells from completing their bodily duties.

One cell, the building block of every organ, gone awry.

That’s it….really that’s all cancer is. Cells running amok. Unhinged. Drunk now with the power of a life without limitations. (p. 60)

In addition to all of the medical, military, and real tough-life issues, this book, being that it’s published by a Christian publisher, shares God and His love. This particular section does that very well. These wise words are spoken by Drew, a coworker of nurse Morgan Adams, to Morgan’s husband, Tyler:

“Weird thing about God is he wants everything we have. Our time. Our money. Everything turned over to him. I’ve seen parents struggle with this about their kids. Thinking about giving their lives over to God – not controlling every aspect of the decisions they make haunts them. A parent’s work is to protect their children. So it seems counterproductive to let go and let God. But, overall, it’s a trust issue. Do you trust God to do what’s best on Morgan’s behalf? I’m not saying be reckless. [Left out a line – spoiler!] God wants you to step in, but in the absence of that….I also think He may want you to step back so that He can do his work, too. (p. 138).

That trust issue, and letting God do ‘his thing’ has always been a big obstacle for me. So I appreciated this good counsel that Drew provided, as I have learned over and over that God knows me better than I know myself, and He has my best in mind!

The ending was very surprising, and satisfying! Apparently, Jordyn has rewritten the ending for the finished product, but it does not change the overall crux of the story. I find it hard to believe that the end could be any better, but I trust Jordyn’s belief and judgment in her own story!

'Peril' is the third in Jordyn’s ‘Bloodline Trilogy;’ the other two are ‘Proof’ and ‘Poison.’ Each book stands alone; one does not have to read all of the books in the series (although I recommend you do so after reading this book!).

This is the first time I have read anything from Mrs. Redwood; I was pleasantly surprised. It has been a while since I’ve read a medical suspense novel, and this one reminded me hope much I enjoy this genre. I think Jordyn is extremely gifted, and I am now going to keep my eye open for more of her novels in the future.

By the way, yesterday, I shared with you a guest blog post from Ms. Redwood. Please make sure to check it out if you missed it!

You can order your copy of the book here.

This book is published by Kregel Publication. The book I read is an Advanced Reader Copy; page numbers and final publication will most likely be slightly different. 

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