Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Date of Release: October 20, 2015
Pages and Format: 400 pages; ePub
Links: Author Website, Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon
“Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.
When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.
As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?”
I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This was an extremely complex story. It touches deeply on the horror of Alzheimer’s and the decline into one’s self once it has set in.
Gabriel Schist is 70ish years old and has had an accomplished life. Having cured AIDS and won a Nobel Peace Prize for it, everyone who is anyone has taken his cure. Except himself, of course.
When a mysterious illness being dubbed The Black Virus starts attacking residents at the nursing home and all over America, Gabriel must race against his own deteriorating mental state and try to find a cure for this virus before it kills all that he holds dear.
This story touches on that question of “what is reality?” a lot. Especially as Schist begins seeing and talking with slugs. I had a NeverEnding Story 1 moment when Schist rode one of the slugs. I was waiting for someone to say “he’s a racing slug!” Haha.
The slugs and the Sky Amoeba added a really weird element to the story, however. I could understand him hallucinating Death; but the Sky Amoeba? Odd.
I suppose it has a religious backing, the Sky Amoeba being God and the Slugs being the angels or messengers.
The very sad and rapid deterioration of Gabriel Schist is very prominent in this novel as well. His moments with his daughter, where he’s remembering his ex-wife and his love for her as well as the moments where he wants to tell his daughter how much she means to him and is unable to. It was heart wrenching. Especially at the end.
It was a slow to begin kind of read and took time to build up, but it was well worth the read and oh, all the feels! I was a bit disappointed when it ended, but it was quite the climax.
But the question remains, what if the Sky Amoeba is truly real? Hmm.
About the Author:
Nicholas Conley’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His novel Pale Highway is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit.
In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire.