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Medusa's Child [Mass Market Paperback]

John J. Nance
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 15 1997
He took you on a collision course with disaster in Pandora's Clock

In the high-flying tradition of his extraordinary New York Times bestseller Pandora's Clock, author and aviator John J. Nance launches Medusa's Child, an explosive new thriller that takes to the skies-and takes you to the height of terror.

Now he brings you to the brink of nuclear catastrophe

At 10,000 feet, Captain Scott McKay gets the nerve-shattering news: aboard his Boeing 727 is a ticking time bomb-and not just any bomb. It's the Medusa Project, a thermonuclear monster that could wipe out every computer chip on the continent, obliterating any and all traces of modern technology. Now Scott is flying blind, with nowhere to land and nothing to rely on but his own instincts. And one wrong move could ignite a worldwide apocalypse by unleashing...

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From Amazon

If you miss the great airborne adventures of writers like the late Ernest K. Gann, John Nance might help take up some of the slack. His Pandora's Clock--it became a TV movie--featured a nasty virus rampant at 35,000 feet. His latest has the widow of a world-class scientist trying to deliver to the Pentagon an invention that could shut down computers everywhere, thus ending civilization (and online bookselling) as we know it. Lots of hairy, if somewhat implausible, action--sure to be exploited in another TV movie. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA?From the intriguing jacket cover to the final page, suspense abounds in this thrilling novel. When Scott McKay, captain of his private cargo plane, takes on two passengers and their cargo crates, he and his crew discover that they are in for the flight of their lives. While over Washington, DC, a strange noise comes from deep inside the crate owned by Vivian Henry. It is the voice of her husband, a nuclear scientist who was believed dead. The people onboard are informed that the shipment that they are carrying is a fully armed Medusa device, a thermonuclear bomb that will not only kill millions of people, but can also destroy every computer chip on the continent, blasting the country back into the Stone Age. It is set to go off within hours. Panic erupts in the world of nuclear scientists who used to work for Dr. Henry, for they realize that this threat is a real possibility. Fear spreads through the White House and the general public, as a group of rogue military officers conspire to secure the bomb at any cost. Captain McKay and his crew soon discover that they are being deceived, and that everyone's life is in danger. Mistrust, deceit, and spine-chilling action flow from every page of this story.?Anita Short, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced story!!! Dec 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John J. Nance knows how to keep a reader in suspense. This book goes up there with Pandora's Clock as enjoyable novels.
The story is about a mad scientist who creates a bomb in order to get even with government and torture his wife. This bomb is one-of-a-kind in that it can knock out all electronics and destroy the economy. That's one problem, but there's another. It is also a thermonuclear device that is being transported by a 727. On top of that the crew is flying in probably the worst hurricane storms in the country. Those are the major problems, but as known by Nance, he adds more complications for the 727 crew to handle and it will be their decision that decides the outcomes.
Medusa's Child is a page turner with on-going twists and turns. You don't know what will happen next. Unfortunately, the book loses a star from me to become the best because the ending seems so implausible, you are asking yourself, is that possible?
Anyhow, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book just because it is a exciting read and a great alternative to movies!!...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best Nance book I've read Sept. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not the biggest Nance fan, so I was surprised when I enjoyed "Medusa's Child". Medusa is a bomb designed and built by a truly mad scientist. Powered by a 20 megaton nuclear warhead, Medusa uses EMP to knock out virtually every microchip within a huge range of fire, and corrupt any data written near the time of the blast. The former defense researcher/would be destroyer-of-worlds even programs the machine to heap abuse on his poor wife. Completing his mysterious device before dying, he manages to cajole his poor former wife into delivering it (the unfortunate ex not knowing of its purpose) to the Pentagon. Strapped into a 727 freighter flown by a former fighter driver named Scott Mackay, the device arms too quickly (flown over the Pentagon, Medusa's GPS sensors can't distinguish between being in the cellar of the Pentagon, from being 20,000 feet above it) triggering a computer which (having been programmed by a certifiably evil genius) details exactly what it will do. Among other things, the computer also warns about a special safeguards meant to insure that his hated wife accompany the machine to its final debut (one of the device's sensors is keyed to her pacemaker). Mackay now battles a freak hurricane and his own dwindling fuel supply to deep-six the bomb over the mid-Atlantic, setting off the sort of crisis response that insures that we'll see plenty of fighter jets, generals and powerful politicians in settings where they will be surrounded by high-tech. But, at its heart "Medusa" excels because it's a very character driven book - the occupants of Mackay's stricken 727 form relationships that transcend what would otherwise be a straight-to-cable movie like "Pandora's Clock" or the one made of "Glass Cockpit". I've only read "Final Approach" and "Phoenix Rising" - this is the most human of the three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MEDUSA'S CHILD - A thrilling nuclear countdown Nov. 29 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A former disgruntled U.S. nuclear scientist wills his ex-wife the unthinkable, a thermonuclear bomb. The scientist, before his death, con's his ex-wife into taking a so-called 'model' of a Medusa device to the Pentagon for analysis. A working Medusa bomb, the theory goes, would knock out all of the working computers in North America, while killing a few million people at the same time. For the purposes of national security, the former Machiavellian husband argues that this information belongs in the hands of our military to study and defend against. But in transit to the Nation's Capitol, the model comes alive in the belly of a Boeing 727 air cargo jet, and its inventor speaks from the grave.
MEDUSA's CHILD maybe author John Nance's finest aviation thriller. The heroes of this novel not only have to battle a bomb to survive, they have to battle horrendous weather, fuel limitations, a screwed up military, a paranoid FBI, and the limitations of their own aging 727. One adversarial situation after another, they just keep coming. And one after another, the pilots keep on flying.
Suspense thrillers just don't get much better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Improbable...sure--FUN & ENTERTAINING? You BET!! Nov. 27 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was drawn to this book entirely because of how much I enjoyed 'Pandora's Clock'. I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not I would enjoy it as much, but I assure you, for MY dollar, 'Medusa's Child' more than surpassed 'Pandora's Clock'. The premise is sorta improbable at best...however just suspend your belief for a little while and suddenly the story kicks into overdrive--turbo-charged, too.
'Medua's Child' has all of the elements of a classic adventure story, with a few others thrown in for good measure. We have a slightly mad scientist--YEARS ahead of anyone else, who develops a fully working nuclear weapon that can (in theory) literally cripple pretty much the entire United States. It all has to do with the electromagnetic pulse which is a secondary effect of a nuclear detonation. As you may know, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) fuses practically EVERYTHING with a computer chip, from car engines, computers to sophisticated toaster ovens and even more dangerous, nuclear power plants, dams and well as you can imagine, the results would be catastrophic to say the least. But how could one single nuclear weapon damage such a large area? Good question, this is where Mr. Nance asks us to suspend our belief a bit. He proposes that the 'Medusa Wave' in theory is a weapon that dramatically increases the size of the EMP...so much that it could almost reach from coast-to-coast. The story flies with the speed of an F-14 being launched from a carrier at sea. Never once does it lag once it gets going--which doesn't take too long. Nance has given us a fantastic 'what if' scenario that plays out nicely, and like I said, even though the premise is improbable at best, it sure was FUN and ENTERTAINING. Give Nance a go and I think you'll be back for more really soon.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Medusa's Child- by John J. Nance
This book by Nance ranks right up there with Pandora's Clock. When I was in a bookstore a few years ago, I bought Pandora's Clock and Medusa's Child together, and read them in that... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2001 by Jeff Pudelski
3.0 out of 5 stars Improbable but exciting
Nance has done better work, both with characters and plot. This book stretched credibility and the characters seemed generic to this type of story. Still, it's a page turner. Read more
Published on July 29 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll like it
I think this was an awesome novel filled with top-notch suspense. You will not be able to put it down once you start.
Published on March 24 2000 by Matt Kratz
3.0 out of 5 stars Compare the ending to 'Venom Virus'
After you read this book get a copy of "Venom Virus" by Richard Parry from 1992. Compare the endings. Suspiciously similar.
Published on Oct. 4 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars MGM, WARNER-BROS ARE YOU SLEEPING??????
After reading Pandora's Clock I thought a book could not be better! THAT WAS WRONG. This is the best book that's ever written. It's great from the first to the last page. Read more
Published on March 4 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Pandora's Clock!!!!
This book was even better than his last. The suspense was undaunting. Again, they had to make this into a lame TV movie. This could have been a great movie. Mr. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Nance knows how to leave you without fingernails.
Medusa's Child is one of the most suspenseful books I have read in a LONG time. The basic plot is a cargo 727 is carrying a live thermonuclear bomb that, in the process of killing... Read more
Published on Dec 21 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars I Kept Looking To The Skies Expecting A Scotair 727.
What a page turner! This is the first of Nance's books I have read and I expect to read more in the near future. Think about it... Read more
Published on Oct. 21 1998
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but exaggerated and not credible.
The book is well written, and reads easily. The plot is simple: a live nuke is flying around the East coast aboard an old 727. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 1998
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