- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1748 KB
- Print Length: 353 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MAYJIZM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 263 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #449,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Elixir: A techno crime thriller Kindle Edition
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"Read - no, devoured - Elixir...and loved it." -Rodger Nichols, News Director, Haystack Broadcasting
"A great read." -Kathryn Bennett, Reviewer, Readers' Favorite
"Action packed." -Paul Sciria, Managing Editor, La Gazzetta Italiana
"A real page turner." -Susan Henderson, Publisher/Editor, Mountain Views News
"Galdi has done a masterful job." -Chuck Rounds, Editor, Callback Entertainment News--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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"Elixir" grabbed a hold of me from the vey beginning when we're introduced to 12 year old wunderkind, Sean Malone, who is literally the smartest person in the world. At the beginning, Galdi begins to take you on a journey of a boy struggling to fit into a world that he doesn't fit into. You would be forgiven if you think that this is a story that's been told before, but it HASN'T been told like Galdi tells it. Because just as you begin to settle into a "good" book, Sean does something totally EXPECTED but takes the story into a direction totally UNexpected & quite suddenly, you're now reading a "great" book.
No more on the specifics because I don't want to give anything away but I don't want to hide this in the "spoiler" section. Suffice it to say, "Elixir" features a cast of characters who find themselves challenged by this boy wonder, & who, although has an unequaled intelligence, is still very much a boy; an immature, emotional & a confused boy. Sean will challenge the "adults" in a way they've never been before & how they rise to this challenge is what makes this book so surprisingly good!
Top international reviews
A good read and a good story
The main character, Sean Malone, is inarguably the smartest person on earth with an IQ in the neighborhood of 250. His face became nearly unforgettable after appearing on Jeopardy at the age of 11 and winning over a million dollars before stepping down. This all but prevents a private "normal" life for him. Orphaned and under the guardianship of his aunt, Sean, age 14 at the beginning of the novel, attends SoCalTech and he unwittingly brings additional attention upon him when he solves a yet-unsolvable mathematical problem thus drawing the notice of the NSA for the code-breaking application of his solution. In an effort to keep this review spoiler-free, more things happen such that with the FBIs assistance Sean's death is faked so that he can be kept out of harm's way. The second half of the story jumps ahead four years when Sean, 18 and now living in Italy, meets and falls in love with Natasha, the woman of his dreams. Sean's problem-solving intelligence is needed when Natasha is brought to the edge of death from a disease contracted while her family vacationed in Africa. Really. A bit far reaching, but this is a work of fiction.
I requested to listen to the audio book version of this book through Audiobook Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. As such, I cannot fairly comment on the edited status of the print version of this story. The plot development, character development and dialogue, as read by the narrator, are respectably sufficient. The story premise was interesting and the dialogue and subject matter is by and large age-appropriate for a YA audience. I am not certain that this YA will draw an adult audience.
There were several situations in the story which were vague in description, action which did not appear logical or connect to consequences and several characters' actions that seemed specious, all requiring a leap of faith. How the solving of the Traveling Salesman Dilemma, the initial yet-unsolvable mathematical problem mentioned above, leads to code-breaking was unexplained, and yet, this pivotal connection leads to NSA activity which leads to another development which leads to necessitating Sean's (faked) death. This influential element of the story seems non sequitur. The love-story element between Sean and Natasha was developed very quickly and feels more superficial than meaningful, and yet, it is this love that causes Sean to bring himself out of hiding to save her life. This relationship seems unconvincing in its depth - just because the relationship exists doesn't mean its depth is believable, unless of course your audience can accept it without supporting substance. And, the disease that Natasha contracts for which Sean is able to create an "elixir" in mere hours after ingesting knowledge from extensive reports and studies hacked from a high level security-safe server that took a mere 10 minutes to hack into? I understand the boy is extremely intelligent, but too much must be "accepted" such that this story is better categorized as fantasy rather than suspense.
As for the audio version of this story, Elixir was read by Roberto Scarlato and is 9 hours and 41 minutes in duration. The end-product was good in that there are no extraneous noises to draw away the listener's attention, no empty-room tinny sound. The narrator's voice was fine, but added nothing to the listening experience. The reader read with virtually no emotion - no tenderness in the main character's voice for Natasha, no fear or tension in the voices of the characters when the scenes are suspenseful and only the briefest hint of accenting in the voices. The reader simply read the book. Unfortunately, the reader countlessly paused as if a comma or period were in the text when the print should not have a comma in the sentence or the sentence did not yet end. When the listener has only the reader's voice, comma-pauses (or period pauses) where there are not or should not be commas (or periods) requires the listener to come out of the story and make the mental correction for the sound of an error.
I would recommend this book to readers of YA. My other comments aside, this is an entertaining, interesting story. I would be comfortable allowing my teenagers to read this. I commend Mr. Galdi on this first novel and wish him every success with any future books.
I also liked the development of the characters. The story unfolds over a long time and the characters, especially the protagonist changes, develops and matures.
This is a good fun book and I would like to read more by this author.
Sean is a super-genius teen whose brilliant mind gets him in trouble with the CIA. He goes into hiding (in Italy, no less), meets a girl who later catches Ebola (nothing like keeping up with the times, huh?), and Sean has to use his incredible intelligence to save her.
Enough with the potential spoiler text.
The only faults I had with the story were the somewhat long-winded descriptions of some rather banal scenarios intended (I guess) to show Sean is just a normal teenager trying to live a normal teenage life within a normal family/friends environment. A page or two here and there would have sufficed for this, rather than the ten-to-fifteen pages the author allotted. Fortunately (for me), it was easy to detect when these scenarios were beginning, and a little speed-reading enabled me to skip over most of the wordage without missing anything of importance.
My only problem with the plot was that a genius (Sean) who could hack into any computer complex in the world would have no problem hacking into a chemical company and having them send him the chemicals he needs to save his girlfriend's life. Instead, he risks all to return to the States (and the CIA environment) and try to get a chemist friend to obtain the chemicals for him, with the ensuing drama that results from the friend turning out to be a bad guy. Once I got over this hiccup (which was pretty evident as soon as it occurred), I have to admit I enjoyed the ensuing drama a lot. And it all wound up in a very satisfying ending. I highly recommend this novel, and look forward to the author's next venture.
Seriously, our hero Sean does run into a few nail-biting obstacles along the way. Also, he's a sweet guy with a sweet aunt who raised him and a sweet girlfriend. So likable characters and a some hurdles to overcome, but being a genius makes it all too easy. I would say a fun read it you're not too bothered by how unlikely it all is.
One thing was irritating. Sean travels the world and can learn to speak all languages fluently, of course, but every time he speaks to someone in another country we have to hear several times what language it is in. We get it.
- A super intelligent lad like Sean would never act like a typical 14 year-old or be doing the things that typical teenagers do. Regardless of his past, his intellect would not let him stagnate like that. Didn't the author every watch Doogie Howser?
- The author obviously has no idea at all of how medical compounds are made. If it was simply a case of mixing off-the-shelf chemicals together as described in the book, we would have had the cure for cancer a long time ago.
There are more, but while totally predictable, the fast speed of the book kept it entertaining, and the price was right.
Sean Malone really does not want to be the smartest man in the world. He just wants to be normal. And for a little while he gets to be. But then his girlfriend gets sick. Really sick. And now he has to reveal just how smart he really is.
There is romance, adventure, fun, tension, suspense and terror in this book. Once you start it you won't be able to put it down. This author knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you there. I can't wait to read more from this author.