Saturday, October 17, 2009

Forty-Eight X: The Lemuria Project-Barry Pollack

Forty-Eight X: The Lemuria Project
Barry Pollack
Medallion, Dec 2009, $24.95
ISBN 9781934755020

Israeli military intelligence is stunned with what they learn happened in a training camp in Pakistan. Somehow a super soldier using a scythe massacred dozens of terrorists. Totally confused as even the weapon of choice is from the age of Alexander the Great, the Israeli MI asks archeologists Egyptian Fala al-Shohada and her Israeli lover Joshua Krantz to invesitgate who and how.

In the United States, Princeton University Genetics PH.D candidate Maggie Wagner rejects the idea that her father, a Nobel laureate Stanford professor, committed suicide as officially reported. Instead she believes he was assassinated for his inquiry into something top secret: Project Lemuria.

While these people investigate on separate continents, on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, the United States has a team of geneticists working the Lemuria Project to create a Super Soldier. The goal is to reduce dramatically the casualties of war at least on our side. Colonel Link McGraw leads the experimentation with the understanding the brass is always right. Soon the American, the Israeli, and the Egyptian converge on Link’s tropical island where primates in tuxedos serve dinner.

The premise of a super soldier has been done before, although Barry Pollack adds a genetics spin to his placing Captain America on the Island of Dr. Moreau. The story line is fast-paced but overloaded with tons of sidebar sex scenes that detracts from the thriller aspects. Still fans who enjoy an engaging DNA political military science fiction thriller will want to trek to the middle of the Indian Ocean where arrogant efforts to turn the myth of Lemuria into reality have begun with the humanzee.

Harriet Klausner