Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Genius Dilemma by Dustin Grinnell

The Genius Dilemma
Author:  Dustin Grinnell
Publisher:  Self-Published
Pages: 325
Release Date: December 20th, 2013
Source: Received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A team of scientists has invented a new smart drug named Trillium. A revolutionary medical breakthrough, Trillium enhances cognitive abilities, creating geniuses. But the researchers are horrified to discover that… 


Leviathan, the CIA’s assassination team, has been tasked with eliminating global threats using any means necessary. When their superior General Beranger learns about Trillium, he believes he’s uncovered a distinct advantage in the fight against terrorism. After convincing the scientists to share the drug with his team, Beranger learns there’s just one problem—the side effects are disturbing. 

Trillium creates cold-blooded psychopaths. 

The first casualty is CIA operative David Landry who snaps hours after taking the drug. When he goes rogue, it’s up to Special Forces, along with renowned neuroscientist Alan Pierce and psychiatrist Michelle Emmett, to stop them. 

Armed with a hastily concocted antidote, the team hunts Landry. 

His destination? Africa. Nasir Lwazi, the Kenyan president, has recently been murdered. Believing Lwazi’s son Thomas is a threat to national security, Landry is on a ruthless mission to destroy him and he doesn’t plan to let anyone get in his way. 

Alan and the Special Forces team are determined to reach Kenya and stop Landry before he harms Thomas or any other innocent civilians. But can they get there in time? Will the antidote work? Or will Landry suffer the same fate as their other targets? 

In the unforgettable climax, an epic battle for power ensues as the Special Forces team attempts to thwart Landry’s homicidal tendencies. 

Written in a style reminiscent of Michael Crichton, The Genius Dilemma is a science fiction thriller, action-packed with adventure, seeded with corruption, and stunning with its abuses of power. Expect the gripping conclusion to keep you compulsively turning pages way past your bedtime.

Psychology and the human mind fascinate me, so I was pretty excited to read The Genius Dilemma. Part thriller, part sci-fi, and action packed, this story was a page turner that I was engaged in all the way through. While the plot did feel a little predictable at points, I liked the overlying questions the story tried to pose. The link between intelligence and insanity is something interesting to muse over, and Dustin Grinnell clearly has a grasp on the scientific elements here.

There were a few flaws with this book, but those may be personal things. The biggest being that Michelle just felt like a pair of legs thrown into this story, rather than a strong female character. It's a little hard for me to engage in a story when I feel like the love interest is a piece of meat plopped into a story for the other characters enjoyment. She just was a bit stereotypical, and that distanced me as a reader. 

Because I received an ARC, I can't comment heavily on any in-text mistakes since they may be remedied, but the overall flow worked pretty well. I liked the split narration style, but some reader can find that jarring, and as mentioned by other reviewers, it did feel a little tedious getting such detailed histories with the introduction of every character. While it needed a little polishing (and who knows, those changes may happen before the final edition comes out!), the general premise was good, and I enjoyed the chance to read this book.

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