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Medusa's Child


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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

Even from the grave, nuclear physicist Rogers Henry is determined to castigate the wife who left him and the nation that devalued his services. Two years after her ex-husband's death, Vivian Henry agrees to accompany his lifelong project to the Pentagon. She doesn't know that what she is transporting is a thermonuclear bomb that, upon detonation, will kill millions and immobilize U.S. computer, telecommunication, financial, and transportation systems. While airborne, the ex-navy pilot at the controls and the hapless passengers discover the bomb when it diabolically informs them that it will explode in three and a half hours. Nance (Pandora's Clock, Doubleday, 1995) weaves a tight narrative and effectively builds the suspense. An old-fashioned page-turner recommended for public-library fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/96.]‘Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo

Novelist and Alaska Airlines pilot Nance is a champ at dreaming up spellbinding premises (as in his bestselling Pandora's Clock) about doomsday threats lurking in our friendly skies. Regrettably, he also excels at sabotaging his great plot ideas with amateurish writing. When, two years after his death, the widow of a deranged nuclear scientist is charged with delivering to the Pentagon a prototype of a Medusa Wave generator, capable of creating a devastating continent-sized electromagnetic pulse, she finds herself the victim of a diabolical plot to kill millions of innocent people and virtually destroy our computerized civilization. With the Medusa device counting down the minutes until it detonates the 20 megaton nuke that keys its power, the widow, a crew of three pilots and a beautiful young female scientist are trapped aboard a Boeing 727 cargo plane, desperately trying to figure out how to disarm the device while battling the onslaught of an 800-mile-wide hurricane. Inane prose ("She gripped his seatback even harder...triggering sensations he didn't have time to consider, but which somehow inside he knew were very pleasant"), cartoonish characters and comic-book theatrics (a mid-air rescue from the wing of a 727)) abound as Nance parlays a clever idea into an unintentional homage to the slapstick film lampoon, Airplane. Crichton's Airframe is a Concorde compared to this crippled bird. Author tour. (Feb.)

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