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Mirage
     

Mirage

by F. Paul Wilson, Matthew J. Costello
 

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Julie Gordon, a leading research scientist at the age of 27, has created the most exciting virtual reality program ever—a computer-enhanced, 3D voyage into the mind. When she receives the news that her estranged twin sister Samantha is in a coma, she realizes that her sister is dying, and no one can determine the cause. Now, the only thing that can save her

Overview

Julie Gordon, a leading research scientist at the age of 27, has created the most exciting virtual reality program ever—a computer-enhanced, 3D voyage into the mind. When she receives the news that her estranged twin sister Samantha is in a coma, she realizes that her sister is dying, and no one can determine the cause. Now, the only thing that can save her sister is Julie's experimental program. Julie must enter her sister's mind and confront the evil lurking within—before it destroys them both.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Novelist Wilson (The Select) and CD-ROM scriptwriter Costello (The 7th Guest) take the reader on a high-tech voyage to the brain centers of human memory in this vivid cyber-medical thriller. Julie Gordon, a 28-year-old New York neurophysiologist, is pulled away from a breakthrough research project investigating memory via virtual reality technology when she gets an anxious call from her uncle in France. Her estranged twin sister, Samantha, has fallen into an unexplainable coma and seems to be dying, though she does not have a discernible illness. Julie agrees to use "memoryscape," the spectacular computer program she helped create, to search the minefield of her sister's memory. As Julie already knows, both sisters' history is irrevocably scarred by visions of the tragic house fire that killed their parents 23 years ago. But even more secrets haunt the pair. Now, returning to England with Sam and her uncle in a desperate effort to help her sister recover, the secrets Julie didn't know are revealed. Ultimately, Julie's entire identity is called into question as she confronts the possibility that the twins' careful liberal education may have been an elaborate experiment on the human brain. The virtual reality sequences in the novel provide stunningly surreal images, compensating for a plot steeped in melodrama. Although the revelatory conclusion may disappoint some readers as too contrived, others may see it as shocking, and most will be entertained by the med-tech details along the way. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Dr. Julia Gordon, 28, designs a virtual reality program that "sees" memories. Her hope is to adapt this technology for Alzheimer's research. Little does she realize that she will experiment on a subject closer to home. Julie's estranged identical twin sister, Sam, lies inexplicably comatose. Their Uncle Eathan, who reared them from age six, begs for help. Using her VR program, Julie tries to "see" the cause, but Sam's memoryscape is devastated. Further, Julie has sensory perception within Sam. What she uncovers is deeply troubling: her father and Eathan were identical twins; her father was a neurochemist who experimented on Julie and Sam to further his unacceptable research; and her father was sterile. Suddenly, she understands that she and her sister are in deadly danger. This fast-paced, fascinating book by Wilson (Implant, Forge, 1995) and Costello is one of the better meldings of technology and suspense, twisting and turning up through the emotional conclusion. Highly recommended for public libraries.Jodi L. Israel, Westwood, Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
The Wilson-Costello team turns out a medical thriller about memory that echoes the wonderfully trashy psychological suspense of Hitchcock's Spellbound updated as a computer game.

This is Wilson's second novel featuring female twins in peril (Sibs, 1991), while novelist Costello's The 7th Guest is the bestselling CD-ROM interactive drama of all time. Here, neurophysiologist Julie Gordon, 27, and a fellow doctor have devised a virtual reality scanner that can enter a patient's memory and record it visually on a VCR while a guide hooked up to the scanner also enters and participates in the patient's memories. Julie's an intellectual cold fish, friendless and loveless, but when her overemotive twin sister Samantha falls into a mysterious coma in Paris, Julie decides to enter Samantha's memory and try to locate the missing neural pathway that has shut down Samantha's conscious mind. Samantha's memories focus on traumatic events leading up to her coma, but the memories themselves are often symbolic visualizations that have to be interpreted by Samantha's shrink, Dr. Alma Evans, who both watches the visualizations in progress on the VCR monitor and later reviews them on tape. The central event in the twins' memories is the house fire in which their parents died—a fire the twins witnessed when they were five. If parts of that horror have been blocked from recall, has their sudden eruption caused Samantha's coma? The twins were raised by their father's brother, warm, fatherly Eathan, who, as their guardian, supervises their $2 million insurance inheritance and trust fund. When Julie discovers that Eathan was also their father's twin, the game's afoot. Samantha's lover, Liam O'Donnell, pursued by Scotland Yard (he may be an Irish terrorist), shows up. Then Dr. Evans, having untangled the symbolic knot of twins upon twins, dies under very suspicious circumstances.

If this isn't movie-bound, Hollywood needs a brain transplant.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446604734
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

What People are Saying About This

Peter Straub
"A wonderfully inventive, engrossing, thoroughly twisted piece of work...I loved it."
Nora Walters
"A fast-paced trip thorugh the labarinth of heart, mind, and soul."

Meet the Author

F. Paul Wilson, a bestselling author of horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, and virtually everything in between, is a practicing physician who resides in Wall, New Jersey. His books include the Repairman Jack novels — including Ground Zero, The Tomb, and Fatal Error — the Adversary cycle — including The Keep — and a young-adult series featuring the teenage Repairman Jack.

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