eBook, 272 pages
Kwan Wilson was a high school basketball star living in San Diego when a tragic accident changed his life in ways no one could predict. He only looked at his phone for a few seconds, but that was all the time it took to crash his car into a telephone pole, killing his mother and paralyzing him from the waist down.
My Thoughts:After the accident his father, Admiral Douglas Wilson, sent him off to live with his maternal grandmother in South Florida. Kwan’s new principal, anticipating his depression and isolation, tells him about an internship at a genetics lab in Miami that’s testing shark stem cells on rats in an effort to cure cancer and repair spinal injuries. Kwan declines—until he learns the beautiful Anya Patel is an intern at the lab. The good news is that the stem cells are curing their rat subjects; the bad news is it alters their DNA so much it kills them. When a promising breakthrough is made, Kwan risks his life and injects himself with the experimental stem cells—altering his destiny and the lives of millions in the process.
Sharkman by Steve Alten is a recommended book about a paralyzed teen who risks his life to walk again.
The plot of Sharkman is promising as it first introduces us to Kwan Wilson, a teen paralyzed from the waist down. The accident that inured Kwan, took his mother's life, which has left him bitter and angry. His father, The Admiral, has written him off, disowning him, and Kwan has had to move from San Diego to Florida to live with his grandmother. Kwan's grandmother spouts a lot of folk-wisdom and sayings that include sharks in them. Hmmmm...
After a horrible bad first day at the local high school, Kwan manages to make some connections that eventually result in his experimenting on himself with shark stem cells. Kwan not only regains the use of his legs, he becomes Sharkman - bigger, badder, and stronger than before. (I kept thinking of a sort of take-off on the incredible hulk.) The actual plot, concerns of the characters, etc. all point to this being a solid YA thriller and it might greatly appeal to YA readers interested in a different kind of superhero. For me this was a solid airplane book: interesting enough to pass the time but I'm not going to care if I misplace it.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Taylor Trade Publishing for review purposes.