Mount Dragon: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Mount Dragon.
This section contains 706 words
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Mount Dragon: A Novel Summary & Study Guide Description

Mount Dragon: A Novel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Mount Dragon: A Novel by Douglas Preston.

Written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, this is a fast paced, multifaceted story that blends science and technology with a good grasp of the possible and probable directions of both. Woven with great detail, the story begins with the quest for a scientific breakthrough that will change humankind forever. Working for GeneDyne, scientists discover a gene in a species of chimpanzee called the bonobos that makes them immune to all sixty known varieties of the flu. Named X-FLU, this gene, if introduced into humans, would transfer that immunity to them. This whole branch of science opens up a large debate over whether or not scientists should alter the DNA structure of human beings, as any change to the human genome is a permanent one, forever altering who we are as human beings.

Guy Carson is chosen to work on this project by GeneDyne's CEO Brent Scopes, and confident though he is that he has the answer to the problems regarding the way X-FLU is prepared for transfer, he, like the scientist before him, is unable to render the virus harmless. It takes great preparation to ready a sample for testing, and the disappointment when the first host chimpanzee dies is intense. An accidental release of an infected chimpanzee causes the death of scientist Rosalind Brandon-Smith, her death occurring even faster than the previously infected chimpanzees. An investigation into the matter brings Gil Teece to the facility. His investigation uncovers facts that leads him to believe he should recommend the suspension of work on this project. He leaves to file his report and is caught in a sandstorm. His empty vehicle is found shortly after, but Carson has suspicions that it took more than a storm to stop Teece from filing his report. A note left by Teece for Carson asks him to search for a journal he believes Carson's predecessor left behind, and its subsequent discovery exposes a flaw surrounding the project he pioneered before it called PurBlood and answers the issues they are having with X-FLU.

The discovery leads Carson and his assistant Susana de Vaca to a file that reveals the staff at Mount Dragon all had been used as test subjects for PurBlood. Since the product involved falsified test results, PurBlood's release is not only premature, but dangerous. The side affects include hallucinations, leaking blood vessels and a slow degeneration of mental functions leading to violence and self destructive behaviors. Scientists who were given PurBlood begin showing signs, and Carson and de Vaca know they must stop its release and destroy X-FLU. They try to send the information to Brent' s former partner, Charles Levine, who is also a former professor of Guy's and is at odds with Brent over the direction his research has taken. Brent intercepts the transmission and triggers the alarm, sending the security staff to detain Carson and de Vaca. With no alternatives left, they trigger a self destruct code in the lab that destroys everything before escaping into the desert, pursued by the head of security, Nye, who is already hallucinating. The chase through the desert is life altering for all three.

Levine has done everything he can to stop Brent from continuing the dangerous research he is doing before he permanently alters human DNA, but his zeal to that end costs him his chair at the Foundation for Genetic Policy and his position at the university. With nothing left to lose and to help him get close enough to Brent to talk to him, he enlists the aid of Mime, who is a hacker of extraordinary talent, confined to a wheelchair because of Thalidomide. The only way to accomplish that goal in the current lock down mode is to enter his cyber space directly from inside his office building. Mime will talk him in and give him the tools he needs to get to Brent, but the resulting contact will cost both men their lives and alter the future for both GeneDyne and all who were directly involved.

Mount Dragon is a well written story, worth the read, that has the reader totally engrossed and on the edge of their seat, with a surprising ending that ties all of it together neatly.

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This section contains 706 words
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