Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.
When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.
As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?
Pale Highway was definitely an interesting book. It was very well set up and beautifully written. When the book starts, it is the bear 2018 and Gabriel Schist is an old man living in a nursing home called Bright New Day. Some of the other patients are introduced, and I got a pretty good feel for the everyday life at the home.
I quickly learned that Gabriel was a scientist who discovered the cure for HIV in his younger years. There are quite a few flashbacks throughout the book that provide a good understanding of who he was as a young man and how his mind works.
A few chapters into Pale Highway, the Black Virus begins. Its first victim is a patient at Bright New Day. Then, a talking slug-yes, a talking slug-tells Gabriel that he is the only one who can stop the virus from killing the world. I have to admit that the whole talking slug thing threw me off… it was just a little too hard for me to believe.
There is nothing bad I can say about Pale Highway. It really was a well written and interesting book. However, it just wasn’t for me. It didn’t leave me with any afterthought or wishing for more.
I’m going to give Pale Highway three out of five hearts.
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*disclaimer: this book was given to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my thoughts on the book.