With weaker characters — or weaker journalists doing the telling — this book could have been a hodgepodge of science speak. The ideas are dense, the language foreign. But Johnson and Gallagher cut through the jargon and simplify the science. They thankfully make this a human story with gripping and sometimes blemished characters who all want the same thing: to save a child's life, no matter the physical and financial cost.
Johnson and Gallagher chronicle both the intricate science and the heart-wrenching, intimate personalities behind this groundbreaking case. As readers follow Nic’s brave fight for his life, they also come to understand the complex passion and dedication of a team of pediatric specialists who helped make his recovery possible.
...a riveting scientific detective story, enriched by thorough research and the kind of intimate access to key players that good journalists develop during years of dogged beat reporting ... Without overwhelming the reader, Johnson and Gallagher provide clear, understandable explanations of the science involved ... Unfortunately, the book’s other major characters — the Volker family — aren’t captured as vividly as the doctors and researchers treating Nic.