Taming the Wish

Fiction - Literary
254 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Taming the Wish is a work of fiction in the literary genre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by Sava Buncic. The book follows Petar, a doctor living a normal life who suddenly finds himself in the crosshairs of the state’s secret service. Petar is faced with the option of surrendering to these forces for the sake of safety – a choice that will compromise the ethical standing on which he has developed his whole career – or fighting back against the power, knowing that the battle could be hopeless and cost him everything. It is an impossible choice and one that he must make with the welfare of his loved ones in mind.

This book gives readers a lot to consider, take away with them, turn over in their minds, and discuss with friends over dinner. There is a battle of survival for protagonist Petar, but also of ideology that goes beyond a simple right and wrong. Petar’s choice between abandoning his values or hopeless resistance is layered and complex at the mercy of a force with unlimited power and no real accountability. Sava Buncic is an author with a proven pedigree for being thought-provoking and reflective, but in Taming The Wish, he takes his skill for discussing big ideas to a new level as he ruminates on the contribution that moral ideals have upon a personal identity and the identity of society. This is a book that I recommend to any fans of literature that asks big questions.

Stephanie Chapman

Sava Buncic exploits Petar’s over-analytical mentality in Taming The Wish. An aspiring clinician, Petar goes beyond triaging patients by ordering expensive testing. After several encounters with the Director, Petar gets demoted to Research Associate in the Obesity Unit. Petar has a crush on his neighbor Mira. He attempts to interact with her and, eventually, they go on a date. Sadly, Petar’s overthinking causes Mira to reject him and she pursues another man. At the Obesity Unit, Petar becomes more determined to find a way to end obesity, but it would require tampering with the minds of people. Vera joins him when he needs someone to specialize in biochemistry. But brother and sister get their research ended abruptly. While mulling over this issue, Petar watches his two dogs interacting and comes up with the answer he needs to further his research. Success finally happens for Petar, but a knock at his door causes an issue he never dreamed possible.

I could never imagine living life without overthinking the unknown. In this way, I was able to connect to the thoughts that Petar had. Sava Buncic wrote this story from Petar’s emotional perspective. His crush on Mira seemed like something I would expect from a normal man. Taming The Wish attacked a political and social issue when Petar’s research to create a cure was stopped. In the same situation, I would have become as depressed as he did. I had a younger sister who used to lift my spirits whenever I felt like giving up on a dream. Vera did the same for him. Her constant need for him to spend time with her son, as well as her specialty in biochemistry, led to his ability to continue striving for his goals. The pace of the story is fast, and a lot of the settings and interactions provide the suspense of possibilities that Petar analyzes in his mind. I found it hard to put this book down because I wanted to know what theory would come to fruition. I found the end of the book to be a bit abrupt, but this could also allow for a sequel. If you like a suspense mystery seen through the eyes of a detail-oriented scientist, this is a great book for you.

Vincent Dublado

Taming the Wish by Sava Buncic is the story of a physician and scientist who tries to live a normal life—a simple wish that doesn’t come easy when you’re a genius living in an absolutist system. Petar faces the predicament of having his existence wiped out and that of the people dear to him courtesy of the state’s secret service. This has something to do with formulating and synthesizing a chemical formula known as Peacemaker 1. The final product for this undertaking is the means of controlling the wish for power in foreign aggressors. Petar needs to be careful in registering its information, as it strictly requires no paper trail and verbal communication. To whom will Peacemaker 1 be applied? This question in Petar’s mind is what will make him fall from grace, and he will eventually get to a crossroads where he has to choose a path between giving in or surviving.

Taming the Wish is a novel with a basic promising concept, and Sava Buncic undeniably has the gift to make you trail the storyline as its conflict intensifies. He has created characters that are very realistic and are convincing enough to execute what they are supposed to do. The end result is a one-sitting read that is resolutely gripping and lingering. You could risk getting lost in the jargon because science plays an integral part in the narrative. Still, it is reasonably entertaining and profoundly interesting when you put the premise in mind and the absolute powers that Petar is going up against. If you want to get the feeling of falling after someone pulled the rug out from under your feet, this is the story that you need to read.