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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In The Plasma by Kamalendu Malaker, James Wilberforce left the Caribbean in search of a better life in the United States. He worked hard, fell in love, had a family and built a successful business that raises and sells animals for the research field. His life is wonderful but everything changes when he’s struck with a flu that won’t go away, causing him constant tiredness. His visit to the specialist reveals that he has a rare form of bone-marrow cancer. Professor Hooper - an expert who’s conducting a study and experimental treatments of the disease - is James’s hope of survival. He’s offered the opportunity to participate as a subject in an experimental treatment program. At first, the treatment seems to be working and James feels better. Yet, the disease seems to get worse over time and now James becomes unsure about the program.
It’s interesting to read the story through the perspective of the immigrant, James, who worked hard to make a life in America. When he’s losing control of nearly everything in his life, readers will wonder about the people who are supposed to help him recover from his illness. Even though it takes almost halfway into the story for the plot to reflect its title, it’s no doubt original. The medical details clearly show Malaker’s knowledge of the field. Characterization is solid and James is easy to root for. The eloquent writing makes the story seem set in another era. The prose is lyrically beautiful which gives the narrative its expressive quality. On the whole, the slow pacing of the story might alienate some readers, but others who love intrigue will be rewarded with the thriller aspect and the reveal in the end.