Before I begin this review, I should note that I am basing my observations on an advanced reader copy that I obtained from NetGalley. In light of this, I note that the quality of this copy may not match that of the final product that is now for sale on Amazon. Please bear that in mind as you read this review.

Elixir was first published in 2014 and is the debut novel of Ted Galdi. It is a thriller that follows a teenage genius as he does battle against corrupt officials within the US Government and a shady pharmaceutical company.

Life for Sean Malone has never been normal. Blessed (or cursed) with an IQ of 250, he gained national fame when he was 11 years old by winning over a million dollars on Jeopardy. His success netted him a place at a top college when he was only 14 and it was while studying here that he managed to crack a supposedly impossible mathematical puzzle.

The implications of his discovery create a problem for the NSA as knowledge of Sean’s algorithm would enable anything in the world to be hacked. Manipulating Sean’s code, they test it during a sting operation against a drug lord and kill off innocent bystanders in the process. When he is almost driven insane by the guilt, sympathetic agents within the DEA and FBI help him to be build a new life and identity for himself in Rome.

Four years later, Sean (now known as James Crates) is living a happy life as a graffiti artist and has just met Natasha, the girl of his dreams. However, tragedy soon strikes. On a trip to Africa, Natasha contracts the most deadly strain of the Ebola virus. Knowing that she will more than likely die within a couple of weeks, Sam is forced to return to America in order to find her a cure. However, every step he takes puts him in more danger. His research puts him at risk from both a private pharmaceutical company and those who forced him into hiding at the first place. With Natasha growing weaker every day, he must face these challenges head on if he wants to save her life.


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