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To be Written for:
Senior Literature
March 12, 1999

By: Kevin J. Anderson

The book Antibodies was written by Kevin J. Anderson. Antibodies is based on the hit television show "The X-Files". The book is a new way for millions of fans to enjoy a story related to the show they sit down and watch every week on TV. Not only does the book offer a new form for a story based on a popular show, it breaks free of the one hour boundaries set for the television show.

There are several main characters in this story. The first, obvious two are FBI Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Agent Dana Scully. They are the two federal agents in charge of the X-Files. Whenever and unexplainable case comes to the attention of the FBI they are put on it. Fox is a really strange person who readily believes in aliens, monsters, and other inexplicable happenings. Dana, on the other hand, is more "down to earth." She is also a medical doctor for the FBI.

The other two main characters in the story are Jodi Kennessy and Jeremy Dorman. Jodi is a twelve year old kid who is terminally ill with leukemia. His father, David, worked at a laboratory devoting all his time to trying to find a cure for his son's illness. Jeremy is like an uncle to Jodi. His had spent a lot of time with the child after his real uncle had left the family. He was also David’s friend and partner at the labs.

In the story Jeremy is dying from experimental nano-technology. This is the development of cell sized machines that "live" inside your body. The reason for these "nano-critters" is to try and cure Jodi, who is dying of cancer, one cell at a time. The nano-critters have one job, to repair the body they are inhabiting. The problem is that the nano-machines inside Jeremy were still in the experimental stages. As a result they were genetically altering his body. He was slowly dying because his body was being killed at a cellular level. Jeremy's only chance is to get the functioning nano-critters from Jodi's black Labrador Retriever.

While still testing the technology, Jodi's father, David, had injected the family dog with the nano-machines. The results were astounding. One highly dramatic scene in this book was when David had wanted to get the success of his work on video tape. In a laboratory in the basement of the DyMar building, where David worked, he had taken his pet dog, Vader, and shot him twice in the chest. On tape, one could witness the shooting of the dog and an hour later, the rapid and full recovery of Vader. In approximately one hour the dog had fully recovered and began to run around as if it never happened.

The most dramatic scene happened right in the beginning of the book. After his infection with the warped nano-critters Jeremy had gone back to the destroyed DyMar Labs to find a hopeful cure. The DyMar building had been blown up and burned to the ground. While David, Jeremy's partner and friend, had been murdered, Jeremy found some serum containing the nano-machines. He quickly pumped them into his body in an attempt to save himself from the fire. Now he was back at the wreckage and was looking for the working nano-critters. While there a watch guard catches him rummaging through the remains of the labs. The guard tells Jeremy to stand against the wall and begins to frisk him. After touching Jeremy's skin the guard has an attack. This is a description from the book on what happens after the bad nano-machines attack a person touched by Jeremy.

“There was a burning, tingling sensation at [the guard's] hand, as if miniature bubbles were racing up his wrist. He then felt all his muscles lock up. Seizers wracked his body, a thousand tiny fireworks exploded inside his head. He couldn't see anymore, other than the static like flashes in front of his vision. His arms and legs jittered, his muscles spasmed and convulsed. From inside he heard bones breaking. His own bones. He screamed and fell backward, as if his entire body had turned into a minefield (5).”

Another dramatic scene is when Dana finds Jodi running through the forest being chased by Jeremy. At this point Jeremy is trying to get some of Jodi's blood to correct his problems. David had decided that since his son was close to death, he would try some of the nano-technolagy on his son. It actually worked. Now Jodi was Jeremy's last chance. But Jeremy had just killed Jodi's mother by accidentally touching her. Now he was forced to chase the frightened child through the woods, with a gun. Agent Scully saw this and stopped the chase. Just as Jeremy was about to fire at Dana, Vader jumped on him and threw his shot off. Unfortunately it hit Jodi square in the chest instead. Vader then ripped Jeremy's throat out to avenge his boy. Fortunately, Jodi did have the nano-critters in his body and they healed the bullet wound just like they did for the dog.

This novel was set in Oregon in what seemed to be the present. The location did have an effect on the plot in the sense that it was forested. This is how Jodi and his mother hid from the people trying to stop her husband’s work. They went to a little known cabin in the woods. But other than that it could have happened most anywhere. As for taking place at another time, it would be somewhat difficult to imagine. The technology used in the book is very recent and not well known. So, in theory, it could not have happened in the far past or distant future. The timing was for when the technology is still relevantly new.

The title, Antibodies, refers to the nano-technolagy. In the sense that they are accidentally destroying the human body in most cases, instead of helping it. Therefore, they are “Anti-Bodies”. This is pretty much the full extent of the symbolism used in the book. Other notable symbolism includes the aspect of using medical science and technological science together to cure cancer. Hence the nano-critters.

This book was written well and the ending was well done. Especially if you are into the television shows. It ends with little evidence to prove that most of the things that happened actually did happen. Therefore, it is just another unexplainable X-File. This book was also written to give fans another look into a most intriguing idea. Aside from the show, you get an opportunity to find out what life is like for two very familiar characters. Also, as stated earlier, the limits of television special effects and having to cram everything into one hour are eliminated. This gives more opportunities to broaden the potential for “The X-Files.” This book is a must for any die-hard X-Files fan. It not only has the same qualities that make up a great show, it's a good book too. Even if the reader is not much into the TV show, they would probably enjoy this book. It offers a nice, easy to follow plot into a difficult and confusing topic. The events are realistic enough to make one think of the possibility of the story, yet fictional enough to let the average person sleep after reading it. Overall, Antibodies was a very well done book.

Grade Received:
91% A-

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