Living His Destiny – Uncaged Book Review

This is the book art for Paul McKellips' book, Uncaged.Paul McKellips is living his destiny to help defend his country. Like the asymmetric enemies we face, Paul’s weapons are unconventional and leverage his strength in telling a story. Knowing Paul, his motivation for what he is doing is love; love of his fellow-man, love of his family and love of his country.

Having run into my former partner last week in Washington D.C, I was reminded of what a chameleon he is; moving between coasts, careers and the left side and right side brain. Stepping into his office, one gets a glimpse of what he has accomplished over the past 10 years in helping plant the seeds of a free press in his in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The video cameras, lighting and novels strewn about his office illustrate his latest work as Executive Vice President/Media Producer for the Foundation for Biomedical Research. In that role, he is responsible for getting the message out about the work of his organization and its members. As would be expected of Paul, he uses multiple media to tell his story.

His first novel, Uncaged, sends a powerful reminder of our dangerous post 9-11 world. He clearly promotes the work of his foundation, but does so in such a way to show the nuances of an issue that, at a superficial and emotional level, looks black and white. McKellips has written a biomedical thriller that is grounded in reality and pulls together nonfiction details that only he can tell and which makes his story way too realistic.

The characters are well-developed and it is easy to root for the hero and heroine. Despite a dark subject, McKellips injects subtle humor, such as his acronym for VOD – Veganism on Demand – that hints at his work earlier in his career.

Although a novel, his book is a reminder of the threats to the modern infrastructures (e.g. cloud computing, broadband) that remove so much friction from the modern economy and make life easy for those of us on the home-front  Uncaged is a must-read for anyone involved in designing and maintaining those infrastructures, as the picture it paints is much more gripping and memorable than what might be found in a white paper or a conference about such topics.

His follow-up novel, Jericho 3, is next on my reading list and the Uncaged movie will be a must-see when it comes out in 2014.

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