Friday, September 11, 2015

Book Review: The Wachuga Project by Douglas E. Wolfert

The Wachuga Project
By Douglas E. Wolfert
Published: Aug. 6, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Jeremy Barnard appears to be a normal kid. He's good looking, well-mannered, from an affluent family, has even earned valedictorian of his class. A perfect recipe for success. Then why is his life one, big, epic fail? Because every time he tries to speak, a complete and utter mess comes out. School life is hell, with Jeremy's Neanderthal peers mocking him at every turn. To make matters worse, his father affords him little relief at home. Francis cringes with disgust every time his son '', cursing the powers above for burdening him with such a defective little boy. 

Jeremy longs for a normal life. He'd give anything for the ability to socialize at a party, or tell his high school crush, Samantha, that she's beautiful... give everything to earn his father's respect and no longer be a laughing stock. But is Jeremy willing to give his soul? 

Little does Jeremy know, his salvation lies in Calvin Ortiz, a hot-headed, maniacal thug who stumbles upon something extraordinary while hiking with his brother in the jungles of Costa Rica - a plant... a beautiful, vibrant green plant teeming with delicate, fuzzy flowers that look good enough to eat. And that's exactly what Calvin does. His knees buckle from the God-like metamorphosis that overtakes him. This is better than any drug he's ever tried, and Calvin's gold tooth glints in the sun as visions of dollar signs dance in his head. But this stuff's too good to sling on his local street corner. Nah, the black market won't do. The Wachuga, as he names it, deserves more respect than that. In a moment of stoned clarity, Calvin contacts the one person he knows with enough connections to turn his discovery into some serious bank. 

And with that one phone call, The Wachuga Project is born, and Jeremy's life, for good or ill, will never be the same. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for... 

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My Thoughts:

Jeremy Barnard, a lifelong severe stutterer becomes the unsuspecting subject of the testing of a new drug, but in its natural form – as the flower petal of the plant. Though Jeremy was able to get a degree in criminal law, he was not able to try his own court cases because he could barely speak two words without stuttering severely. This left him working in the background doing research, basically working as a clerk. His first bite of the petal of the Wachuga flower changed his life. He could speak clearly and fluently and was able to show everyone what a brilliant lawyer he really was.

The way The Wachuga Project was written at first seems totally disconnected as the Prologue, Part One and the first portion of Part Two of the book tell about different characters and what they are doing. The remainder of the novel does collect all these pieces so the book does come together quite nicely as a whole.

The story is moderately paced and filled with characters that seem quite realistic. Some of them are quite likeable like Jeremy’s mother and Samantha who never made Jeremy feel bad about his stutter, but gave him the time he needed to let him finish what he was trying to say. Then there were others who were definitely not likeable like his father who berated him and put him down because of his disability. I really liked that his boss from the library assisted him in securing an internship so that he wouldn’t have to interview.

The twists and turns really kept the story moving along. I thought The Wachuga Project did a great job of showing (as opposed to simply telling) an audience what can happen when people are used in experiments without their knowledge or consent in an uncontrolled environment.

I really enjoyed reading this psychological thriller novel and would heartily recommend it to others who enjoy this genre as well. I gave it 5 stars out of 5.

I purchased this book on

About the Author:

Douglas E. Wolfert lives in Connecticut with his wife and family. A graduate of the University of Texas with a dual major in Economics, he attended the honors liberal arts Plan II intensive writing program. While commuting by train to New York City to his day job in finance, he wrote this book. To relax, he enjoys wine and is a jazz pianist.

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