After he’s shot down in 1943 Nazi Germany, American pilot Roger Greene endures a medical experiment at the hands of a German doctor. When a bomb destroys the facility, research, and all other participants, Roger finds himself swept away to a secret Nazi compound. There he survives while his captors try to recreate the data from the original experiment, an experiment which leaves Roger able to heal miraculously fast and removes the effects of his body aging.
In 2015, all Katherine Mueller has ever wanted to do is please her guardian and uncle. Lately, though, her uncle’s wishes push Katherine further into the ranks of a mysterious, closed society which begins to feel way too much like a cult for Katherine’s liking. As she wrestles with when and how to break away, the group offers her a deal: an easy assignment that would ensure Katherine’s promotion and her uncle’s pride. All she has to do is track down a young American man who thinks he’s a World War II pilot.
This isn’t my usual genre, since it’s really too old to be considered YA, but it’s a book that a trusted friend has recommended to me several times over the years, so I figured it was about time for me to actually sit down and read it!
Truth is, I really like historical fiction, especially stories that feature World War II. (I blame Bodie Thoene.) So it wasn’t hard to convince me to pick this one up as soon as I knew what it was about.
I liked Roger’s frank but often optimistic nature. He continually tried to see the best in people even when it wasn’t easy. I liked that he was more brain than brawn, but he wasn’t afraid of a fight, either. He doesn’t become a superhero after the experiment, but he does continue to fight for good as a normal human guy. I liked that, too.
Katherine hooked me with her sort of hodge-podge life. She’s trying to make it as a freelance editor, which is her passion, but doesn’t quite pay the bills. She moonlights as a taxi driver to pay her bills, and refuses her wealthy uncle’s aid in everything except membership to a secret society. Her bond with him felt natural and complex. She definitely came across like a girl still in that becoming-an-adult moment.
She also really, really wants a boyfriend, a desire I found both realistic and also sometimes made her seem shallow. I think I wanted her to have bigger aspirations than finding a man, and that being the big Point B she was looking for, if that makes sense. Honestly, though, it’s not unrealistic, and it doesn’t dominate the story. She’s also not looking for just a pretty face– she really wants someone whose strengths compliment her own.
The Methuselah Project definitely puts an interesting spin on a World War II story—it’s part Captain America and part spy novel. I liked the blend and found the characters really interesting. I think anyone who likes historical fiction and light romance, especially fans of The Zion Covenant series by Bodie Thoene and Brock Thoene will find The Methuselah Project to be a great read.
All major characters are white and either American or German (or both).
Profanity/Crude Language Content
At one point a woman approaches Roger and seems interested in sleeping with him. He misinterprets her advance and is confused more than anything else. Katherine longs for a boyfriend and spends a great deal of time trying to figure out how to find the right one. At one point a man pressures her to let him come to her apartment to have sex. She refuses, but feels horrible when he says cruel things to her afterward. Later, a man and woman briefly kiss.
Roger frequently remembers a woman who cared for him as a child telling him to pray. When trouble finds him, he does just that. While imprisoned, he asks for and receives a Bible and spends a great deal of time reading and studying it.
Roger shoots down enemy planes as a pilot during World War II. He briefly fights his captors. An ally attacks a man and leaves him tied up. An attacker shoots a woman and child who witness something secret. Gunfire is exchanged between Roger, his allies, and opponents a couple other times. No gory details.