November 22, 2004
This book opens with an image that set the
tone for this story. Superman stands tall holding his wheelchair overhead,
cameras flash as the room buzzes with simultaneous activity and Christopher Reeve – the Real Superman – has been
cured of his paralysis. He walks into the room as living proof that the much-debated
stem-cell research does in fact work. Being that Mr. Reeve passed away recently,
I could not help but to feel sorrow for that real life event. However, the tale
that follows this impressive opening made me feel triumphant and hopeful.
Dr. Michael Preston and his younger brother Matt are hit by a vehicle being driven by
an intoxicated individual who has changed the brothers’ lives and relationship.
Matt is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair and Dr. Preston blames himself for this unforeseen disaster. The Doctor spends most of his time following any research that will give his brother a chance to walk again.
After many years of research and dead ends, Dr. Preston receives information about a medical
team lead by a Dr. Kilmer who claims that they have cured paralysis. Dr. Preston
has been hand selected to join the team and is pre-warned that there is a group called the Covenant who have vowed to prevent
the cure from being made available to the public. This group will block any and
all attempts at curing paralysis by utilizing any means necessary. The Covenant
resorts to mercenary tactics that usually leave their victims dead and therefore unable to work towards this cure. Many scientists
and Doctors have already been murdered and Dr. Kilmer and his daughter Kayla may be next.
The Covenant is motivated by money and greed. If a cure is found, the financial backing for insurance companies and other research
fronts would simply dissolve. It is similar to the financial ruin that most fuel companies would find themselves subject to
should an engine be developed without any fuel requirements. Therefore, the financial
factor has outweighed the human factor and Dr. Preston and other “players” have to prevent the Covenant from carrying
out the vow that they have made to each other.
The vivid scenes and characters converge towards a final showdown of good against evil. Dr. Preston is working towards curing his brother and preserving his own life in the
process as they are tracked by the mercenaries hired by the Covenant. A mystery,
a medical thriller and a love story form the pieces of Revealing the Covenant and
the surprise ending will fascinate you as well.
Rusty Van Reeves has woven aspects of his life into his characters. He has a spinal chord injury that has left him paralyzed from the shoulders down and is hopeful that a
cure will be found. However, much like Dr. Preston’s brother Matt, he realizes
that life must go on in the meantime. Like Matt, he has his own software company. He writes, using one finger, to tell a story and express innermost emotions. He writes vivid poetry and he is also an excellent painter (he can paint quite well
with a brush placed between his teeth.)
Revealing the Covenant is a remarkable book written by a remarkable Artist – in every sense of the word. To learn of the Author before or after reading his work will allow you to appreciate his unbreakable spirit
and his powerful words. I’ve enjoyed this book and I look forward to his
“We live in a time when the words impossible
and unsolvable are no longer part of the scientific community's vocabulary. Each day we move closer to trials that will not
just minimize the symptoms of disease and injury but eliminate them.”
Christopher Reeve, Testimony to US House of Representative, 1999
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks