Title:  Dr. Tenace
Author:  Yves Bernas
Publisher:  Yves Bernas, 2015
ISBN: 9781517662967
Pages: 327
Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi

Reviewed by: Suzanne Gattis

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T he opening of Dr. Tenace by Yves Bernas introduces the sacredness of life that most doctors hold dear, while simultaneously setting up the sharp contrast to our main character, Dr. Tenace. While alluding this contrast might be the result of a past love affair, the author unhesitantly sets up the storyline; having readers be ready to explore the inner workings of the mind within this soul-racked man to find out what has changed his philosophy and created his altered view of reality. As you read further, the author has readers questioning what reality is or what fiction in the story is. Bernas brilliantly explores the internal pathways in the human mind, exemplified by the actions of this “mad” scientist.

A smart but tragic figure, Dr. Tenace has gone beyond dedication into madness in bringing people back to consciousness. Fascinated by death and the essence of the soul, Dr. Tenace works in an abandoned section of a clinic on those who are in comas, running his experiments with little regard toward legality or even basic human compassion. At times, viewing these patients as dehumanized experiments, instead of people, enraged me as a reader – bringing in my emotional engagement. Yet, as one quickly realizes, the doctor is so “far gone from reality” that one cannot hold him responsible for his own actions. The oddity of his relationships with other characters in the book only further substantiates the juxtaposition of reality. One clearly understands Dr. Tenace is living under a different field of perception than most ordinary, reasonable people.

As the doctor struggles to bring patients back to consciousness, his efforts and actions to overcome memories of occurrences in his own past intertwine in his mind to create an interesting story. Dr. Tenace seems to be missing the basic human mechanism to stop – before he goes too far – with his patients, or with personal emotions. At times the book is amusing, other times a great tragedy. As readers, we see him slip in and out of madness, or perhaps it is pure genius, or maybe a part of each.

While readers navigate through Dr. Tenace’s internal struggles, they have the privilege of also being entertained with the sci-fi story of patients being brought back to consciousness. Even through the death of a patient, this research and amazing feat is central to the story. Particularly as the story draws to a close, new, intriguing twists and plots are introduced to keep the readers on their toes.

Yves Bernas has a great story telling quality. Embellishing the work with scientific information and theories, comingling it with deeply rooted psychologically warped characters, and setting it in the very deceptive medical environment; the author draws the reader into his imaginary world of words, rooted in fact and fiction.

The book, though intentionally meant to be somewhat confusing as far as the characters in the story, is easy to navigate and follow. The author does a good job leading us through the ins and outs of the story, allowing enough information for us to draw our own conclusions. In my opinion, this is definitely one of my most enjoyable and intriguing reads, full of interesting nuances, all kept hidden under the guise of the practices of what goes on behind the closed doors of the health care system.