Dragonhook is a 2011 adventure-thriller novel by Douglas Harvey. The story is set in an alternate post-WWIII future in the year 2021. Leon Arlington, a 17 year-old genius who is part of a society of children and teenagers being conditioned into the future leaders of the United World, uncovers a mysterious cult's plot to take over the remains of the world's government at it's weakest point by unearthing a thought-extinct memory altering parasite. Leon and his companion Murdoch Rook (a highly-skilled bodyguard called a Factotum), are immediately pulled into the deadly acts of the cult's sinister leaders and get much more than they bargained for. But unknown to each other, both Leon and Rook also want the parasite for their own purposes.
In an alternate year 2004, a Third World War breaks out and nearly destroys the planet. After only three months of war, a group of peace-makers put an end to the conflict and attempt to re-build the world as a single united nation called the "United World". Wishing to prevent another devastating global war, the founders of the United World gather genius-level children and bring them together into a special school for conditioning. These children of the future are meant to be the leaders of the United World's new government. To protect these children from harm, each is paired with a Factotum, a highly-skilled bodyguard who will prevent any attacks from terrorists bent on destroying the United World and it's followers.
Leon Arlington, a 17 year-old member of the children of the future, and his Factotum, Murdoch Rook, are the main characters of the novel. Leon is a headstrong but well-meaning young man whose mother was killed in an attack during the last day of WWIII - which was also the day of Leon's birth. As a result of this attack and the injuries he sustained, Leon's father suffers from psychogenic amnesia: he can remember most of his life up until the attack, but cannot remember anything afterward due to his memory "rebooting" itself every few hours. Leon has spent his entire life with a father who does not know him. When Leon discovers an ancient and thought to be extinct parasite called the DRAGONHOOK, which can be "programmed" to alter the memories of any living host, he vows to obtain a parasite for himself to re-wire his father's brain into keeping the memories of his son so that Leon can finally have the father he never had.
Murdoch Rook, a bitter 30-something Factotum of the United World, has been Leon Arlington's protector since the boy was only 2 years old. As a Factotum he is highly skilled in combat both armed and unarmed, he can pilot almost any vehicle, he is a master strategist and can improvise escape routes in tight situations. He is also a powerful interrogator and can extract almost any information needed from a target. Despite the fact that Rook has excelled in every field of work he is given, he remains cold toward others, does not seem interested in the reconstruction of the world, and seems to have an ulterior motive due to his actions. When Rook was 16 years old he was drafted into the army at the brink of WWIII. He fought throughout the entirety of the war's three month conflict, but after a tragic incident near the end of the war he attempted to isolate himself from the dead world that now surrounded him. Months later he was found and recruited into the newly-formed Factotum Division of the United World. When his charge, Leon Arlington, unknowingly drops them both into the center of a deadly plot to destroy what is left of the humane world, Rook must use his skills as a soldier and a strategist to make sure his charge survives long enough to further build upon whatever good is left in the world he lost faith in 17 years before.
Full plot synopsis (with potential spoilers) will be released when the novel is available to the public.
Leon Arlington - a seventeen year old genius and member of the United World's "Children of the Future" initiative. In an attempt to give his amnesiac father memories of his only son, Leon uncovers a memory-altering parasite called the "Dragonhook" which he hopes to use in an experiment to reprogram his father's memory. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the Dragonhook parasite is also being hunted by a deadly cult that wants to use it for their own sinister purposes.
Murdoch Rook - the bitter but highly-skilled Factotum protector of Leon Arlington.
M - main antagonist; the sinister leader of the evil Mist cult who wants to use the Dragonhook parasite to alter the memories of the United World's leaders in an attempt to bend them to his will.
Carmella Scarlett - a sixteen year old genius and member of the Children of the Future. She acts as Leon's intellectual rival and potential love interest. Using her wealth, she helps Leon and Rook track the Mist's movements but wants the Dragonhook's ultimate find to be credited to her so that she can re-establish her family's good name.
Saxton Brock - Carmella Scarlett's Factotum who has a history with Rook from their military service during WWIII. He also plays a crucial part in the revelations surrounding the attack on the hospital during Leon's birth.
Minister Constance Tide - the enigmatic leader of the United World who has a shady past and a penchant for pseudo-tyranny.
Jasper Hedge - Under-Minister of the United World. He is Minister Tide's second-in-command who seems to hold the values of the United World much closer to heart than Tide does.
Dr. Ardanelle Decter - a disfigured schizophrenic scientist who specializes in the Dragonhook parasite. She only had a single parasite to research, and thus created an unsuccessful synthetic version of the parasite's memory-altering fluids that (when tested on herself) warped her mind and physically mutilated her. Now crazed and desperate for another live parasite, she allies herself with M and the Mist and becomes a secondary antagonist.
Serenity Avellan - a mysterious hooded woman who appears to be working for both the Factotum of the United World and the Mist cult. Her true allegiances are unknown, but there is evidence that she was involved in the attack that killed Leon's mother and rendered his father an amnesiac.
Reid Sharpe - the leader of the United World's Factotum Fraternity. He is Rook and Brock's superior.
Dragonhook is expected to be released in the summer of 2011