Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review: Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry

Much like with videogames, I buy books at a faster rate than I can actually get around to reading them, despite the fact that I’m constantly reading. Why not wait to buy a new book until I’ve finished the one I’m on, you might ask? The answer is simple- I’m stupid.

That being said, there has never been a book review on staticechoes.com. The newer books go on the bottom of the “to read” pile, so I’m usually about a year or two behind everyone else when it comes to current literature.

That changed recently. I got two books shortly after they came out and cruised through them rather quickly. Of course, I meant to review them over a month ago, so I’m still way off on the whole “current” thing.

Still, at least they came out this year!

The first title is Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry. The concept (what if terrorists created a virus that, for all intents and purposes, turns its victims into zombies) sounds like something you’d expect to see on late night Syfy. The execution, though, is anything but.

Following the exploits of uuber-detective Joe Ledger, Patient Zero tells a tale of horror, action, betrayal and love at a lightning fast pace. What seems like a cheesy concept is presented straight as an arrow with disturbingly real-world science to back it up. The book’s killer virus is, of course, fiction, but according to Maberry, the science he uses to explain its existence is entirely legitimate.

Part Tom Clancy, part George A. Romero, Patient Zero is full of colorful, flawed characters put into larger than life situations who, mostly, respond how you would expect a flesh and blood human to respond. This is one of the book’s biggest draws. Everything (save a few convenient coincidences and super soldier moments) feels legitimate and, therefore, the unbelievable becomes instantly possible. It’s this legitimacy that also makes the terror aspects of Patient Zero so potent.

Meant to be the beginning of a new series, I eagerly await the next Joe Ledger novel. I had a blast reading Patient Zero.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that great review. So glad you enjoyd Joe Ledger's first adventure!

-Jonathan Maberry
www.jonathanmaberry.com

Anonymous said...

Agree, awesome book!

There's a prequel story by the author that's equally as good: http://us.macmillan.com/AuthorExtras.aspx?AuthorKey=8138810&m_type=4&m_contentid=10875#cmscontent

-Echo said...

Thanks for dropping by the blog! Never really suspected the folks responsible for creating the stuff I review may actually be reading it, so, in short, this is really cool.

Dusty, Kimmy and Niran said...

Sweet! :OD

Dusty asked to get this book the last time we were out buying books. I had him hold off until we finish two books we bought that same day. He is vey anxious to read it though and I will admit, I'm a bit interested now. Maybe I'll have it waiting for him when he comes home on leave!

~Kimmy