Sunday, January 20, 2013

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Premise: When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. Now, his mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....(Amazon)

Title: Patient Zero
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Length: 421 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Joe Ledger 
Content appropriate for: Adults
4/5 zombies

3 adjectives that describe this book: fast-paced, spooky, fun

I came to this novel already a HUGE fan of Jonathan Maberry's work. If it has zombies, blood, guts and gore, I'm totally into it! Needless to say my expectations were high. For the most part I was not disappointed. 

Although it was sometimes bogged down by plot building tedium and mediocre dialogue, the full-throttle pace was by far the strongest asset in this book...think Mission Impossible, Walking Dead and 24 all rolled into one break-neck novel. The characterization of Joe Ledger and the agents of the DMS went far beyond the "soldier-boys with their toys mentality". Everyone is damaged, dissociative and dangerous in some way, and kudos to Maberry for also including the dynamite female character Grace Courtland.

If you're looking for the great zombie/anti-terrorist novel of the century, keep looking. This story could have benefited from being trimmed down about 50-65 pages; plus, the flipping back and forth between perspectives did get a bit old. This was especially true when the chasm between reader knowledge (of what was going to happen) and character knowledge stretched pretty far toward the end of the book. 

Seriously though, if you don't mind some colorful language, gory violence and (some) sexual content, you should give this book a try. It was a great, fast-paced, good versus evil showdown that kept me rooting for the good guys until the end. 

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