Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Patient Zero

Jonathan Maberry- St. Martin's Griffin

The details:  421 pages, 2 sittings to read

(From Goodreads)

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.  And that's both a good, and a bad thing.  It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first 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....

Review: I first started reading Jonathan Maberry because I met him at bea2014.  He is actually quite entertaining in real life, and very personable. He came to his signing half an hour early and talked to those of us waiting for him. (He knows a LOT about blue whales, FYI.)

Patient Zero is the first novel in the Joe Ledger series starring, of course, Joe Ledger. If you can't already tell, this book is also about ZOMBIES. AHHH! The subject of zombies in this series actually takes the more modern approach of man-made science rather than the supernatural in raising of the dead.  The science is explained in a brief synopsis that goes into just enough detail to make it seem plausible, but stops short of being boring. 

I really enjoyed the realism of the characters portrayed in Patient Zero.  They act courageously in battle but there are still mental consequences for the actions that they must take.  It's this vulnerability that made it easy to care about the characters and immerse myself in their world.  One thing that I really liked about the character portrayal is that Joe is a gentleman. He becomes a bit of a positive role model, and in one specific moment in the book Joe must choose to be a friend and a gentleman instead of taking advantage of a lady who is emotionally distraught and willing to sleep with him.  To be honest, it puts a new light on some of the cliched scenes you often see in the media. 
 There is cursing in the book, and child zombies do get shot. However, I feel for my child I would allow her to read these books in middle school if she seems mature enough to handle it, but obviously due to cursing and zombies it may not be suitable for younger audiences. Older teens and adults alike would enjoy this read, and thankfully there are several books in the series. Patient Zero was just enough to whet my appetitie for more, and in within finishing the first book, I purchases the rest of the series. I can not wait to see what Maberry has in store for the rest of the series.

Kudos, Maberry, kudos.
Rating: 5 stars

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