by David Koepp
About the Book:
The astonishing debut novel by the screenwriter of Jurassic Park: a wild and terrifying adventure about three strangers who must work together to contain a highly contagious, deadly organism.
When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.
Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.
He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards –one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness, and a mordant sense of humour. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?
Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for my ARC of this ebook.
Right off the bat, this was a story premise that I loved the sound of. I mean, a deadly fungus that can mutate and replicate at high speed … what’s not to love? The narrative was fast-paced throughout, and the characters interesting. However, I didn’t find myself rooting for anyone in particular, except maybe for the elderly Agent who came out of retirement to try and fix things once they’d gone drastically wrong. Many of the other characters felt like a bit of a caricature outline, though they were fun enough.
Some scenes had me cringing while others had me laughing, all a mix that I like. A good book evokes responses from me, and this one certainly achieved that. The only reason I haven’t awarded a full solid 5 stars is due to the chronic head hopping (jumping from one character point of view to another with no indication or warning). I lost count of the number of times I was reading from inside one person’s head, only to discover–sometimes too late–that the narrative had hopped into someone else’s head. This aspect of the book drove me nuts, quite frankly, and this loses it a full star.
So, all in all, a light, fun, and sometimes cringeworthy read that’s easy to complete in one or two sittings.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.