Patient Zero

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by Jonathon Maberry

by Jonathon Maberry

I found the overall story very entertaining.  There was action, suspense, and a bit of though/pseudo-science all mixed in.  It was not a deep or thoughtful book, more the page-turning equivalent of a summer action flick.  Some points I feel should be addressed:

1.) This is not a zombie apocalypse book, or a tale or a zombie medical epidemic. This is a story of the “War on Terror,” of the clash of the American government with Islamic religious extremists. In this case, the terrorists’ weapon of choice just happens to be zombies; more specifically, a zombie virus cooked up by extremist scientists.

2.) The main character, Joe Ledger, is a bit much. He’s a gruff warrior-type and a leader, with better reflexes and combat instincts than experienced war/combat vets. He manages to attract the interest of a gorgeous woman, and is able to comfort her when she has a breakdown. Ledger makes for a decent main character, but I think I’d like him more if he was more flawed and less male Mary-Sue.

3.) Grace Courtland. Here’s a woman who is supposed to be beautiful, efficient, beautiful, cold, beautiful, and capable. And beautiful. Really, any time a new character meets her, they mention how beautiful she is. She’s basically just a Bond girl, so she predictably ends up with Ledger. Because of this, she feels like a waste and a distraction. I would’ve liked the story more if either Courtland proved herself to be powerful and capable and NOT ended up weeping on Ledger’s shoulder and then sleeping with him, or if she had just been replaced with a male character.

Verdict: 7/10.  I very nearly gave it 7.5, and would have if Grace Courtland had been less frustrating.

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