Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
St Martin's Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38285-8
ISBH-10: 0-312-38285-8
421 pages

This is the first Jonathan Maberry book I have read, though I've known of him a long time. I discovered him over at the Masters of Horror social site. I ordered Patient Zero for two solid reasons.

The first: It sounded like a zombie book, and I like zombies.
The second: It sounded like a zombie book, and I like zombies.

And yes, this is a zombie novel. The story is about Joe ledger, a cop who is recruited into a secret organisation called The Department of Military Science (DMS). They fight terrorists who are trying to release a new virus that turns people into zombies.

Joe is a smart-ass detective and is not interested at first, so Mr. Church has to find some leverage to get Joe to join them and lead a small team into the jaws of hell. They find that leverage in the form of Joe's close friend and shrink: Rudy.

Joe has a team of five and during their first training together, they get called out and attack a warehouse, where zombies are getting ready to feast on children, or infect them and send the blighters home. (That part is not clear.)

The book is told in first person when we read of Joe Ledger, and told in third person with all other characters. I believe Jonathan is far better at third person as I didn't really get into Joe's character, I found him clich├ęd and in need of an injection of life, a spark of something that was missing through out the book. I liked the terrorist, Gault, more than Joe. This character leapt from the pages.

I also found interest in this book waning as it seemed to take forever to get to the zombies. There was a LOT of explaining going on to entice Joe into the fold and it was told in a boring manner. Personally I didn't think all those details needed to be told. I know it was added to give flair and explain how the zombie virus worked, but for me, nope. I found myself skipping paragraphs and waiting to reach the end of the chapter and many chapters are really short.

When we finally got to the action, the first person POV killed the scene. Some parts were over-explained and others were not.

This book did not do it for me.


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