Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pathogen: Patient Zero Review!



I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book to review as part of the blog tour for the book's release.  I had already read Kai's Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Knight Surgeon, so I was heading into this expecting to get a great story.

ALERT! POTENTIAL SPOILERS!  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

I was not disappointed!  Pathogen: Patient Zero is a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse genre.  Where most books in the genre start out near the beginning, or in the middle of, the zombie outbreak, when there's already tons of infected wandering about, Pathogen starts you off at the very beginning.  Actually, it starts you off before the beginning, with the life of Patient Zero.

Unlike most other zombie apocalypse novels, we get to know the first person infected with the virus.  She has a face.  She has a name.  She has a life, a family, dreams and goals.  We get to really know Patient Zero, and we follow her as her dreams are abruptly cut short by the onset of a mysterious illness.  We get to admire her bravery in the face of her imminent and unavoidable demise.

In short, we get to know the Typhoid Mary of the zombie apocalypse.  We get to know her and form a bond with her, and end up devastated by her death.  In other zombie novels, we never get to know or understand the initial infected.  We don't even necessarily know how the infection began, where it came from, none of it.  It's usually a nameless, faceless, rarely-if-ever discussed person who somehow started spreading a disease that reanimates the dead.

Pathogen's take on this genre is refreshing and captivating.  We are completely absorbed by the "normal" world, the world of everyday things, before being thrust into the true beginning of the apocalypse.  This makes the world change that much more dramatic, I think.  After all, we've seen the beginning of it all, and we will be able to follow the pattern of the spread of infection, and the growing destruction of society, through the subsequent books in this series.  

And always, in the back of our minds, we'll know--we'll remember Patient Zero, the young woman with a heart of gold whose dream of providing education for underprivileged kids ultimately leads to the demise of human civilization.

Great characters, great new take on the genre, and a fun read.  Final verdict:  GET THIS BOOK AND LOVE IT!

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