Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: Pandemic: A Novel by Scott Sigler

Title: Pandemic: A Novel (Infected #3)
Author: Scott Sigler
Publisher: Crown Publishing
ISBN: 0307408973
Release Date: 1/21/2013

There's a reason that Siglerites are such die-hard fans. It's because our FDO (that's "Future Dark Overlord" for those new to Sigler's fandom) knows what we want and tries to deliver it to us as best as he possibly can. Sigler has worked on quite a few trilogies so far and as far as his "mainstream" stuff goes, this is the first official series ender we've received. (Not sure if MVP ended his GFL series of not- I've fallen behind with those books.) I had to admit that I was a little nervous about whether or not this book would really live up to all of the rather lofty expectations I had for it and whether or not I'd be able to get over the distinct lack of Perry Dawsey as a main character- after all, he did die in a gloriously violent death that would eliminate any chances of him returning as a character.

The good news is that while you'll definitely miss Dawsey as a main character, the book does grab your attention and hold it until the finish. So even though you'll still miss Scary Perry, there's enough here to where this won't bother you as much. (Although he is in this book in a fashion.)

This is a rather weighty book, as my ARC copy was 500+ pages long. I ended up skipping a few hours of studying for finals to get into this book, which proved to be pretty addicting. It's told from the viewpoints of several different people- Margaret, Clarence, Murray, and new characters such as Cooper and Steve. No spoilers on what roles the two new guys play in this novel, but they're fairly major and some of the things that Cooper has to do in order to survive are pretty grim.

What made this so much fun for me was that Sigler made so much of it seem believable. Don't get me wrong- this is solidly fiction, but mixing in real life elements such as human biology, medical experiments, and other such things makes this a little more eerie than if he hadn't used them. For example, Sigler uses the idea of human paranoia over any large government movement to great effect. When the US government tries to do something to stem the impending Infected tides, its met with widespread criticism from people who assume that the government is trying to control them- something that I can genuinely imagine people doing. It made for a nice touch that I really appreciated.

I can't wait for this to get the podcast treatment and it's making me really anticipate future followups to some of Sigler's other works such as Nocturnal or Ancestor. If you liked Sigler's other works in the Infected trilogy at all, buy it. I'd even go so far as to say that if you like a good science fiction-ish read, that you just plunk down the cash to get all three. If you're hesitant, Sigler does offer free podcast versions of the previous two books (Infected and Contagious), but don't be surprised if you end up purchasing this novel as a result of that.

5/5 stars

(ARC provided by Amazon Vine)