Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review - Plague Year

Plague Year by Jeff Carlson

 This book started off with a bang. I picked it up at the library book sale for fifty cents. And really, how could I resist a book described by a reviewer on the cover as "Part Michael Crichton, part George Romero..."? Immediately I'm thinking, "Romero! Zombies!" I can try a zombie book for fifty cents. Heck, Jon gave me a zombie book for Christmas a couple years ago and I read it on December 26th and it was horrible. Mistakes on every page. Pretty much the literary equivalent of a zombie film.  But it had zombies. Even a baby zombie. And an Iranian sharpshooter. With Plague Year, I expected a little more. And at first, I got it. 

The plague is caused by a fast-acting, highly contagious nano machine called archos that was designed to fight cancer, but just eats living tissue instead. It goes inert above 10,000 feet, so you can imagine the holocaust caused by the nano and the pockets of survivors left on mountain tops. The first sentence: "They ate Jorgensen first." What promised to be a riveting read (I mean, check out that first sentence!) ended up slowing way down. The science was fascinating and seems plausible, bub it doesn't pack nearly the scare punch of Romero's original Night of the Living Dead.  And I should blame that expectation on the blurb by E.E. Knight.

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