17 Sep 2014

PATIENT ZERO {JOE LEDGER #1}.

PATIENT ZERO {JOE LEDGER #1} by JONATHAN MABERRY.

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: Police officer Joe Ledger, martial expert, ex-army, self-confessed brutal warrior, is scared. The man he just killed is the same man he killed a week ago. The top secret government agency The Department of Military Sciences are also scared, they have word of a terrorist plot straight from a nightmare - a bid to spread a plague that kills its victims and turns them into zombies. Time is running out and Joe has shown he has the abilities they need to lead one of their field teams.

And so the race is one to find out who is responsible, destroy the terrorist cell and stop the coming apocalypse. But somehow the terrorists are always one step ahead and hell beckons.

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One:Walkers: Chapter One}: When you have killed the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 14}: He finished his cookie and took another vanilla wafer. I'm not sure I could trust a man who would bypass an Oreo in favour of vanilla wafers. It's a fundamental character flaw, possibly a sign of true evil.

MY THOUGHTS: Largely a hit but not completely. Whilst I essentially found it a great story I don't think the author did himself any favours by jumping between characters every chapter, by splitting the action between Afghanistan and pharmaceutical expert/philanthropist Sebastian Gault and Baltimore detective come special task force agent, Joe Ledger, in the way that he did.

As a post 9/11 apocalyptic/terrorist thriller about terrorists attacking America I may well not have given this a second glance but as a non-traditional zombie read I really quite enjoyed it. 

Yes, that's right, without giving too much away, Patient Zero does away with your typical supernatural zombies in favour of 'walkers' (zomble type beings) created by man as a bioweapon. All very scary given that the author makes references to the well documented Prion Diseases.

OK, so the body count was high - thankfully for me whilst the action could be brutal much of the violence had an almost computer game kind of feel to it - and then there's the love interest that, well, at best didn't do anything for the story and at worst felt positively awkward but with an opening chapter that began 

'When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. 
And there's nothing wrong with my skills' 

you know chances are you are in for an interesting if perhaps tongue-in-cheek read.

What really made this novel for me though were the characters (after all who could resist names like Bunny Rabbit or 'Amazing' Grace?) and in particular, somewhat surprisingly, lead character, Joe Ledger, himself. Cocky and overly sure of himself, a bit of a misogynist perhaps but the kind who women love - James Bond and just about every other hero of that type you can think of rolled into one. I should have disliked him and yet there was something about him (his sense of humour?) that I found totally compelling.


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13 comments:

Lindsay said...

The plot sounds like it makes for a good and interesting read with lots going on, though not the sort of thing I'd normally pick up. I like the words from the opening chapter, they do make me want to read on. Great review.

Kelly said...

Not one I initially thought I would be interested in, but that's one heck of an opening line! I liked your memorable moment as well. (despite preferring vanilla to chocolate, I'd take an oreo over a vanilla wafer any day in the week)

Do you know if this is going to be an ongoing series or maybe just a trilogy or something?

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an intense read! As much as I like thrillers and mysteries, I tend not to read too many like this. I'm still wary of zombies, but I'm starting to read more books that include them.

Suko said...

Tracy, the memorable moment is very funny, and your review has made me interested in reading this. And what about that cover?!

Tracy Terry said...

According to Jonathan's official site there are six books Kelly but go to Wikipedia and there are another two. Not sure if this is the full extent of the series which seems to be one of those odd ones in that according to the official site book 6 is the direct sequel to book 1.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I love a good anti-hero. I have been wanting to start this series but also finish his other series, Benny Immura. I've only read Rot and Ruin and enjoyed it immensely. Must pick up the series again.

So many books, so little time said...

I loved this one, mainly because it gives what many zombie books lacked, a why it happened. I also have another of his books on my tbr that I need to get round to reading :)

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I don't read about zombies, full stop! So I guess ths wouldn't be a favourite story for me.

The opening lines were definitely intriguing, but I'm afraid I'm a vanilla wafer girl myself!

Given the recent and ongoing outbreak and spread of the Ebola virus, the prospect of a manmade plague being unleashed on The World, may not be quite so far fetched as it might sound.

I am pleased that you enjoyed this one a little more than 'The Truth'. Things can only get better!

Yvonne.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I really do want to read something by this author! Glad you liked this overall.

Brian Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Joseph said...

For something like this to work for me it would have to be very tongue in cheek indeed.

It does sound like a really interesting combination of styles.

Heather said...

you had me at the Oreos. One of the few cookies I eat since they are dairy free. thanks.

Naida said...

This does sounds good and lol about the memorable moment.