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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, March 17, 2017

By the Book - Patient Zero

Welcome back,

           In my latest book review, I will be reviewing “Patient Zero”, a novel by suspense writer Jonathan Maberry. This book is the first installment in the authors Joe Ledger series.

This book marks my first transaction in an actual book store in possibly decades, as all of my more recent book purchases have been done online. I was hoping to save this horror themed review for October, but recent events have reduced my reading time. Since I’m currently short on material to review, it will be showcased sooner rather than later.

The story follows the actions of Captain Joe Ledger, a former Army Ranger and Baltimore Detective. Joe finds himself recruited into the Department of Military Sciences (a.k.a. the DMS), a clandestine, shadow agency whose purpose is to pursue technologically advanced terrorist threats to the world at large. In this novel, the antagonist by the name of El Mujahid is leading a group of religious fanatics into creating a biological weapon that effectively turns those infected into zombies. Joe Ledger and the DMS take measures to stop El Mujahid before he can release his pathogen on the populace of Philadelphia.

Image result for patient zero

Back of the Book:
Monday, 1300 Hours: Joe Ledger kills terrorist Javad Mustapha, aka Patient Zero, with two point-blank shots from his Glock .45.
Wednesday, 0800 Hours: Patient Zero rises from the dead…

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. Ledger, a Baltimore detective assigned to a counterterrorism task force, is recruited by the government to lead a new ultra secret rapid-response group called the Department of Military Sciences (DMS) to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies.

What I learned from this book:
  • Desperation: The author did an amazing job of instilling suspense into the story. On several occasions we can feel the desperation of the characters. Best example was when one of the characters was thinking of killing a loved one to spare them from being eaten by zombies.
  • False Lead: This story is a great example of the ‘false lead’ plot tool. At one point we discover a traitor has infiltrated the DMS. Joe and associates then try to find who the infiltrator(s) are. This trick has been seen before, but the author managed to add a small element that helps mark this situation apart from other books, by having one of the two traitors taken out at the very beginning of the story without us knowing.  
  • Major Spoiler: The best lesson I learned from this book was about advertising. I understand that promoting one's future books by adding a chapter at the end of a novel may be a common enough practice, but the content of said chapter should be held into consideration. In this case, at the end of Patient Zero, we are treated to a chapter of a following book in the Joe Ledger series. The chapter in question reveals the fate of one of the main characters in the present book, ultimately spoiling the big reveal and negating whatever effect said death would have had on the audience.

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling suspense author and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. He studies martial arts, which translates into many of his works. Jonathan has worked as an anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer.

For those interested in reading more books from Jonathan Maberry, please check out his website at http://www.jonathanmaberry.com/

For those interested in learning more about the Joe Ledger series, you can check out this extensive wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Ledger_Series

In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


            Patrick Osborne