Author: Scott Sigler
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Author Links: Website ♠ Twitter ♠ Facebook
"Across America a mysterious disease is turning ordinary people into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, themselves, and even their own families.
"Working under the government’s shroud of secrecy, CIA operative Dew Phillips crisscrosses the country trying in vain to capture a live victim. With only decomposing corpses for clues, CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya races to analyze the science behind this deadly contagion. She discovers that these killers all have one thing in common – they’ve been contaminated by a bioengineered parasite, shaped by a complexity far beyond the limits of known science.
"Meanwhile Perry Dawsey – a hulking former football star now resigned to life as a cubicle-bound desk jockey – awakens one morning to find several mysterious welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices . . . he is infected.
"The fate of the human race may well depend on the bloody war Perry must wage with his own body, because the parasites want something from him, something that goes beyond mere murder."
Thoughts: I have seen the book on the shelves for a few years now. The cover art really drew my attention. However, I never took the time to pick the book up. While I was cruising on iTunes for a literature podcast—mostly something related to zombies—to listen to while working on pattern drafting, this popped up as a suggestion. Only knowing that the podcast got high reviews, I decided to embark on an adventure.
Around the Nation, several people wake up to find a weird rash-like skin irritation. Some thinking that it is some sort of spider bite or a possible allergic reaction, no one thinks too much off it. However, once a strange blue hair pops up out of the middle of the irritation, people start to question what is going on.
After someone calls into a local radio station raving about triangles and murdering his family, the government is determined to figure out what is causing seemingly normal people to start killing their families and themselves. When a relatively fresh corpse arrives in an advanced state of decomposition, the CDC gets involved.
Like the others around the Nation, Perry Dawsey—a former Ohio State football star who has struggled with anger his entire adult life—wakes up to find a strange rash forming on various parts of his body. However, over the course of a few days, this seemingly benign rash starts to take on the shape of blue triangles. While this seriously distresses him—especially since one of these triangles is on one of his testicles—it becomes far more disturbing when the triangles start communicating to him and torturing him with severe mind-screams.
At the beginning of each podcast, Sigler warns the audience that the situations are not suitable for children and that there is "lots and LOTS" of violence. And, I could argue, the warnings might be a little mild! The blood level escalates throughout the book as Perry tries to surgically remove these triangles in more and more graphic ways. Be warned, Sigler does not skimp on details! Even through the bloodiest of the scenes, it is heart-pounding and hard to put down.
Through Perry's struggle, Sigler is able to give the audience a rare look inside a character's head. He really delves deeply into our desire to survive at all costs.
I felt that Sigler did a good job of balancing CDC and the human side of the story. The CDC gave an interesting glimpse into a few of the other infected and a general idea of where the "virus" might have come from. He also does a good job of merging the storylines at the end of the book.
My only problem was the ending. When I finished listening to the last podcast, I spent hours on iTunes convinced that I missed a download. Nothing is answered at the end of the book, and you're left hanging. I wondered whether Sigler was trying to put the audience in the same boat with the CDC. If so, he did an amazing job. Luckily, this book does have a sequel, so I am hoping some of the remaining questions are answered.
This book is a fast paced thrill ride. I had a very hard time walking away from the book and focusing on other things. I found myself finding every excuse in the world to find reasons to spend time listening to it. And Sigler is an amazing narrator and lends to the overall mood of the book!
If you're interested in the podcasts of this book, they are free on iTunes. However, I encourage you to buy the books and give the publishers incentive to publish more in the series!
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