Author: Scott Sigler
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"Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.Thoughts: Contagious is the sequel to Infected. It picks up shortly after the first ends. Margaret Montoya has patched Perry Dawsey, and he has now become part of their team. Being the only person who can track down the triangles and the gates, he is a huge asset to the team. However, after his life altering encounter with the triangles, he is more interested in killing the victims than bringing back a live specimen for Margaret and her team to examine. The book starts out with Perry pretty much going rogue.
"Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight of endless horrors.
"These three and their team have kept humanity in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile, other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of all."
After their adventure with Perry, the triangles are now starting to learn an mutate. Where first they started out as a rash and formed triangle growths on people that would hatch, they have changed into something that is similar to a neural net. These latest victims are able to infect people with these similar neural nets, and they are charged with protecting the hatchlings.
As with the previous book, this one is jam packed with violence and action. Honestly, I don't think there really is any downtime in this book. Sigler used this book to dig deeper into Dawsey and flesh him out as a character. In the first book, he see him in the middle of a crisis trying to survive this horrible infection. In this book, however, the reader is able to see a completely different side. Further, Sigler was also able to pull in some of the periphery characters and bring them to the forefront.
This book seems to go a lot more into the politics of the situation both inside the US government, Margaret's team, and between the infected. There are a lot of power struggles and questions of ethics.
Contagious is extremely hard to talk about without giving away spoilers. There are a lot of twists and turns I didn't see coming and a few I did. Sigler keeps up the pace from the first book, and it felt like a pretty seamless transition between the two. If you like the first book, I don't think this one will disappoint.
Upon finding out the "virus'" new method of transition, I am anxiously awaiting the third book in the series!