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Archive for the ‘Patient Zero’ Category

First published in 2009 by Gollancz

You can’t go far wrong if you pick up a SF book published by Gollancz. Patient Zero is yet another satisfying print from the SF publisher, an imprint of Orion books. Whether its a classic or a new find, trust these guys to deliver you everything you need for a day snuggled up on the sofa with hot tea and chocolate biscuits. Although as SF is a male-dominated readership perhaps I’m in the minority of SF readers who does so in this fashion.

Patient Zero is a fast-paced novel heavily dominated with military action. Maberry’s style reminded me of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series. The main character had a finesse for combat and stategy which flavoured the narrative throughout. A delicious injection of zombies kept me on the edge of my seat, not literally as I don’t actually sit upright whilst I read, and I could not stop turning the pages. That made for a few late nights whilst I was meant to be settling into a new home and redecorating etc.

The medical and scientific depth of the plot gave Maberry’s zombies a unique place in the modern world. Zombies as a terrorist weapon holds significant importance to the reader who will have experienced much of the Western paranoia about what manufacturing exists in other countries. Maberry’s unusual take on a stock horror figure gives his book an ambiguous genre placement. This is not simply horror or sci-fi. It is comparable to the best of high-action thrillers with enough reality to give readers who don’t read sci-fi an exciting read too.

Maberry has given the Zombie genre a kick and raised the bar for all future novels. Maybe its time for the vampire fad to take a step backwards and try out Zombies again?

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