Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review: Patient Zero

Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry

"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."

You see where this one is going? This book combines zombies (of sorts), military and counterterrorism. And all in a seamless, captivating way.

To say that Patient Zero is captivating would be an understatement. I started this book on a Sunday evening, and by Tuesday night I was done. I just couldn't put it down.

Maberry does an excellent job of putting a different twist on the zombie concept, and he answers your questions. Many other stories leave you wanting a little more closure, so you're left wanting a little more. Patient Zero does give you those answers, but not in a way that makes you feel dumb. The answers he gives you are integral to the story, and presented in a way that builds tension and keeps you on your toes.

The way this book is written is a little different, and I loved it. The chapters tend to be short, but each chapter jumps from one locale to another, each crucial to the story, and they are all labeled with a time and date, which helps you keep track of how quickly the story is progressing. Maberry doesn't jump through time, forward and back, but the time codes on the chapters do help you keep track of what's going on at any given moment.

If you are a fan of zombies, or even military covert operations stories, I would recommend Patient Zero to you. It is a fun story, and this book is really difficult to put down.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review, Jaime! And I'm glad you enjoyed the first Joe Ledger thriller.

The second Joe Ledger novel is now out: THE DRAGON FACTORY, in which Joe and the DMS encounter transgenic mercenary soldiers, mythological animals, a cloned slave race, and a plot for global ethnic cleansing.

In 2011, Joe Ledger will return in THE KING OF PLAGUES, hunting a secret society who are using modern versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt as terrorist weapons to crash world economies. That book will be out next March.
Then in 2012 Joe and Echo Team square off against genetically engineered vampires and werewolves in THE OTHERS; and there will be at least one more book after that.

There are also two free Joe Ledger short stories available online: “COUNTDOWN” is a prequel to PATIENT ZERO ( and “DEEP, DARK”, which takes place just before the second book, THE DRAGON FACTORY. Here’s the link:

A third Joe Ledger short story, “ZERO TOLERANCE” will appear in the anthology THE LIVING DEAD 2 edited by John Joseph Adams for Night Shade Books. That story is a direct sequel to PATIENT ZERO, and the anthology will be out in September.

Blackstone Audio will be releasing PATIENT ZERO as an audiobook later this year.

The series has been optioned by producer Michael De Luca (Seven, Magnolia, Blade) on behalf of SONY and is on the shortlist for ABC TV's spring lineup.

-Jonathan Maberry

Jaime said...

Wow, really? I write a review of a book, go on vacation, and come back to see that the author of the book has commented on my review? Freaking sweet. Well, on my vacation, I had plenty of plane time and beach/pool time to read, so I got through The Dragon Factory, The New Dead, and picked up and started Dead Man's Song, so I'll hopefully get reviews up on those soon!
And wow, it's an honor to have the author read my review!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jaime...just a heads up about Dead Man's Song. Even though the publisher (for reasons I've never understood) failed to mention it on the book, it's the middle book of a trilogy. The full Pine Deep Trilogy is: Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man's Song and then Bad Moon Rising.

Happy reading!