Book: The King of Plagues

"The King of Plagues"

The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Driven by grief and rage, Joe Ledger rejoins the Department of Military Sciences and within hours is attacked by a hit-team of assassins. Sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak, Joe and his team are being pushed over the edge.

To get to the bottom of this horror, Joe and the DMS must tear down the veils of deception surrounding them. What they uncover is something far more horrifying than nature or legend could have imagined. Millions will die unless Joe Ledger meets this powerful new enemy on their own terms, on their own ground. In this war, you fight terror with terror.

This is the best Joe Ledger book I’ve read so far, but I don’t think I would be reacting this way had I not read Patient Zero.

Oh, sure. I wasn’t very fond of Patient Zero, but it wasn’t so much because I didn’t like the book, as much as it was the fact that I thought Rot & Ruin was written better. And because they were by the same writer–well, I couldn’t help but compare.

Now, why do I say that The King of Plagues is best because I’ve already read Patient Zero? This time, it’s not because I’m comparing the two. Patient Zero is essential reading for you to truly enjoy reading The King of Plagues, because it sets up a couple of characters that play a big part in the events of this book.

If you’ve already read Patient Zero, you might already know who I’m talking about it. If you haven’t–well, I wouldn’t want to spoil your reading pleasure.

That said, I must say that Jonathan Maberry truly is a master of drama. And this is great because it sets him apart from other horror/action-thriller authors. Maberry knows how to make you care about characters, and he knows which buttons to press to make readers feel every hurt. Most importantly, he knows when to give readers a happy ending. Well, a happy enough ending.

But what I like about him best is the fact that the villains are human too. Well, have humanity.

Okay, maybe not all of the villains.

Basically, Maberry knows that morally ambiguous characters can exist in both sides of the spectrum: in the side of good, and in the side of evil. It helps ground his fictional world more into reality when he has characters who truly captures what it means to be human.

Even though some of them tend to be the more-than-human variety.

And putting down The King of Plagues, I think I’m a bigger Maberry fan than I was before.

Of course, to keep things in perspective, let’s see what other people have to say about the book:
The Fringe Magazine
SF Signal
Fantasy Book Critic

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