“Police officer Joe Ledger, martial arts expert, ex-army, self-confessed brutal warrior, is scared. The man he just killed is the same man he killed a week ago. The top secret government agency The Department of Military Sciences are also cared, they have word of a terrorist plot straight from a nightmare — a bid to spread a plague that kills its victims and turns them into zombies. Time is running out and Joe has shown he has the abilities they need to lead one of their field teams.
And so the race is on to find out who is responsible, destroy the terrorist cell and stop the coming apocalypse. But somehow the terrorists are always one step ahead and hell beckons…”
I don’t love it. Not as much as I do Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin series anyway. Patient Zero reads like a thriller infused with video game story-telling and a plot that wouldn’t feel out of place in 24. But as a zombie novel, it isn’t special.
Then again, it might be because I’m expecting something akin to Rot & Ruin and Patient Zero is definitely not that. Though, if I’m right, they occupy the same universe–just not the same dynamics.
What drew me to Rot & Ruin and the succeeding sequels was that it focused on the humanity of the characters–even the zombies. Patient Zero doesn’t do that. Reading the book, I felt like I was watching a walk-through of a video game.
Joe Ledger as a character is too much of a perfect alpha male. And while there is a clear attempt on the side of the author to make him flawed, more human, the fact remains that Joe Ledger is too perfect a zombie-killing machine. He wouldn’t be out of place in a Resident Evil game.
His support system, led by Rudy Sanchez, feels a little too clean-cut for me as well. As does obvious love interest Grace Courtland. The only characters that actually drew intrigued me were Mr. Church, whoever he is, and Top Simms.
Story-wise though, Patient Zero is solid. If a little cookie-cutter. I’m hoping the next book is more of a page turner, but if it’s not–well, I still enjoyed this book; I might enjoy the next one too.
The good thing is, I won’t be coming in with high expectations for The Dragon Factory.