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The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger #3)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  5,602 Ratings  ·  346 Reviews
Saturday 09:11 Hours: A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured... 10:09 Hours: Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Compelled by grief and rage, Joe rejoins the DMS and within hours is attacked by a hit-team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbre ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Gollancz (first published March 1st 2011)
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Apr 06, 2011 S.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Joe Ledger fights more than just your common, everyday criminal. He fought zombies in Patient Zero. A former cop, he is now a member of the elite DMS (Department of Military Science). Villains you thought died in Patient Zero are back to reek havoc. There is a shadow organization called the Seven Kings that has infiltrated just about every part of society all the way to the top. And they are duplicating biblical events, metaphorically, to fulfill their goals. By threatening family and loved ones ...more
May 27, 2011 Bradshaw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a horrible book. I don't know why I'm reading this.

Now that I've finished it I guess I need to justify that statement.

The first two hundred pages or so is spent setting up the action that will happen in the last two hundred pages or so. When he finally hits the second half the action is non-stop and pretty satisfying. I have to confess that I was glued to the second half of the book once things started to happen. An entire book of this would probably warrant at a 4 star rating from me.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Because 'The King of Plagues', book 3 in the Joe Ledger series, is a silly but bad-ass comic-book James Bondish black-ops thriller, and every book in the series so far has involved germ-warfare and lab-designed chimera apocalypses of sorts, I suppose I should be sheepish and defensive that I like the novels. However, from my GR bio:

My ratings are about my feelings as well as writing merit. I don't judge writing by whether all the commas are in the right place, or how many literary allusions are
Graeme Reynolds
Aug 05, 2011 Graeme Reynolds rated it liked it
I have to be honest, after reading Jonathan Maberry's earlier books in the series (the fantastic Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory) I was a little disappointed with this book.
It picks up right where the Dragon Factory left off, with Joe Ledger burned out and recuperating in London. When a massive terrorist attack happens, his boss, Mr Church, brings him back to active duty in an attempt to find out who is responsible.

In many respects, this is a fairly solid thriller. As with his other books, t
Jan 06, 2011 Tammy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ill, thriller
I loved the Pine Deep Trilogy, Dragon Factory, and Patient Zero. But this book was very disappointing to me -- 2 stars, 2 1/2 stars only because it's Jonathan Maberry. (which may explain what I think is inflated 4.15 star rating for this book).

The writing seemed rushed, almost breathless at times. And certain things that bothered me a little in the other Joe Ledger novels seemed to bother me more. For example, how many times can Rudy Sanchez softly breathe "Dios Mios." And the over-the-top mili
May 12, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the events of The Dragon Factory, Joe Ledger returns for a different kind of mission. There's a huge terrorist attack in London and Ledger and the DMS are on sight to investigate. Soon they realise this is only the beginning as the mysterious Seven Kings plan to recreate the biblical plagues.

This is another great book where nothing is really as it seems. Ledger and the gang are fighting an invisible enemy whose plans are virtually impossible to work out. Sebastian Gault and Toys from Pat
Michael Roop
Apr 07, 2011 Michael Roop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: fiction
What can I say that hasn't already been said about this book? Nothing much. It lives up to everything good you have heard about it! In more than fifty different ways! Mr. Maberry has a masterful knack of crafting the Joe Ledger series! The pages come to life and you feel the tension around as you read the book. The icy coolness of Mr. Church surrounds you as you read. Rudy lulls you in to the calm cool collectedness he has. Mr. Maberry even found a way to make my heart sink for poor Toys. The ad ...more
Azel Praer
Feb 10, 2012 Azel Praer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Joe Ledger novels are like reading a diehard move that slammed head on into a episode of the x-files.Joe Ledger is the man who gets shit done. a no nonsense hero with bouts of smartass reply's to his boss the mysterious "church". Joe works for the DMS dept of military science a Privately funded government watch dog group that places a well aimed boot up the backside of everyone from mad scientists bent on "cleansing" the earthto supper secret groups that want to unleash plagues that would ma ...more
Jason Brown (Toastx2)
Apr 18, 2011 Jason Brown (Toastx2) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Due to risk of wanting to shout out plot details, I am going to step away from the keyboard pretty quickly.

Buy all three of these books and let me know what you think of them.
They are worth the time, and are an excellent mixture of thriller/horror/military fiction.

Often times, the sequel in a series of novels is difficult to get through. You are left thinking, “This was not as good as the first” or “this is not how I thought the characters would grow”. You get to the third in a series and hit th
Apr 19, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a Jonathan Maberry and I was nervous to start The King of Plagues. I've loved his books but for the past several months, I've been on a reading diet of mystery/thrillers and urban fantasy. Was I ready to get back into the world of the Department of Military Science?

Most definitely, yes!

What I love about this series (besides Joe Ledger) is that while it started with zombies (brrrraaaaiiinnss), it has grown into just being solid thrillers. Fans of Lee Child will dev
Janie Johnson
Another great book in Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger Series. This one is book #3 and I totally enjoyed it. I was not sure if I liked the angel Maberry took at first, but the book won me over about a quarter of the way through it. In this one we see a continued attempt at the war on terrorists from Joe and his DMS team. We get introduced to a couple of new faces in this one, Circe who is a doctor and Ghost who is Joe's secret agent dog! I loved them both.

You can't help but like the whole echo team
Aug 30, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. This was my first Joe Ledger book and after reading this (it's fine as a standalone), I have ordered all the others. First half has action, but is laying the groundwork for the action and unfolding mystery of the second half. Second half had me on the edge of my seat, sort of a quick finish, but overall-well thought out, diverse characters and plot kept me interested.
Aug 20, 2015 Giedre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you're done coming in your pants, how about stepping back for a perspective check?

Words to live by. Thanks, Toys.

Some returning villains feat. over-the-top terror scenarios vs. Joe and Echo Team... Oh, and a really amazing dog. And Bono, can't forget Bono. I could've lived without (view spoiler) though.
The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry. This is the third installment in the Joe Ledger series. I listened to the audio version narrated by Ray Porter who is amazing! I have no idea how that guy can have a different voice for all the characters involved. And when he does a woman's voice it sounds like a woman instead of an exaggeration.
The Joe Ledger novels aren't the typical book I'm into with all the black-op special forces and crime solving, but Maberry adds that touch of sci-fi into his n
Eve Nolon
IDEK. I keep reading these. This one had a lot of promise as I liked the plagues set-up and the return of two baddies seemed really promising but then it all went to shit. As others have written the constant name-dropping and pop culture references became too much as did the eluding to certain characters as real people. Just not good. But, my main issue is really ---

Ugh! This drives me insane with Maberry novels and I hate that I have to make it plural. Dude cannot keep track of his own internal
Sinisa Mikasinovic
Another awesome blend of Jonathan Maberry's writing and Ray Porter's reading.
Amazing read brilliantly brought to life by Ray. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

After book #1 I couldn't see myself turning pages of the book any more.
No, I needed to have Joe Ledger in my head - living through another thrilling adventure with him.

For the readers of books #1 and #2, this one will not come as any surprise.
Whatever you've come to expect is yet again absolutely not going to happen and you won't belie
Mar 24, 2013 Rizwan rated it it was amazing
Awesome entertaining read. Not as good as the sheer hair-raising chills, blood-pumping thrills and breathless suspense of Patient Zero, but way better than the previous one, The Dragon Factory. Maberry improved himself in this one with a much more organized storytelling and structured plot development. Not to mention the amazing complex character developments all around from our heroes to villains to all the supporting characters really made this book. Specially the very welcome return of couple ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Vickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Maberry had me at GHOST ROAD BLUES (my review), the Pine Deep Trilogy, and I am now a fan of the Joe Ledger series. I was exhausted after each reading time, so this made for a good bedtime read for that, though it did make for some whack-a-doodle dreams.

The reader's eyes are flying across the page to keep up with quick scene changes and multiple characters, but the quick interludes within the chapters and the thriller storyline makes the pages turn faster and keeps you up way after your
Apr 18, 2011 Viccy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Doomsday terrorist organization, check. Mutating virus, check. Insane scientists, check. Total non-stop action, check. Whhooo, baby, this book was a thrill a minute to read. My first Joe Ledger book and now I must track down the first and second. Joe is a former Baltimore cop, recruited to join the Department of Military Science (DMS), the guys Homeland Security turn to when they can't get it done. Joe's day in London starts out with the bombing of "The London," the famous historic hospital whic ...more
R. S.
Oct 13, 2015 R. S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? 3 books in... I keep saying to myself, "Self, time to move on to a different series and give somebody else a chance!" But I can't do it! These books are too good. Plus with his nods to Philly, I swear Maberry lives in my back yard.

Joe Ledger is back people, we knew he wasn't going to be gone from the DMS for too long, and once again he finds himself thrust into the mix of another catastrophe, this one starting across the pond in England. So strap yourselves in for another thrille
I have to say, I really love how the author handles women being in the military and especially in Special Forces. Given the demographic of these types of novels, they're not in the forefront of the story (Major Courtland being the exception), but they are treated with the very same respect that the men are. When 'Circe shoots someone for the first time, Joe does not treat her shock as if she were a delicate flower of a woman - he treats her as if she were a human who just took the life of anothe ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Kristal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Not wanting to return to the real world due to a recent tragedy, Joe Ledger just wants to be by himself. But people are destroying the world and he can't just sit by and watch. So when Mr. Church asks him to join a team that is hunting down a group of terrorist, Ledger finds himself thrust back into the middle of chaos.

It seems like some people were not too happy with this third installment of the 'Joe Ledger' series but I loved it and believe that so far, it is my favorite of the series. No, t
Lisa Dolatowski
Aug 02, 2015 Lisa Dolatowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was just browsing in my local library when I came across this book. I have never heard of this author before or the Joe Ledger series but after reading this I will be on the look out for more Mr Ledger!
With everything that is going on in our modern world I decided after reading the back cover of the book that I will give it a try, I'm so glad I did.
Powered by a cast of over-the-top characters, breakneck pacing, non-stop action, and a subtle sense of humour, this is an utterly readable blend o
May 07, 2015 Zade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes considerable talent to bring back a villain from a previous novel and yet have a completely fresh story. Maberry succeeds at this challenge in King of Plagues, which revives Sebastian Gault from Patient Zero. The threat this time is not zombies, but rather a string of attacks that appear to be terrorist in origin, but really serve to further the economic interests of the Seven Kings--a group that wears the mystique of a secret society to hide its rather more mundane goals. All the usual ...more
Richard Radgoski
I love the Joe Ledger Books. That said, I didn't like this one as much as the other two. It seemed to bog down much more and I think it's because instead of staying primarily with Ledger as a POV, we got 47 "interludes" (as opposed to 90+ chapters) where the focus was on the bad guys. I don't care about the bad guys enough to go through that much exposition and my attention waned (enough to take a long break). When Ledger was front and center, the book rocked on like normal. he's been through a ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Badseedgirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
It was appropriate that I read this book which deals with the nature of terrorism in September. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, as I have all the Joe Ledger stories I have read so far. I will state one caveat; I was uncomfortable with the authors use of actual acts of terrorism in the plot line. Although Mr. Maberry handled his dealings with the September 11th attacks with respect and with honor to the men, women, and children who lost lives on that terrible day, I was left with a bit of a bad ...more
Daniel Mala
I enjoy Mayberry's Joe Ledger series like I enjoy going to a theme park and riding roller coasters. It's not great literature by any means, but it's a lot of fun. This installment was a little more predictable and followed the same format of the previous two books. I'm not sure if that is a mark that this concept is played out or if this book plateaued and later books will aim for new heights. Anyway they are fun in their overtly violent way and for now I am still hooked. Cheers!
Jun 08, 2012 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Every book in this series is fantastic. I highly recommend everything from Jonathan Maberry. The action is detailed and violent, the baddies are sufficiently nasty and just like every evil empire, there is no honor among thieves. Unlike a lot of books I read that have a great start, a great middle and a poor ending, you can always rely on this author to write a proper sequence of events, resulting in a very satisfying ending. I can't wait for the next one.
I would like to give this 4 stars, but the cheese-to-action ratio is just a wee bit too high this time. The name-dropping and the (surprisingly)heavy-handed preaching had me rolling my eyes way too often.

That said, I did enjoy the book. It has everything I look forward to and expect when starting a Maberry book, especially the brilliantly written bad guys.
I recommend the audiobook version, btw. Ray Porter does a pretty fantastic job as a narrator.
Jan 03, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my least favorite of the Joe Ledger novels. The "Interludes" (of which there were nearly 40) jumped back in time several months to help set up the action sequence that began the novel. It totally disrupted the momentum of the book and they became quite preachy/political. Hopefully Joe Ledger #4 works a little better.
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006), DEAD
More about Jonathan Maberry...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Ledger (10 books)
  • Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
  • The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger, #2)
  • Assassin's Code (Joe Ledger, #4)
  • Extinction Machine (Joe Ledger, #5)
  • Joe Ledger: Special Ops
  • Code Zero (Joe Ledger, #6)
  • Predator One (Joe Ledger, #7)
  • Kill Switch (Joe Ledger #8)
  • Dogs of War (Joe Ledger #9)

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“Church didn't answer that. Instead he said, "The darkness is all around us. Very few people have the courage to light a candle against it."
"I'm not that kind of idealist."
"Nor am I. We are of a kind, Captain, and neither of us is holding a candle against the darkness. Like the unknown and unseen enemy we fight, people like you and me, we are the darkness. In some ways we are more like the things we're fighting than the people we're protecting. Granted our motives are better--from our perspective--but we wait in the shadows for our unseen enemy to make a move against those innocents with candles. And by that light we take aim.”
“I knelt down and hugged the furry monster for a while. If it was too tight, Ghost didn't seem to mind. He wagged his tail and whined a little, sensing the hurt that I felt. Dogs are truly the best of companions. You don't need to explain. They know as much as they need to know, and they are loyal no matter what sins you've committed.” 6 likes
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