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La Plaga (Plague #1)

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,542 ratings  ·  137 reviews
The nanotechnology was designed to fight cancer. Instead, it evolved into the Machine Plague, killing nearly five billion people and changing life on Earth forever.

The nanotech has one weakness: it self-destructs at altitudes above ten thousand feet. Those few who've managed to escape the plague struggle to stay alive on the highest mountains, but time is running out-ther

Hardcover, 318 pages
Published 2008 by Minotauro (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amy L. Campbell
With a first sentence about cannibalism you would think this would be an interesting, fascinating read. It has so much potential with a nanotech virus, a destroyed world, and a reduced population struggling to survive. Instead this work focuses primarily on the egos involved in the story rather than the actual people. These people are faulted to a fault. It seems that anyone who does not have an extreme selfish streak are the ones who die regardless of their value in curing the disease or their ...more
Bryan Alexander
This is the first Jeff Carlson novel I've read. I have enjoyed some of his short stories, often in audio form.

The first half of Plague Year grabbed my attention thoroughly. The plight of scattered survivors, barely eking out an existence on mountaintops after a plague has wiped out 99% of human civilization, fascinated me. Carlson described material and psychological conditions with great clarity.

It was also a very disturbing, sometimes horrific first half of a book. The first line welcomes us
The first time I got to a complicated action sequence and thought, "Wait, who are all these people?" I said, "Bad reader! Back to the beginning!" and started over, paying more attention this time. The second time I got to a (different) complicated action sequence and realized that I had no idea who I was reading about AGAIN, I put the book away.
The worst book i have ever read nice concept but the writing was horrific: unclear, confusing. Hard to tell what is happening to whom based on the indirect writing which attempted to be smart and clever. I kinda like the beginning of the book but reading it became a chore.
Bleh. Could not get into this one at all. I tried to stick with it in hopes that it would grab my interest but gave up at about page 200.
Interesting take on end-of-world genre using man-made nano-technology.

Our story begins in the after-math one year after the world as we know it has died off. People, animals, etc leaving only insects and reptiles to populate the earth. We learn about the world's end during our story in flashbacks to find that a man-made nano-technology had been accidentally released onto the world. It was being created to cure cancer and was not yet perfected, obviously. The only survivor's are the those who ran
Great premise, uneven execution. A nanotech plague wipes out most of the world population. A handful of survivors and nanotech scientists try to find out a cure to the plague. Choppy storytelling and a narrative that tells of the plague post-facto from the points of view of the survivors robs the novel of any immediacy. Having said this, Carlson shows promise and most of the novel's weaknesses could be attributed to this being a debut effort. Would keep an eye out for his next book.
Where to start - ok the first thing to say is this certainly was a different read - the idea of a bio-engineered plague to end all of life or at least human civilisation is not the first and i am sure not the last (think white plague by Frank Herbert or Blood Music by Greg Bear) but this was an interesting addition to the genre all the same. One thing i would say though is that this is the first of a trilogy - and it certainly felt it - some characters took long descriptive paths to get to a cer ...more
Jennifer Wells
Cam and his small community of fellow survivors live on a small mountain peak just over 10,000 feet above sea level. Below this altitude is an invisible ocean of fatal nanotechnology. Cam’s community struggles to survive until a stranger arrives to help them, setting off an unforeseen series of events.

Nanotech specialist Ruth works in the International Space Station, far above the machine plague below. But in order to craft a cure, she must go back to Earth and find the origin of the pl
This was a hit and miss post-apocalyptic tale set in the near future. A nano-tech virus has swept the earth, killing anything below 10,000 feet. To survive you have to move up in the mountains and have to do unspeakable things. I liked the survival elements of the book but there are two stories--one of the survivors and one of scientists trying to find the cure for the nano virus. I didn't like the science element at all. It was clunky and just eroded any tension and suspense from the survival p ...more
The premise of this story revolves around a post-plaque group of "nano" survivors who struggle with finding a cure for the plague that is literally eating them as they breathe the air around them. "Plague Year" follows the lives of the scientists who have created the "nano" program to fight disease and cure ailments that plague society today, the search for the cure. Unfortunately, the virus escapes due to a rogue scientist and kills millions of innocent literally one bite at a time. By chance t ...more
Nice first novel. The narrative flow and prose in the first part of the novel was a bit clunky, otherwise this would be four-star. Carlson clearly researches his topics, and managed to transport the reader into a high altitude survival event. I'd encourage a more realistic 'tramatic stress' orientation on the part of the individuals. Good nanotech overview.

Hope he does well as I think he will be a rising author in the genre.

Dre Mosley
1.5 stars is more like it.

I was sucked in by the concept and regret that.

This book is a CHORE to slog through. I typically read books reasonably quickly. A good indicator of me not really being into a book is when it takes me longer than a week or so to finish. I was reading this one for like three weeks and still barely half way through it. It just could not keep me engaged.
I had some issues and one of them was too many characters. This writer doesn't flesh out the characters that are supposed
It seems for a while now books have been tended to be more on the dour (dare I say grimdark?) side of things. Which, hey, I get it. I'm all for it. Books where everyone (except the bad guys) are pure and good and always do the right thing get boring pretty fast. But you know what? The opposite is just as boring. Nobody is good, everybody is selfish and and any niceness is just masking everybody's true despicable core. That seems to be the message of Jeff Carlson's Plague Year.

An interesting and
Booth Babcock
This has been the year of ending the world. The Last Policeman hit us with a comet, Age of Miracles slowed the rotation of the earth, World War Z sent zombies, World Made by Hand just had us run out of resources, the list goes on, in Plague Year, we get wiped out by a nano virus that doesn't work above a certain altitude, leaving humanity clumped atop mountains like the world is a giant game of Hot Lava. Honestly, I'm getting a little weary of the whole genre. Plague Year clips along at a pretty ...more
Not bad. The writing style nicely casts an arid atmosphere over a story of devastation - humanity nearly destroyed by a nano-plague. Interestingly drawn characters. Promising.
Amanda Markham
IGNORE the reviews which say this book is either 'slow paced' or they are confused about who did what to whom. Seriously, if you can't figure out who was doing what to whom without hand holding, you need to stop watching Fox News and so many US dumbed-down TV shows. This book is fast-paced, riveting and very gritty-real. It's not going to give you a sweet, caring happy ending. The pervasive theme is that when things get really tough, good and evil have a way of merging. People do things they're ...more
Jody Hampton
Interesting idea. Bloodless prose. Cardboard characters. Long slow haul to nowhere special.
Andy Phillips
I bought this book in an airport because I wanted something to read and it was the best thing on offer. However, I was pleasantly surprised and ended up finishing it in a couple of days.

The story centres around an outbreak of a nanotechnology 'plague' that was intended for medical use but is released from its lab into the general population. The nanobots are capable of reproducing inside all hot-blooded animals, consuming the host from within, inside of a few hours. As with most of these stories
Ed Morawski
At times I found the story difficult to follow mostly due to the author's staccato style in which superfluous words are often dropped. It kind of reminds me of the movie 'handi-cam' style where directors use shaky hand held cameras and too aggressive editing. Eventually you'll catch up but you may have to go back and reread sections to figure out what just happened or who said what.

That said, the story and plot are fresh. Instead of a virus wiping out humanity it's nanotech and humans can only s
Very good, light read for the plane. An excellent apocalyptic setting, that held together well throughout the book.

In Plague Year, a "nanotech" virus got loose and reduces all warm-blooded creatures to mush. The catch? There is a governor that says it can't survive if at the standard air pressure at 10,000 feet. So everyone made a run for the mountains and small pockets of humanity survive, barely, with the occasional foray below the magic line, at a terrible physical cost. Cam and Sawyer lead o
I can dig emotionally dark stories. I don't want to wallow in them all the time, but there's plenty of good material in the abyss. As tour guides go, Carlson is one of the better I've had. He gives his readers a flashlight and a sandwich and an apple in a paper bag before he sends them into the darkness.

At first, I was worried that the whole book was going to be an unrelenting tale of gloom in desolation. But Carlson had the inventiveness and sense to bring exciting and unexpected elements into
Man, what a ride! This is one of the best techno-thriller I've read in years. A chilling cautionary tale about the dangers of nanotechnology, PLAGUE YEAR hooked me early on and kept me hooked. From the awesome opening line ("They ate Jorgensen first.") to the hopeful but open-ended conclusion, author Jeff Carlson really kept me guessing. Carlson's command of the science involved makes it fascinating and believable and his understanding of human nature makes the relationships in this apocalyptic ...more
Ebook/Sci-Fi Thriller: This book has its pros and cons. The plot is really good. We're in post-apocalyptic America because nano technology has taken over in all parts of the earth that is under 5000 feet. One of the smartest scientist is on the space shuttle and has "scientist block" on finding a cure. Survivors are in the Sierras practicing cannibalism to survive. Home base is in Colorado. Rumors are that other countries are fighting over high ground.
Problems come with the writing. I don't wri
Joshua Palmatier
I finished this earlier today. It's a cool new take on the post-apocalyptic world scenerio, with humans destroying the world. And in true SF form, it's the cool way that we do it that draws you to the book. Essentially, in our attempt to cure cancer using nanotechnology, an "accident" releases a prototype of the nanotech . . . which subsequently destroys living tissue, not just cancer. Everyone would have died, except that the prototype had a built in failsafe, a circuit that self-destructs when ...more
A pretty good science-gone-bad thriller with a mean pulse running through it. Sometime in the near future some nanotech escapes from the lab and starts killing people by basically eating them from the inside out. The nanites have a built in fuse, at 70% of standard atmosphere they self destruct. You have to go up to approximately 10,000 feet altitude to hit that percentage. All the survivors on earth are above that altitude, huddled on the tops of the worlds tallest mountains. Everything warm bl ...more
The author provided me with a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

"Plague Year" is the first novel in the "Plague" trilogy. It is a masterful depiction of a very feasible, if futuristic, possible end of the world as we know it. The premise is based upon the very real research and development of nanotechnology gone awry. No one knows how the plague began, until very nearly the end of this first episode. When the circumstances are revealed, a chill will go up your spine, becau
Note, this review cover both Plague Year itself, and then the Plague year trilogy as a whole (yes, I'm cheating to catch up on the stack of books I haven't reviewed).

Cam Najarro is one of a small group of humans who are barely surviving on their mountain peak, survivors from a nanotech plague which kills all mammals under 10,000 feet of altitude. Their food is running out, winter is near, and they have no way to communicate with another group of survivors on a neighbouring peak.

When a messenge
I certainly enjoyed this book, but it has it's flaws. I noticed on Amazon that the Publisher's Weekly review criticized Plague Year for having an interesting plot that gets bogged down (by character development). My complaint is the obvious. The wonderful character exploration at the beginning of the story (what happens to personalities and relationships in the face of a plague that has not only wiped out most of life, but forces what remains to live on isolated mountaintops), gives way in the f ...more
May 10, 2013 Jules rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michael Chrichton fans and fans of the techno-thriller genre.
A nano plague, invented to help cure cancer, escapes from the lab before it has been fully developed and decimates the population of the world within days. The only survivors are the people who made it above 10,000 feet in time. Since then they have been living off what little remains of the fauna, what they can scrounge on their short trips below the limit and each other. Scientists are working to create a vaccine but not everyone has the same agenda...

I can't compare this edition to the origin
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Jeff Carlson is the international bestselling author of "Plague Year," "Interrupt" and "The Frozen Sky." To date, his work has been translated into sixteen languages worldwide. His new novel is "Frozen Sky 2: Betrayed."

Readers can find free fiction, contests, videos and more on his web site at
More about Jeff Carlson...

Other Books in the Series

Plague (3 books)
  • Plague War (Plague, #2)
  • Plague Zone (Plague, #3)
The Frozen Sky: The Novel Plague War (Plague, #2) Plague Zone (Plague, #3) Interrupt Frozen Sky 2: Betrayed

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