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La Plaga (Plague #1)

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  1,837 Ratings  ·  149 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
May 12, 2010 Amy L. Campbell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, blogged, reviewed
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
Oct 09, 2011 Alana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-t-finish
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.
Feb 06, 2010 Wizzard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 15, 2011 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2014 Farhan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 30, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 12, 2011 Jennifer Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 08, 2016 Ernie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise was really good, but halfway through everything became convoluted and bogged down with technical specifics. I genuinely lost interest in what happened and sort of drifted through the last few chapters. I would like to see this idea done with some different characters and a different sequence of events.
Oct 01, 2007 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
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
Marcel Van der rijst
Doorsnee techno-actie-thriller.

Een nano machine plaag heeft de mensheid gedecimeerd en het leven onder de 3000 meter onmogelijk gemaakt. De overlevenden vechten in de hoge bergen voor hun leven en onderling over de restjes die er overblijven.

Het verhaal is in drie delen te verdelen.
Het eerste gedeelte gaat over overlevenden op een kale bergtop die zich onder de grens begeven, waar de nano's actief zijn, op zoek naar een veilige plek.
Het tweede deel gaat over Ruth Goldman, een nanotechnoloog di
Mar 06, 2015 L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2014 Dre Mosley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stinkers
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
May 19, 2016 Lady rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Apocalypse Now Reading Challenge 2016.

Means of the world's destruction: escaped nanotech virus originally intended to fight cancer that destroys warm-blooded body tissue to replicate itself.

I actually created the Apocalypse Now challenge in order to have an excuse to read this book. I picked it up in the local library because I was intrigued by the cover. Then I read up on it and learned it was shortlisted for the John W. Campbell award but had to decline the nomination because of a
Sep 06, 2015 Stuart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
As a writer, it bothers me that I can't pinpoint what it is about Carlson's prose that I couldn't get through. I just couldn't understand what was going on most of the time. I'd liken it to the 'forgetful' episodes you get after smoking weed, where you reach your end destination and forget how you got there.

I blamed myself for not being able to follow the story, but after 100 pages of the same thing happening over and over, I just gave up. I'd love to give constructive feedback, and mention what
Natalie Keener
Feb 09, 2016 Natalie Keener rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plague Year is a breath of fresh air to the dystopian genre. Instead of focusing on a corrupted government or an invasion of either zombies and aliens, Jeff Carlson introduces an interesting concept: a plague of nanotechnology. These small robots are too small to see and eat the body from the inside out after one becomes infested. The only way to rid yourself of them is retreating to an elevation of over 10,000 feet. Carlson's characters are relatable, realistic, and fit together nicely, and the ...more
Scott Sigler
Mar 12, 2012 Scott Sigler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hooo, this is a tough book. Carlson paints a post-apocalyptic nightmare with vivid, crystal-clear strokes. Looking for comic relief? Look elsewhere. From the opening scene, he illustrates what it would be like to be part of humanity's final breath. This book's horror comes from pure realism, from understanding what it would be like to watch all hope fade away.
Oct 04, 2014 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
La historia no es mala, al leer la reseña me resulto atrayente, pero el planteamiento de la trama me pareció confusa, esos brincos entre pasado, futuro, presente, un grupo o el otro... en algunas partes fueron demasiado abruptos y me destanteaba tanto que tenía que volver a leer algunos párrafos para luego darme cuenta de que eran recuerdos de lo que se estaba tratando o de planes imaginarios para hacer en el futuro.

Me pareció que terminó sin pena ni gloria, pero, luego me he enterado que es la
Plague Year was different than I thought it would be. It was worse at times but also better at times. But in the end I wanted them to succeed. I didn't want anyone else to die. And that shows me that I liked it. That I cared.

Basically Plague Year is about what would happen if a nanotech was created that killed humans and then accidentally released into the atmosphere. However, the nanotech is only operational under 10,000 feet. So humanity has been forced onto mountaintops to escape a grisly de
Dec 17, 2011 Simone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 23, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plague Year presents us with an interesting twist on the apocalypse. Carlson finds that touchstone that is common to all apocalypse survival stories: how even facing the end of the world (as we know it) humans still find ways to be @#(*$^ to one another. The science and geopolitical research that went into this book keep it realistic but don’t bog it down. The story races along intelligently which is a treat, especially to those of us who devour sci-fi in all its forms. It’s nice to read somethi ...more
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.
Jenni V.
It was a little difficult to follow at first. I could identify the main characters but was still fuzzy on what exactly the plague was. I was still detached as of chapter 8; I wasn't invested yet and didn't care about anyone's survival.

It started to pick up after that but it was still confusing. There were too many "sides" for me to figure out all the unspoken and half-truths being shared.

I guess it was more affecting than I thought because I had dreams about it more than once.

Overall, I knew as
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
Jul 08, 2014 Ed Morawski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jeff Carlson is the international bestselling author of "Plague Year," "Long Eyes," "Interrupt" and "The Frozen Sky." To date, his work has been translated into sixteen languages worldwide.

His new novel is "Frozen Sky 3: Blindsided."

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)

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