Seak (Bryce L.)'s Reviews > Patient Zero

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: audio, 2012
Read from April 04 to 19, 2012

Jonathan Maberry has made a name for himself writing horror, but more specifically writing about zombies. Going into Patient Zero, I knew it would contain zombies, but it could probably fit just as well under the label of "covert ops" or some such (not that this fantasy nerd knows anything past dragons and magic). It technically contains a form of "zombie," but it really isn't a zombie book.

The real threat in this book is terrorism. Joe Ledger, the series' eponymous hero and Baltimore detective, is recruited by a special, super secret task force, the Department of Military Sciences. The DMS is charged with taking out a group of terrorists with a bio-weapon that turns people essentially into zombies.

Maberry does a great job getting you right into Patient Zero. Ledger's right in the middle of the action, gets recruited, gets tested to see if he can cut it. I was sucked in fast, but it also got old fast for me.

I love a good zombie book as much as the next guy, but as I mentioned above, this wasn't really a zombie book and I found myself getting a bit bored. I really think it was me more than anything the author did, these types of books just aren't my cup-o-tea. I don't mind watching these types of movies, but I like reading more about the supernatural than espionage, etc, and there really wasn't a whole lot of supernatural going on here.

And maybe that's kudos to the author. He did a great job explaining the plague/zombie-making disease and maybe too good because it all made sense and it was more like preventing the spread of the mumps.

But, while I admit that these types of books aren't my favorite, I also had a hard time with the main character, Mr. Ledger. He's a tough-guy, a meat-head so to speak (so we probably wouldn't hang out anyway), but he grated on me after awhile. It's almost like he's constantly pissed, but that's not quite it. He's not quite griping either, but he's got this attitude quite frequently expressed such as "you're doing it all wrong."



While Joe Ledger plays a large role in Patient Zero, he maybe only takes up a little over 50% of the book. The rest is in Afghanistan with the terrorists and specifically Sebastian Gault, a billionaire who specializes in pharmaceuticals. While considered a philanthropist by the world, he really takes advantage of ailing countries rather than really helping them, so of course something like this is right for him.

The Afghanistan parts are where most of the twists and turns take place, but I still can't say I loved it all that much. I think I'm over the terrorists as the "bad guys" and while it really was the only thing that worked for the story (who else could pull off bio-weapons?) I'm done with them just like I'm done with the Germans and Russians (as bad guys not as characters).

I think a lot of people will enjoy this much more than I did and I can't say I didn't like it either, I just didn't love it. The twists and turns were great and I really didn't expect the ending where (view spoiler) It's just not my type of book. Recommended, but not necessarily as a zombie novel.

3 out of 5 Stars
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Markus I really enjoyed this, and to my money this is zombie book with terrorist :)...and (mad cow) zombie body count is highest of any zombie-books that i have read. I blame Walking Dead for reading this horror sub-genre too much lately.


Seak (Bryce L.) Well, the reason I said terrorist with zombies is just because it all centers around the terrorists releasing the disease. It's not your typical zombie plague sweeps the world and there's a few survivors battling it out with them. The plot here was more than survival against zombie horde.

But I agree, Walking Dead has made me way too interested in this creepy stuff. :D


Chelsea I wasn't dazzled by this book either. I found Joe fairly lackluster, and I got tired of the ceaseless action. I felt the other plot line in Afghanistan was much more interesting.


Markus Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Well, the reason I said terrorist with zombies is just because it all centers around the terrorists releasing the disease. It's not your typical zombie plague sweeps the world and there's a few sur..."

Yeah, you are right. My reasoning was based number of terrorist (few) vs. zombies (hundreds), anyway as you said, plot was more than basic zombie-apocalypse scenario. Sebastian Gault was interesting character and also liked Afganistan plot line.


Jason I love the angry, Cro-Magnon styled personality of Joe Ledger. Sure he is annoying, but his kick ass style reminds me of pre-fat Steven Segal. Maberry choreographs the fight scenes so freaking well.


Seak (Bryce L.) Jason wrote: "I love the angry, Cro-Magnon styled personality of Joe Ledger. Sure he is annoying, but his kick ass style reminds me of pre-fat Steven Segal. Maberry choreographs the fight scenes so freaking well."

I agree, the fighting was great. I really think a lot of it was the narrator. He was pretty intense. Mostly, he did a good job, but he was way intense with every character but the women. In my own head it would have been better.


message 7: by Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben I was going to write a review, then read yours where you basically say everything I would.

Have you read any of the Day by Day Armageddon books? Be interested in your opinion. So...now I'll go look through your GR profile to see if you have.


Seak (Bryce L.) Nice! No, I haven't read the Day by Day books although the publisher just sent me the newest one in the series, so I'm debating just jumping in there to give it a go. I hear they're pretty good.


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