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The Second Cure

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Dark, thrilling and compulsively readable, The Second Cure is a provocative debut novel about control, courage and belief.

A pandemic is racing through our world, changing people subtly but irrevocably. The first sign for some is losing their faith. For others it comes as violent outpourings of creativity, reckless driving and seeing visions.

Scientist Charlotte Zinn is clos
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 30th 2018 by Random House Australia
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Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
As soon as I read the synopsis for The Second Cure I was instantly interested! Whilst it’s unlike anything else that I’ve read before I absolutely adored this book, the characters especially were so likeable and I quickly became invested in what was going to happen to them. It’s one of those books that makes you stop and think because even though it’s essentially fiction you can’t help but wonder what yourself as a reader would do if you were faced with similar situations or environments. I love ...more
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is so much plot packed into this novel! It's ambitious, clever, stunning in breadth and imaginative power. The writing is at once authoratitively scientific, and compellingly plot-driven. More of my thoughts are below (but they're a little disjointed).

Charlie is a scientist, concerned with finding a cure for a new plague affecting the world's cats. Bridgid is a reporter, watching her world change and trying to keep the truth in sight. These two remarkable women are embroiled in huge, worl
Peter Neale
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading this book. It is terrific. Margaret Morgan manipulates complex ideas with startling ease while driving her narrative along at a cracking pace. At once disturbing, humorous and highly intelligent, "The Second Cure" is compellingly believable and utterly contemporary. Do yourself a favour and dive into it.
Gripping. The science is fascinating and I cared a lot about the characters - biologist Charlie Zinn, her artist/composer partner Richard, their lovely dog Goblin, Richard's gentle mother Winnie, and his acerbic sister Brigid.

Biology - specifically parasitology and epigenetics - mixed with religion, politics, and the arts, makes for fascinating near-future world-building.

Very accomplished writing, particularly for a debut novel.
The style, plotting, and characterisation are all great.
I was oc
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A dystopia (sort of) with an eye to todays latest scientific discoveries that questions the notion of rational self interest and reason as the only influence on individuals and society.

In the last 10 years there has been a steady build up of ideas about biological processes affecting more than just our bodies but what we like to think of as our minds, which in the Western tradition, we hold to be ethreal and some how purer than our bag of meat bodies. For instance the influence of our gut bact
Theresa Smith Writes
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘The cure, she called it, did you know that? Not the cure to stop the plague. This was the second cure she said.’

The Second Cure hit me like a bolt of lightning. I went into this novel with a fair amount of trepidation; science fiction is not really ‘my thing’. Or so I tell myself. But this year alone, I’ve read more science fiction than ever before and each of these novels has been brilliant. I’ve loved them. And so it is with The Second Cure, a genre blend of science fiction with dystopian the
Christina Houen
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Margaret Morgan's debut novel, The Second Cure, is published by Penguin. I went to the launch put on by Newtown bookshop, Better Read than Dead, at Leadbelly Bar in Newtown. The launch speech was given by Kerryn Goldsworthy, who said she had read the book twice and could read it twice again. I know what she meant, as I came to write this review; for it is such a complex plot that I did not feel I could do it justice on one read alone, and after skimming through it for the second time, I still do ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you like your science fiction extra sciency, contemporary and pandemic-infused, featuring a cast of engaging characters including all-too-plausible politico-religious whackjobs then this one is for you. Reminds me a little bit of Max Barry’s fabulous thriller Lexicon, albeit with different subject matter. I’m tipping this novel for an Aurealis Award.
Georgina Ballantine
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a cornucopia of diversity and variety I found in The Second Cure!
The book's artful blending of genuine and speculative (but convincing) science, religious and political isolationism, gender politics, sexuality, intriguing characters and cats had me hooked. An Australian setting too — huzzah!
It's also one of the few fiction books I've read that include characters with synaesthesia, a fascinating neurological trait that causes a merging of the senses e.g. hearing colour or seeing sound.
Carol Ryles
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lots to love about this book, set in Australia, a science fiction book of our times. Great characters, compelling and believable story, thought-provoking science and politics. All packaged in an immensely enjoyable read.
Jennifer Thompson
Suspense in the science...

What a great read. I not only enjoyed the plot, the narrative, and the suspense. I also enjoyed learning about the science around us.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Second Cure is one book that you will read in 2018 and it will blow you away. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I couldn’t say no to a review copy. Let’s just say this book is fantastic and I am shocked that I am not seeing it on everyone’s book cases, their Instagram feeds and posting reviews on Goodreads. This book ladies and gentlemen was utterly fantastic.
Not only is the Second Cure unlike any book I have ever read, Morgan’s writing style was captivating, the characters were
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Second Cure is one book that you will read in 2018 and it will blow you away. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I couldn’t say no to a review copy. Let’s just say this book is fantastic and I am shocked that I am not seeing it on everyone’s book cases, their Instagram feeds and posting reviews on Goodreads. This book ladies and gentlemen was utterly fantastic.
Not only is the Second Cure unlike any book I have ever read, Morgan’s writing style was captivating, the characters were
Gaby Meares
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Morgan's vision of Australia in the grip of a pandemic is too close for comfort. As I read of religious zealots taking over Queensland, outlawing gay marriage, abortion, and just about every advance made in the last 100 years, I kept thinking - oh yeah - this could sooo easily happen.
JFK nailed it: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
But the characters in Morgan's novel do do something - and you just want to cheer!
This novel wo
Roderick Baxter
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Second Cure was brilliant. It was very thought provoking. What a combination of topics. Politics and plague. A thriller, but not in the usual way. What do you do when the victims of a plague don't want to be cured? A plague with positive effects. Not all effects are positive, though. This plague effects people on so many levels. Not the least of those being political and religious beliefs. The result, disastrous.
Margaret Morgan's characters are very believable. Jack Effenberg put
Frank Kusch
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great read. Thoroughly recommend.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
What’s not to love about The Second Cure. Margaret’s use of rich language and science makes this a book that hasn’t been written for readers on an elementary reading level. The characters are interesting, and the plot is tight-no plot holes. It has action, love, suspense, drama, tragedy, comedy, and lots of accurate science that this science geek loves. This book brings together science and social commentary that is currently happening right now across the globe and puts it together in a way tha ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. I highly recommend it.
Ed Saunders
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally one to write reviews, but I loved this novel from the minute I started reading. As a scientific and political junky, the story line really spoke to me. The characters were beautifully developed - real, 3-dimensional characters. I love good character development, and I found that the characters in this book were so easy to believe.

It was a thought provoking exploration of the dystopian future. Set in the near future, it felt like a seamless transition between the modern day and t
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want a book that will make you think, hook you in and beckon you to pick it up and compulsively read it until you are done - this is it. This speculative fiction novel is set in Australia, taking a look at what could happen if a pandemic that altered people's brains was allowed to spin out of control, particularly when the consequences of that infection are loved by some and despised by others. There are elements of religion, politics, culture, biology, music and relationships and they ar ...more
Jackie Mcmillan
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a bunch of writers, mostly female, riffing off the current political setting, and contemporary issues, like climate change, to create dystopian works where the horror comes from things that seem all too plausible. Morgan employs Australia’s ugly lurch to the far right, our idiot Government’s consistent denial of climate change, and their Handmaid’s Tale like interest in controlling women’s bodies, to great effect in The Second Cure. She also uses some intriguing science on parasitic &a ...more
Anne Looby
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly researched narrative blending politics, science, religion and our terrifying possible future. Morgan is a fabulous storyteller creating wonderful characters who are in turns intriguing, compelling and unforgettable. It is a book that has stayed with me - It is so frighteningly plausible in light of the current state of the world that I find my imagination merging the two realities. HIGHLY recommend this brilliant book!
Mark Phillips
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Second Cure by Australian author Margaret Morgan is a fine addition to Australian Speculative Fiction. It is the story of toxoplasmosis gondi transforming leading to the deaths of the worlds cats (big and small) and it jumping the species gap to humans. It is also a political thriller in which the Christian Right discriminate against those who catch the disease as one of the possible symptoms is loss of faith.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Torn about this one. By the end, or even part 2, I was fully into it. But the first half of the book dragged, felt like it was trying to do too much in one novel. If it was a library book I'd have stopped, but since it was a rare purchase I persisted and I'm glad in the end. I'd read another by this author but hope for more restraint/a heavier edit.
Danielle Nicholas
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read sci-fi (I'm not sure if this even is sci-fi), but I really loved this book. It was a great read. It had an enjoyable storyline, and interesting characters. I finished it over two days. Would definitely recommend.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting premise and I enjoyed reading it. I didn’t totally love the conclusion but overall a good book
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, couldn’t put it down. Smart, insightful political/speculative thriller with neuroscience, theology, love and romance, friendship, character, justice, food and pets.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this, it is a fantastic debut! Urban-scifi is how I would described it. Or a contemporary-scifi. Just something different with religious/political aspects.
Tara Watkins
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
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After practising in criminal law, Margaret Morgan became a professional writer, screenwriter and script editor in television for many well-regarded Australian drama series (including Water Rats, A Country Practice and GP). Margaret’s short fiction has been published in Meanjin and Going Down Swinging, and her works for stage (librettos for music theatre) have been performed at major Australian art ...more