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The Variant Effect

(The Variant Effect)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  322 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The old furrier building in a rundown part of Metro was the perfect place to find a body, and Joe Borland knew they wouldn't have dragged him out of retirement to see it if something hadn't eaten its skin.

It's been twenty years since Borland battled the Variant Effect, and twenty since he let his partner get skinned alive.

Now both of them are ordered back into action to
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 14th 2010 by G. Wells Taylor
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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  322 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I read The Variant Effect as a web serial. I remember waiting for the next part to be published. It is an interesting, creepy and disgusting take on a zombie-like epidemic. The infected eat skin and there are a couple of gruesome scenes.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kept me interested

It was interesting enough that I will look at second book in series. I am a fan of anything virus, apocalyptic or zombie even if it is just ok
Nov 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
If you can get buy the bad ebook formatting and every 2 pages a reference to the main character's hernias, then you will like this book. The story is plausible and enjoyable. It's action moves you and gets your pulse racing. You want the hero's to survived and succeed in their mission.

However, if you are like me and like things to look like a book and not a run on sentence then the formatting will drive you crazy. The constant referrals to the main character's hernias become like nails on a
Katherine Tomlinson
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Skin-eaters are back and the city must call upon two men who hate each other to save them from the Variant Effect. Old-school horror done extremely well.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
So a while ago I picked up a book on my Kindle called The Variant Effect by G. Wells Taylor. It was, from its excerpt, an interesting twist on the Zombie genre and being a sucker for a yarn on the idea of the Hungry Undead, and that it was a freebe, I picked it up to read. Some free books on Amazon are quiet good, actually. A large portion of them are free to stir up new readership for a series and others are to get a new author a quick and decent sized readership.

With Taylor’s spin, we have a
This is my second foray into this author's works - I picked up "The Variant Effect" on a whim, wanting something unusual and quick and nasty. Taylor delivers yet again with our anti-hero Borland, a washed out, alcoholic, herniated dirty cop-turned-hero, whose claim to fame and heroic status is that he survived a nasty outbreak of the Variant Effect 'back in the day.' His survival, though, was not necessarily accomplished by anything other than that Borland is big, prone to violence and cranking ...more
Tasha Schmidt
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Based on the reviews, and the fact that it was being offered for free, I was honestly a little worried. It starts out kind of slow and mentions the main characters hernias more often than probably necessary. I actually almost put it down but stuck through it and I'm really glad I did.

The villains of the book (biters/skin eaters) are a nice change of pace. They embody elements of monsters we already know and love (like zombies) while still being unique to the author's
Gunnhildur Rúnarsdóttir
I like this book. I found the story interesting.

A drug that is supposed to cure everything from mild anxiety to Schizophrenia but ends up turning people into monsters.

I know some people thought that the mention of Borlands hernia was a bit to much but it did not bother me. Borland is supposed to be the grumpy old squad leader that has nothing left but his hernias and booze.

I liked Hyde and how he found an escape from feeling sorry for himself in online gaming where he got respect and not the
Ken Doggett
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love to read about dystopian societies, the more gruesome the better.
I didn't finish the book, because it's too gruesome for me (and I find books about dystopian societies depressing), but I gave it 4 stars because the writing is good, although the formatting isn't. No table of contents, and needs better chapter separation, although that wouldn't have mattered so much if I had liked the book. The characters, however, are well portrayed, but not too likeable as far as I read. I didn't mind the constant mention of one character's hernias, but with each mention of ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most original stories I've read in a long time. This takes the very real disorders of dermatophagia and dermatillomania to a whole new horrific level for the reader. Make no mistake: those conditions exist now in our time. Just imagine if a drug like Varion (and it's unintended consequences on those very real conditions) did exist? That would make for one very scary world to live in. I'm interested to read the next insallment in the series and I recommend this book to anyone ...more
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Interesting and original story. Sort of gruesome in places. I liked the new world, with everyone's vices/mental issues becoming amplified by what is basically prosac. That was an interesting twist. The world was well thought through, the writing wasn't bad. It was hard to decide if I liked the protagonist who is deeply flawed. (Please get his hernias fixed they were becoming distracting!).
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I'll admit that it took me a few chapters to read me engaged but after that, I was hooked. The world after the effect seems very plausible in our pill popping world. The action's a bit slow in coming but when it comes, it comes with a lot of excitment. Some predictable twists & turns with the "good guys" but a lot of scary moments in between. A fun read!!
Stephine Yoshikawa
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dark & Glorious. And makes you want to refuse every medication prescribed to you for the rest of your life. I, not so secretly, have a slight crush on Mr. Wells, and have read all of his works. If you pass this up, at least do yourself a favor and dive into When Graveyards Yawn; the entire Apocalypse Trilogy is AMAZING!!
Richard Valle
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Strangely fascinating book. The writing isn't great and there are some of the logic seems forced to get the setting the way the author wants it. This is really a variation on a zombie story, but the variation is a good one and it was compelling to read to see what happens.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I normally don't start a review by simply stating how much I loved the book or the characters in it - BUT I LOVED THIS BOOK AND THE CHARACTERS IN IT! Joe Boreland is my kind of Mike Hammer and he had my heart from the first mention of his hernias. Have a drink on me Joe. See you again when I can.
Pammy A
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was pretty good, although I actually didn't finish it. I had a hard time keeping my head into it but I think that is mainly because I was distracted by too many other good books I wanted to read! Finally just gave it up.
Nana Watson
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read

Fucking wow! Awesomeness, recommended to any and all. This free book a and sample the next in the series is a lot like the corner drug dealer shouting the first one's free!
Nev Thomas
Feb 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Very interesting concept, far too many hernia references. Seriously, I get it - his hernias bothered him. A lot. Take out 90% of said references and I'll up the rating to 3.5 stars.
Claire Richardson
Tolerable but not great. The main characters were not likeable with ruined an otherwise great storyline.
Abigail Noonan
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Oh, this was interesting
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. Quick read. I couldn't wait to read the next one in the series.
Drew Smith
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great read! Premise is kinda freaky, stayed away from making the obvious Z connection...I see tho how some may make a connection or comparison to Resident Evil...but so good!
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
A truly disgusting story. Really only so-so. I didn't particularly like any of the characters.
Mark Gunnell
Jan 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Thought the concept was good, but I just couldn't get into the book and how the author chose to present it.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi / military
This was surprisingly enjoyable. At the beginning I worried that it may be confusing, as there were lots of world basics that weren't explained, but the author wove them into the story quite well!
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm kind of stuck in the middle of this book right now, I needed a change of pace and it didn't hold my attention. I do plan on finishing it. Just don't know when...
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: utter-rubbish
Horrifically unreadable insult to the written word.
Allan Ashinoff
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Unique concept. But for me, too much friction between the primary characters. Every person was so tainted/damaged that I couldn't grow to care what happened to any of them.
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome. I really liked the Characters and the story was interesting too!
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The Variant Effect: MADHOUSE 3 - BURN by G. Wells Taylor is NOW AVAILABLE. Visit to purchase this $2.99 sequel to The Variant Effect: MADHOUSE 2 - Gas Light, The Variant Effect: MADHOUSE 1 - Ziploc City and 2012’s The Variant Effect: GREENMOURNING (The Variant Effect Series Book 2).

Download FREE updated editions of Taylor’s popular Horror titles: SKIN EATERS (The Variant

Other books in the series

The Variant Effect (4 books)
  • The Variant Effect: Painkiller
  • The Variant Effect: GreenMourning
  • The Variant Effect: Blood Angel
“Borland never watched much broadband anyway. Getting drunk and arguing with a blue screen made as much sense as yelling at the news. But hooking it up in the first place seemed like something that a normal person with responsibilities would do.” 2 likes
“Sophistry!” 0 likes
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