Pandemic. Book Review

pandPANDEMIC by Scott Sigler
Hodder, p/b, 592pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Stewart Horn

The human race had a narrow escape in Sigler’s previous book Contagious, and now we have some of the same characters back to try to save the world again.

A nuclear explosion has wiped out the extra-terrestrial threat but there is one alien item left with the potential to wipe us all out. It’s somewhere on the bottom of Lake Michigan, and it’s not just the US navy looking for it.

I loved this book – I can’t think of when I’ve ever seen such carnage in a published novel. The action is relentless, the death toll staggering, and there is more gruesome detail than any ghouls could wish for. You definitely won’t get bored.

None of Sigler’s characters are safe: the heroes we expect to save the day are just as likely as any of the minor characters to end up cannibal fodder or turn to the dark side themselves. This makes for an unsettling reading experience. It’s almost a clich√© to have one good guy turn bad at the end, but our sympathies are played with several times during this book, and it’s all the more entertaining for it.

Sigler gleefully wipes out whole cities, whole nations even, raising the stakes until we wonder if the world can actually make it this time. He paints desperate situations and keeps us on the edge of our seats, having previously established that he is no slave to the rules about keeping the most sympathetic characters safe.

The prose is very business-like, getting the action across effectively, and occasionally explaining things, but never so much that the story slows down. Overall, a highly entertaining blockbuster of a novel. I hope and fully expect to see the whole Infected trilogy on screen in the near future – it would be so much fun.