Saturday 09:11 A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured… 10:09 Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Compelled by grief and rage, Joe rejoins the DMS and within hours is attacked by a hit-team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak. Soon Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences begin tearing down the veils of deception to uncover a vast and powerful secret society using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt to destabilize world economies and profit from the resulting chaos. Millions will die unless Joe Ledger meets the this powerful new enemy on their own terms as he fights terror with terror.
JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-seller and Audible #1 bestseller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of WEIRD TALES Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scribe Awards, and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than thirty countries. He writes in several genres including thriller, horror, science fiction, epic fantasy, and mystery; and he writes for adults, middle grade, and young adult.
Jonathan is the creator, editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW Publishing that was adapted into a NETFLIX series starring Ian Somerhalder (LOST, VAMPIRE DIARIES).
His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; was named in Booklist’s Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, an American Library Association Top Pick, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; winner of several state Teen Book Awards including the Cricket, Nutmeg and MASL; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). BROKEN LANDS, the first of a new spin-off series, debuted in 2018 and was followed by LOST ROADS in fall 2020. ROT & RUIN is in development for film by ALCON ENTERTAINMENT and was adapted as a WEBTOON (a serialized comic formatted for cell phones), becoming their #1 horror comic.
His novels include the enormously popular Joe Ledger series from St. Martin’s Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel) and eleven other volumes, most recently RELENTLESS. His middle grade novel, THE NIGHTSIDERS BOOK 1: THE ORPHAN ARMY (Simon & Schuster) was named one the 100 Best Books for Children 2015. His standalone novels include MARS ONE, GLIMPSE, INK, GHOSTWALKERS (based on the DEADLANDS role-playing game), X-FILES ORIGINS: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, and THE WOLFMAN --winner of the Scribe Award for Best Movie Adaptation
His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN’S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008; as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, and its sequels, FALL OF NIGHT, DARK OF NIGHT, and STILL OF NIGHT.
His epic fantasy series, KAGEN THE DAMNED debuts in May 2022. And he just signed to co-author (with Weston Ochse) a new series of military science fiction novels that launches the SLEEPERS series. Jonathan will also be launching a new series of science fiction horror novels for the newly established Weird Tales Presents imprint of Blackstone Publishing.
He is also the editor of three THE X-FILES anthologies; the dark fantasy anthology series, OUT OF TUNE; SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens; and the anthologies ALIENS: BUG HUNT, NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD (with George Romero), JOE LEDGER UNSTOPPABLE (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt); two volumes of mysteries: ALTERNATE SHERLOCKS and THE GAME’S AFOOT (with Michael Ventrella); and ALIENS V PREDATOR: ULTIMATE PREY (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt). He is also the editor of DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, the official tribute to SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. His next anthology will be ALIENS VS PREDATOR: ULTIMATE PREY (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt), debuting in spring 2022.
Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary series, ZOMBIES: A Living History and TRUE MONSTERS. And he was participated in the commentary track for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED.
His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPED
This book was a bit slow in the beginning, but I didn’t quit. By persevering, l was able to finally get to the “good.”
Joe Ledger of the Department of Military Science (DMS), is in England, taking a break, when an important hospital blows up. Thousands of people dies, but no one knows who did it.
An interesting, anonymous phone call, has him reporting back to work. The unknown criminals soon becomes known as The Seven Kings. It is definitely their mission to spread misinformation, fear and violence.
Their terrorist activities are out of control and need to be stopped by Joe and his Echo Team.. and his dog named Ghost.
(What happened to his cat?)
Surrounded by a network of fanatics and fearful people who are threatened, intimidated and coerced, (spies are everywhere), Joe isn’t sure about who to trust.
Will the world continue to be dangerous? You’ll have to read the book to know. 🕵🏼♀️
This was a horrifying experience, but Joe Ledger, the most macho man I have ever read about outside of a shifter book, is the American Special Forces hero on steroids, dealing with a hiper-terrorist plots carried out by most evilest of evil extreme terrorists! And this description isn't even adequate...
I get a little more fond of Joe with every book. I feel like he's kind of a Mary Sue, or whatever the male equivalent is. You know, no one can beat him, there's no situation he can't handle, he always crushes his enemies, but whatever! The stories are rousing tales filled with action, intrigue, fighting, espionage, and snarkery. Much can be forgiven a snarky man, in my book! This is the third book in the series, and like the others, it builds on reality. The evil that is perpetrated by the villains is, unnervingly, based on evil that is either already possible or is in development by governments right now. Maberry takes these factoids and builds a plausible, entertaining structure with them.
***Spoiler*** I believe that Circe will eventually be Joe's new love interest. I just think there is something fitting about Church ending up as Joe's father-in-law! :) Highly recommended!
The King of Plagues is the third book in the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry. A secret organization calling themselves the Seven Kings is weaponizing modern versions of the ten plagues of Egypt to sow unrest and destabilize the world's economies in an attempt to profit from the chaos. It is up to Joe Ledger and the DMS to unravel the evil plan before millions die.
Overall, The King of Plagues is a slower yet fairly action packed entry into the Joe Ledger series. It was interesting to see bad guys from Patient Zero brought back to be this book's super villains. We get a lot of their point of view this time around, which is part of what slows the pacing down some. Also different is the story focuses entirely on germ warfare and bio terrorism, leaving out the fantastical elements of the first two novels. By keeping the story more real world and based on technology we have today, combined with the fact that we're in the midst of a highly virulent pandemic, events felt incredibly plausible and in this manner heightened the terror factor more than the previous books.
Luckily we know Joe will save the day. Joe is as bad ass as ever and I loved the additions to his team. While still sad about Grace, it was nice to get to know Cersi, a new scientist on the team. Meeting Aunt Sallie was everything I never expected it to be - she's pure awesome of a different sort. Ghost is easily the best DMS agent has, so loyal and fierce. Joe would not have done so well without Ghost watching his back. Church is as mysterious as ever even as we learn something knew about his background. What I really appreciated is that Joe is able to make peace with his decision to stay with the DMS and keep walking in the darkness to protect the light.
In the end, while Echo Team saves the day, plenty of dangling threads are left open leaving Maberry with a lot of options for where he wants to take his story next. I doubt this the last we've seen of the Kings or Nicodemus.
What an awesome read! And to that point what an awesome year of reading. I just love goodreads and all the friends I’ve connected with. A big assist to those friends for all the authors and books they have turned me onto. I hope I didn’t jinx myself with regard to this awesome year of reading but I tend to know what I’m going to like, it seems it’s always been that way with many things including music. I can briefly look at a cover read the jacket and be good to go. So this is my fourth Joe Ledger book. I am a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry and read the fifth one in the series first. I was hooked as soon as I started Extinction Machine (5th in the series) and decided that I needed to read them in order. This is the third in the installment and I think it’s a huge plus to read the second prior to this one as this one feeds off of that one. The second one introduced us to two of the main characters here Sebastian Gault and his best friend and aide “Toys”. In the second book they came close to destroying the world with a deadly plague that got out of control. Well they survived that mess and soon are drawn in by Gault’s previous lover who calls herself the Goddess. She runs an organization called the Seven Kings who disrupt the world order with their plans and profit immensely from the ensuing chaos via stock market manipulation and the like. The idea of secret societies is not knew and the Illuminati and The Trilateral Commission are mentioned here as well. In 1982 when I was at university one of my profs mentioned the trilateral commission and stated they were a group of 13 individuals who controlled 90% of the worlds stock markets. He said they met every seven years in Japan and sat at a round table and manipulated the markets for their profit – creating and profiting from intentionally planned recessions and downturns. He pitched all this as fact and we all bought it. Lmao. In this book the Seven Kings are at war with the Inner Circle which is another American secret society. The Kings lost their biological plague guy to death and the Goddess replaces that guy with Gault. I have to admit that when I chose this book to read I looked at it and thought …. ah too thick. I looked at the font and said too small and yet I knew I needed a change of pace read and started in. Its 435 pages long and I read it in four sittings. It was so fast paced so much fun and as one who believes in secret societies and world manipulation by the wealthy so buyable. Maberry sells his underlying suspicions in awesome fashion. He gets into history, including the bible. There is a page that talks about Judas not actually being a traitor and he quotes the bible to back this up. So cool. He feeds off the bible for the plague of Egypt which claimed everyone’s first born. The 7 Kings break into one of the old tombs and revive that plague sicking it on the Inner Circle’s first born. It was just so awesome in how Maberry sells it. There are all kinds of evil plans by the Kings and their lead henchman is just a wicked twisted piece of work. His showdown with Ledger is epic. So Ledger works for the Department of Military Science who has a computer that fishes the net for info and actually pieces coming terrorists plots and the like together. Think its not real? Well read my review of the Extinction Machine where I mention such a computer experience when the department of Homeland Security helped me out on a case I was working on. Sadly I think I can go on and one with all the fun details with regard to this series and specifically this book which is my favorite so far. If you are like me and read horror and twisted thrillers for the most part I think you need a break from that every now and then. Ledger is one of those getaway series for me as is the Orphan X novels. I suggest this series and this book for all readers. They are well written, well researched and just so much fun. An easy five stars. Sadly though I think my eyes have scouted something truly creepy in my tbr library. My dark side is calling out again………………. As always to be continued 😊
Bubblegum for the mind, but vitamin-fortified. This is a very good one in the series, especially if you want to know stuff like who was really behind 9/11. These books can be read out of order but it probably helps to follow the sequence. I appreciate them mainly for the smart-alecky humor, but there's also interesting politics, philosophy, and whatnot. And of course much fisticuffs and blowing up of things. The narrator is perfect.
Because 'The King of Plagues', book 3 in the Joe Ledger series, is a silly but bad-ass comic-book James Bondish black-ops thriller, and every book in the series so far has involved germ-warfare and lab-designed chimera apocalypses of sorts, I suppose I should be sheepish and defensive that I like the novels. However, from my GR bio:
My ratings are about my feelings as well as writing merit. I don't judge writing by whether all the commas are in the right place, or how many literary allusions are in the plot. I can & will rate a bad potboiler five stars if I stay up all night to finish it. For most genre novels my ratings have more to do with entertainment value first, plot consistency second, literary value third. For literary novels, I reverse that order. Non-fiction books I judge by their architecture, writing, & facts.
Most books of fiction have plot holes one can drive a truck through. If I didn't emphasize the emotion over logic, my reviews would be excessively curmudgeon. I choose to ignore plot deficits if the writing is superb. It helps that I enjoy low culture very much.
This is potboiler trash of the highest quality.
Bad guys from the first book have returned with new vigor and enthusiasm, along with evil new friends, all of whom are motivated by strong lusts for power and wealth. All of these depraved villains are psychopaths and they not only don't care who dies, but it gives them a sexual thrill, especially if anyone innocent is in harms way. It is also possible a demon is involved, but only time will tell. Whatever. (If, gentle reader, a nuanced literary read of great depths and spectacular wordplay is what you are seeking, this isn't it.)
Thankfully, the guardians of America and the world from the Department of Military Sciences are quickly on it.
I recommend reading this series in order, beginning with Patient Zero
Well Joe is back kicking butt and taking names. In this third addition almost the whole team is back but right in the beginning they take a hard hit and a hard loss. Now the new terrorist group is making it personal and Joe is their target, there is also a leek within his trusted group which puts them in high gear to uncover the the traitor. An elusive terrorist group who call themselves The Seven Kings use their knowledge of the upcoming chaos they will cause to make money on various fronts as wars and catastrophes impact the world markets. Ruled over by "The Goddess" there are seven members of the cabal each with an adviser who acts as their "conscience." It turns out that they have a vacancy and are in need of a new King of Plagues. I always forget how much I like this series and the fantastic characters until I start the next book. In this third adventure Joe has a new sidekick, an amazingly well trained dog, who for me ranks right up there with the other heros of the DMS. Looking forward to my next Joe adventure.
Having listened to the first three installments of the Joe Ledger series, The King of Plagues included, it's safe to say that I'll be a devout follower of Jonathan Maberry's hero for the foreseeable future (particularly since I've already downloaded the rest of these books and have book #10 on pre-order for its late-October release). But having also done a minor bit of binge listening and working through these first three books in fairly quick succession (for me, anyway), I'm not entirely sure what else I have to add beyond what I have already said in my reviews for Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory.
Maberry is a reliable author to turn toward, and the bulk of his work that I've read has left me satisfied. His Rot & Ruin series is a superb run of Young Adult post-apocalyptic zombie novels (a few of which also feature Joe Ledger, naturally), and his latest, Glimpse, was an early favorite of my 2018 reads. His Ledger books follow a formulaic structure, as series books typically do, but they've proven to be immediately engaging. I like Ledger and his tough, smart-ass, but self-aware attitude, and Maberry has surrounded him with a great cast of supporting players and super-villainous baddies who you just cannot wait to see their asses kicked and/or killed.
The King of Plagues introduces us to a secret society of ultra-wealthy global elites, the 1% of the 1%, who control literally every single thing. They are the Seven Kings, and through their network of assassins, drug cartels, legitimate industries, terror cells, street gangs, government agencies, etc., they covertly run the world, destabilizing economies and nations for their own gains and pleasures. For the Goddess they serve, this is not enough, and so Sebastian Gault (a returning villain readers will remember as being responsible for the zombie outbreak in Patient Zero) is recruited as their King of Plagues, with the goal of unleashing the ten Biblical plagues upon mankind in an act of global Armageddon. Joe Ledger, on sabbatical from the DMS, is called back into action to face what is easily the greatest threat he's faced thus far.
One thing that surprised me is the somewhat slower, more methodical pace of The King of Plagues in comparison to the prior two entries. Given this book's focus on germ warfare and biological terrorism, Maberry is forced to be a bit more restrained in the gunplay. While there are still plenty of great big giant action scenes, there are also quieter, more dramatic plays on turmoil. It is, after all, a little too reckless to get into a gunfight while wearing a hazmat suit and locked in a room surrounded by vials of ebola and contaminated air.
Restraining the violence is a good thing sometimes, and such moments allow Maberry to fully capitalize on the emotional horrors and physical trauma of murder by way of viral attacks, and the sense of powerlessness in the face of invisible microbial terrors. Other aspects of The King of Plagues are equally restrained, giving the book a bit more of a grounded in reality feel. The Seven Kings aspect feels slightly comic-bookish and grandiose, but it's also hard to discount them given real world machinations and the influence of the ultra-wealthy on systems of governance and law. What cannot be discounted, though, is the severely human antagonists at the heart of Plagues. In fact, there's nary a zombie or genetically engineered berserker to be found. The horrors here are entirely human and natural, even if already highly deadly diseases have been given an extra bit of fictional oomph. For a series that has been populated with scientifically plausible-enough monsters, it's notable that Maberry bypasses that particular facet in favor of viruses and plagues, exhibiting the elasticity of this series and allowing the author and his characters to stretch their legs into some deeper and more diabolical arenas.
My only real complaint comes with a dangling loose end that came at the finale of the prior entry, The Dragon Factory. At that book's close, we saw Ledger on the hunt for an assassin that had previously escaped his crosshairs. It's an element that is all but abandoned here, as Maberry picks up the story sometime following Ledger's pursuit and his acquisition of an awesome white German Shepherd named Ghost. Apparently Ledger's hunt and Ghost's introduction are told in a short story, available separately naturally, which frankly irks me a bit. It's a bit jarring to have Ledger all of a sudden in the company of a killer attack dog, and denied the pay-off of The Dragon Factory's most pressing story thread.
This small issue aside, The King of Plagues is certainly a heck of a lot of fun. Ray Porter continues to impress, taking his rightful place as The King of Narrators as he exhibits a knack for various accents as Ledger's search for the Seven Kings takes him overseas to England and Scotland. It was fun listening to Porter adopt a Scotsman's brogue for some pertinent scenes, and his portrayal of the inmate Nicodemus allowed him to exhibit even further range in one particularly creepy scene.
Now that I've worked my way through the opening trio of this long-running series, I will be taking a small break from Joe Ledger's adventures before I get burned out. But you can be damned sure I'll be back for more soon!
This is a horrible book. I don't know why I'm reading this.
Now that I've finished it I guess I need to justify that statement.
The first two hundred pages or so is spent setting up the action that will happen in the last two hundred pages or so. When he finally hits the second half the action is non-stop and pretty satisfying. I have to confess that I was glued to the second half of the book once things started to happen. An entire book of this would probably warrant at a 4 star rating from me. Getting to the action felt like too much of a chore.
The first part of the book covers three different timelines. The present, with Joe Ledger, and then two other timelines that start months earlier and cover events that Joe is not aware of that eventually will bring our bad guys and other major characters into the present day events Joe is experiencing. I found this skipping back and forth pretty annoying. I know that Maberry was just setting the stage for the action of the latter half of the story and trying to build some feeling of how ominous the bad guys plans were but it was just too contrived for me. Back and forth, back and forth. Just tell the story linearly.
I often cringe when I see that an author has pulled in characters from the real world. It rarely works out satisfactorily in my experience. There's a character who's obviously meant to be Osama bin Laden. Maberry never out and out names him but there are so many clues that you start feel uncomfortable at all the hints and wink wink nudge nudges. It didn't help to be reading this a month after bin Laden's been killed by Seal Team 6 and that we now know how he spent the last years of his life and that it probably wasn't being engaged in money making schemes with the primary goal of reaping billions in profit out of the misery that would be caused. Also it's a new book, published in March 2011, and the presence of Prince William (window dressing for the action's climax, note that he's not really in the book, just mentioned as window dressing to indicate how important a big social event is) without mentioning his girlfriend and now wife Kate just falls flat and feels silly.
Finally, I am not fond of books that have part of the story in the first person (Joe Ledger) and major parts of it in the third person. Is Joe telling the story here or what? Some of the other things he couldn't possibly know, so I guess he's not. Then who is, and why is Joe's stuff in the first person? I'll never know.
This story-line is not as action-packed as the previous books in the series, but we get a little more information; which I love. When we get to the action, it is no-holds-barred and bloody. This is just a fun series and this book does not disappoint.
Joe Ledger fights more than just your common, everyday criminal. He fought zombies in Patient Zero. A former cop, he is now a member of the elite DMS (Department of Military Science). Villains you thought died in Patient Zero are back to reek havoc. There is a shadow organization called the Seven Kings that has infiltrated just about every part of society all the way to the top. And they are duplicating biblical events, metaphorically, to fulfill their goals. By threatening family and loved ones, they can get innocent people to do their bidding. Santoro is the knife-wielding assassin who truly loves his work and loves the “Goddess” who is at the head of the Seven Kings. From London to Canada to a cruise liner off the coast of South America, Joe and his team, with the mysterious Church at the helm, are at a loss to figure the Seven Kings’ next move. Toss in the Inner Circle of the Skull and Bones and you aren’t sure if the world can survive. The author has given Joe his version of Dexter’s “dark passenger” which he calls the “warrior.” Joe can switch from cop to warrior in the blink of an eye. This is a fast-paced thriller with a twist at the end which might give us another villain for the next Joe Ledger novel. If you haven’t discovered Joe Ledger yet, it isn’t too late to start. Joe is Jack Reacher and Repairman Jack rolled into one. Doesn’t get any better than that!
If you want some good cover to cover non-stop action the this is a series for you to read. Great plot and characters. The action is very well written and believable. Great series to just lose yourself in and enjoy. Very recommended
Wow, this is such a good series. I love how fast-paced these books are. Despite the extremely fast pace, there's also character development and exploration. Joe left the DMS after tragic circumstances he couldn't deal with. I honestly don't blame him. I don't understand how his adrenal glands don't just shut down because these books are non-stop and they take place in what I would consider real time. He was just drifting, but Mr. Church needs him back. The world needs him. It seems as though the bad guys just keep getting worse. Now there's a matermind who is enacting the ten plagues of Egypt. Joe and Team Echo needs to find them and shut them down, because a lot of people are going to die otherwise.
These books take place on a time clock, and the reader feels the tension as the hours and minutes count down. The stakes get higher with each book. It's surprising that the culprits are so willing to murder so many people, and when you find out why, it's always compelling. Lots of surprises and some really cool new characters get introduced. There are also some really mind-blowing twists that I didn't see coming. I did predict one huge revelation, but it was closer to the end of the book. I love seeing old favorite characters pop up as well. There's always a lot of risk and these books have quite a body count. If you have fears of contagion and bioterrorism, this book will trigger you for sure.
I won't be a broken record, but man this series is a must read for me. Pick up a Joe Ledger book if you want a book that will keep your pulse pounding.
Good action/thriller story with a conspiracy theory angle.
Not sure how I feel about the narration......I read the first two in print and enjoyed them. There was more of snarky vibe for Ledger than in my own head when I read the previous books. Might go back to print for the next installment.
Another great book in Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger Series. This one is book #3 and I totally enjoyed it. I was not sure if I liked the angel Maberry took at first, but the book won me over about a quarter of the way through it. In this one we see a continued attempt at the war on terrorists from Joe and his DMS team. We get introduced to a couple of new faces in this one, Circe who is a doctor and Ghost who is Joe's secret agent dog! I loved them both.
You can't help but like the whole echo team and the DMS. The characters are so alive and so believable. The plot and twists are amazing. I could read the Joe ledger series many times over and never tire of what I was reading. I love the action and excitement that Maberry packs into this installment.
In this one Maberry focused on the 10 plagues of Egypt that can be read about in Exodus. Very interesting plot to the story. And playing the roles of our villains are is a would be Goddess and 7 would be kings, one of them being the King of plagues. Joe and the DMS must stop these new terrorists from wreaking havoc all over the world. A lot of action and excitement in this one and I loved every minute of it.
The characters are at their best I think in this installment. I love them all and it is hard to pick favorites along with Joe, because he will always be my favorite. A lot of new villains to love to hate, along with a couple that we are already familiar with, Gault and Toys.
If you love Jonathan Maberry, then this series is a must read for any fan of his work. I look forward to the next installment, Assassin's Code
I loved the Pine Deep Trilogy, Dragon Factory, and Patient Zero. But this book was very disappointing to me -- 2 stars, 2 1/2 stars only because it's Jonathan Maberry. (which may explain what I think is inflated 4.15 star rating for this book).
The writing seemed rushed, almost breathless at times. And certain things that bothered me a little in the other Joe Ledger novels seemed to bother me more. For example, how many times can Rudy Sanchez softly breathe "Dios Mios." And the over-the-top military machismo.... how many special op maneuvers can one GSD know -- bomb sniffer, cadaver dog, protection, and watch dog? Really? As to the big reveal regarding Dr. O'Tree, I'm not astute when it comes to plot detection but even I found it to be rather rote.
But the BIGGEST distraction for me was the constant name-dropping. Every page had the name of a celebrity, politician, even british royals. I read fiction to get away, not to be reminded of the crappy celebrity worship that surrounds us everywhere we look. The epilogue has a guest-appearance by Bono (and no, I am not making this up).
And I, too, think the Patriot Act is crap BUT the preachiness at the end of the book regarding safe-guarding our civil liberties in the face of terrorism was off-putting. This diatribe made no sense and seemed out of nature for Capt. Joe, who previously told one of the bad guys that the "Patriot Act was going to be shoved up his ass."
I have to be honest, after reading Jonathan Maberry's earlier books in the series (the fantastic Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory) I was a little disappointed with this book. It picks up right where the Dragon Factory left off, with Joe Ledger burned out and recuperating in London. When a massive terrorist attack happens, his boss, Mr Church, brings him back to active duty in an attempt to find out who is responsible.
In many respects, this is a fairly solid thriller. As with his other books, the action scenes are beautifully executed and very well written. I did have a few problems with it, however.
First off, I thought the pacing was off in a few places. There are a lot of flashbacks that show what's been going on with the bad guys and building the back story. Unfortunately this slows the plot down and for the first half of the book, the protagonist doesn't really get up to much.
Second, the other books in the series had a pseudo science / supernatural element (Zombies in the first book, genetically engineered animal hybrids in the second). An airborne strain of ebola is fairly pedestrian compared to that. There are some hints at a wider supernatural storyline, but it doesn't make a great deal of sense with regards to this book and with any luck is in there to set up the next in the series.
Don't get me wrong, its still a very entertaining book. It just falls a little short of the high standards set by Joe Ledgers previous outings
Awesome entertaining read. Not as good as the sheer hair-raising chills, blood-pumping thrills and breathless suspense of Patient Zero, but way better than the previous one, The Dragon Factory. Maberry improved himself in this one with a much more organized storytelling and structured plot development. Not to mention the amazing complex character developments all around from our heroes to villains to all the supporting characters really made this book. Specially the very welcome return of couple of central players from the 1st book created a fluid continuity in the series. The complicated relationship between those two characters, the morality plays and the increasing fallout that pushed the story from one angle to another was, to me, the most interesting part of the book. I'd go so far as to say that this one is very much a character driven thriller. All the other characters remain brilliant as well, including and most of all our hero Joe Ledger, whose perspectives and inner monologs are always greatly enjoyable and fun to read. Seriously, he'd become one of my favorite fictitious heroes of post-9/11 dark espionage world. And unlike the first two books, there were some genuine laugh-out-loud funny moments here regarding Ledger. All in all, the main story was intriguing and exciting, the brisk pacing was feverishly excellent, the characterizations were near perfect and the writing quality of Maberry was as good as ever. Highly recommended as a quick fun thrillride!
Despite the events of The Dragon Factory, Joe Ledger returns for a different kind of mission. There's a huge terrorist attack in London and Ledger and the DMS are on sight to investigate. Soon they realise this is only the beginning as the mysterious Seven Kings plan to recreate the biblical plagues.
This is another great book where nothing is really as it seems. Ledger and the gang are fighting an invisible enemy whose plans are virtually impossible to work out. Sebastian Gault and Toys from Patient Zero are part of the Seven Kings, though they are not the same as they were before.
It's action packed with a long list of action scenes couples brilliantly with the development of Ledger coping with all the horrors and the loss of Grace. He does have a great new dog called Ghost who is a wonderful edition to the team. Plus there's all sorts of new characters including the enigmatic Circe and lots of celebrity cameos including a speaking role for U2's Bono.
Once again Maberry has produced an exciting book which is action-packed, physiological and political. It's breath-taking!
What can I say that hasn't already been said about this book? Nothing much. It lives up to everything good you have heard about it! In more than fifty different ways! Mr. Maberry has a masterful knack of crafting the Joe Ledger series! The pages come to life and you feel the tension around as you read the book. The icy coolness of Mr. Church surrounds you as you read. Rudy lulls you in to the calm cool collectedness he has. Mr. Maberry even found a way to make my heart sink for poor Toys. The addition of Circe and Ghost (the best companion I can think of to a great man such as Joe)gives great depth to Joe's story. By far this is possibly my favorite book of the series so far. Reading this series plays out like a movie inside the gray matter of your skull. Now I cannot wait for a new short story and the next book. In this series I have found a true greatness and love for reading. I swore I would never read a book series, but this is the book series that broke that vow. I wish I could thank Mr. Maberry personally for the books he writes and the new found love for reading I have gained from reading his books.
The Joe Ledger novels are like reading a diehard move that slammed head on into a episode of the x-files.Joe Ledger is the man who gets shit done. a no nonsense hero with bouts of smartass reply's to his boss the mysterious "church". Joe works for the DMS dept of military science a Privately funded government watch dog group that places a well aimed boot up the backside of everyone from mad scientists bent on "cleansing" the earthto supper secret groups that want to unleash plagues that would make Ebola look like a common cold. Joe and his team have it covered. I have read the first two, Joe Ledger Novels(patent zero) and(the dragon factory) and found Jonathan Maberry's writing engrossing he has a way of making the reader smell the gun power and hear the bones of a bad guy break, you get mentally in to the action it is like the worlds most badass action film playing in your sweet little noggin. the charters are likable and the pace is fast. if you like classic bad vs good scenarios and fun enjoyable writing then rack open the king of plagues
Of course Maberry has played his common cards in this as well. Misdirection, action, betrayal, all are there. But this time around it felt much more shocking at points. So an A+ for him. Hoping for the greatness in next books too. :)