Sci-fi Medical Thrillers? Sign. Me. Up!
I’m a mega fan of Richard Preston and Michael Crichton. I love all those creepy books and movies where a virus ends the world–and since our planet rests at such a desperately delicate equilibrium presently, an extinction level event might not be bad for Earth to set itself right. I’m ahead of myself though because you don’t know what Plague is about and you need to buy and read this book.
Doctors Sam Bower and Duncan Adams have become ensorcelled into an investigation of an epidemiological runaway train. Annihilation of the human race is closer than most civilians could possibly conceive and trying to outrun this plague could amount to nothing if the wrong people turn wrangling the pathogen into weaponizing it. Can a CDC Agent who is struggling for a break in the patriarchal ruled scientific community and a microbiologist struggling with his own professional identity weather the catastrophic events of Victor Methos’ pageturner the Plague?
Heroine Sam Bower finds herself torn between playing by the rules of what her governmental higher-ups dictate and her sacred oath as a doctor to do no harm. The facts are that this illness is tearing through the island of Hawaii and collateral damage isn’t just an ambiguous statistic; it’s a body count she is witnessing with her own eyes. This conflict is interfering with her future ambitions but she is willing to give up her career to stop this outbreak. And with the reluctant help of Duncan Adams she has to manage capability and culpability with proverbial hands-tied.
I really enjoyed the setup of the story, much like a screenplay the different stories start in separate locations and meet at the center. Readers see the plague’s origins, patient zero, and then the heroes as their specialties are introduced into the story. This is a quickly paced novel and as it gains steam everything falls into place damn well. I really love the storycrafting and narrative development because it encompasses a large cast of characters without becoming too focused in anyone place or anyone one person. The wealth of the plot sits soundly in the hands of the reader because anticipation prevents you from putting this book down.
The science here is science fiction for a reason, there is no purpose to jump on any point and debate the medical likelihood of events. Though socio-political discussions raised by Victor Methos should give one pause.
What does bare mention is that the story isn’t solely about this idea of an out of control viral strain because that happens daily throughout the world. The revelations are in regard to impending anthropological and philosophical implication of a catastrophic event. What about life does survive an epidemic? Is the destruction limited to a singular point–an individual–or is the victim a larger whole system. And the conversation to be had about what can be sacrificed can be debated only so long as humanity can persist. That is more or less the crux in Plague. The microhabitat that the plague evolves within only pertains to its host, but the collapse of society is on the survivors alone.
My favorite character is the mysterious Robert Greyjoy. I love characters that exist within the ambiguously gray portions of one’s moral compass. It is his point of view with which you can weigh the story to see where all the other characters falls, to better understand the motivations of Benjamin Cornell, Ralph Wilson, Duncan and Samantha. One might also use Greyjoy as a barometer of whether we, the readers, comprehend all at stake.
I have read the second book Pestilence but am yet to finish the series. This is definitely worth diving into because although there is no shallow end you are safe in assuming Victor Methos will not allow you to drown.
About Victor Methos:
Victor Methos is the bestselling author of over 50 novels and is nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award for best novel by the Mystery Writers of America. He attended law school at the University of Utah and has been both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, having conducted more than 100 trials ranging from homicides and death penalty cases, to defending the rights of Native American tribes to practice their religion freely, and fighting for the rights of the mentally and physically disabled.
Methos’ books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been #1 bestselling hits in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia and throughout the world. He currently splits his time between Utah and Las Vegas.
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