Review – Plague by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard

hI received a galley of Plague from Netgalley and Belle Bridge Books in exchange for an honest review.

A terrorist is targeting the United States (specifically Atlanta).  His weapon isn’t a bomb, a gun or an airplane.  It’s Ebola.  Specifically a variety of Ebola that is airborne.  CDC doctors, the FBI, a corporate CEO and even Mossad are working to stop him before it’s too late.

This is a tough book for me to rate.  The high level story is very interesting and scary.  If terrorists really do get the ability to use germ warfare, we will be in a world of hurt.  But, there were certain things about the writing style that didn’t allow it to flow.  There were several sections with sentences that were too long and the result was too many commas in a section.  It wasn’t consistent throughout the book but when I hit one of these paragraphs, it was frustrating.

There were some plot issues that bothered me as well.  I won’t spoil them here but character motivations are important to me.  It is hard to believe certain actions are attributable to bright, successful people without more backstory.  I also dislike it when things happen to help the protagonist and they are too convenient and not realistic.

The author is a former meteorologist.  So, he used several cloud names including cumulonimbi which, again, just seemed liked overkill.  The word “cauliflowering” was used as a verb.  He also used the phrases “mushroom treatment” and “rock and a hard spot” which felt out-of-place and somewhat outdated.  None of these word usages were awful but they did keep me from enjoying it more.

I did enjoy the references to native trees and flowers in Atlanta – living in the south, I see most of these every day.  Plus, I lived in Oregon for several years and was excited to see Cannon Beach (one of my favorite places) referenced.

Overall, it was a good book but not great.  3/5 stars.

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