Review – Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

patient zeroI am a big fan of Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin YA series.  So I decided to pick up his adult zombie novel featuring Joe Ledger to see how they compare.

Joe is a Baltimore police officer and a former military man.  During a rough encounter with some terrorists, he kills a bad guy.  While taking the required time off for the justified kill, he is pulled in and recruited by a secret government agency (Department of Military Science – DMS) to help fight the same terrorist group.  He learns that they have created a zombie virus and his team has to do everything possible to stop it from destroying the world.

This is a great story that is well thought out.  One of the questions I always have is “WHY”?  Why was the virus created?  Maberry does a good job telling the story of both the terrorists who want to kill us and the greedy billionaire who wants to make money off of the catastrophe.

Joe is a strong lead and I’m looking forward to reading more about him and the team.  There’s a little romance and it works because the character’s reactions make sense.  A few twists and turns keep it interesting and ensure the reader doesn’t know exactly what is going to happen next.

Truth is, I really liked this novel but I have to admit that I prefer Rot and Ruin.  The teen stars of Rot and Ruin just seem to pull a little more emotion out of the reader.  Maybe it’s because they don’t yet have all the skills they need to fully take care of themselves.  Joe is a bad-ass so it’s harder to be scared for him.

There are a couple of minor writing tics that did make me pause and re-read (mostly because I was surprised to see them.)  The biggest was the use of same or similar words in back to back sentences.  “News story” in sentence one and “new story” in sentence two.  It’s minor things like this that disrupt the flow of reading for me.  I wish my brain would disregard but it won’t.  Does anyone else struggle with this?

4/5 stars and recommended for zombie fans!


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