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The King of Plagues: A Joe Ledger Novel (Joe Ledger, 3) Paperback – March 29, 2011
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- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin (March 29, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312382502
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312382506
- Item Weight : 13.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.44 x 1.21 x 8.18 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #362,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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He's also coming up with some need Bond-like gadgets like the BAMS ("Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometer"). It's still not the size of a tricorder but it's getting there.
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
The Seven Kings led by the mysterious "Goddess" are hellbent on taking control of the financial wealth of the world and they are employing both modern and biochemical weapons to create a modern version of the biblical 10 Plagues of Egypt. Their fiendish plans incorporate psychological torture and coercion of everyday citizens, the creation of mindless obedient soldiers, and the destruction of tens of thousands of lives to create compliant and tractable governments. Old enemies and friends reappear as do new enemies and new friends--the trick is to discern which is which in this new full frontal attack that has spies in every level of power on every continent.
Joe has his own new friend, a beautiful white German Shepard named Ghost that will quickly steal your heart. Joe Ledger really grows in this novel, as a hero, as a person, and as a protagonist; indeed, he becomes a fully fleshed character in "The King Of Plagues" and not just the narrowly defined warrior we are used to. There are deadly assassins to be dealt with, traitors to muck up the pursuit, and even one character who smacks of supernaturalism.
This is indeed a great effort by Maberry for all Joe Ledger fans as well as any fan of full throttled non stop action thrillers. The pacing is breath taking, the mysteries challenging, and the action and thrills are completly satisfying. The characterizations are much more thorough and compelling this time around also. If you are a fan of this genre, do not miss this one.
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If you arrive here an established fan of the series, then I am delighted to report all is well in the World of the DMS - in the sense that this is another rip-roaring page turner of plausible bio-terrorism.
Mr Maberry has made some refinements to the ingredients that go into this novel - gone are the clunky psychological second guessings of the team Psychologist Dr Sanchez, and instead we find Joe Ledger more attuned to the stresses of his bizarre and dangerous life.
The emphasis on the villainy has also changed slightly - where in the previous 2 entries, the biochemistry has been fetishised and revelled in by the 'bad guys', here, it is merely a tool, and the main focus of the story shifts to the plausability of secret societies, and their potential influence on world events.
This shift of focus requires the DMS to approach their foes in a different way, which is good, because without fresh challenges, as enjoyable as the premise is, the series could run the risk of becoming formulaic.
Another interesting twist is the suggestion of an unexplainable, genuinely supernatural character in the book, who may return in the future to give another spin on the encounters of the DMS- after all, how does military science counter that which confounds the laws of science?
Maberry's prose and charecterisation are as strong as ever, but his real strength remains the wonderful ability to tell disparate elements of the story, dancing between timelines, drawing the threads together as the book reaches its finale and the timelines and characters converge. It is a very clever piece of storytelling, as every chapter finishes on a cliffhanger of its own, and the big picture of the story becomes clear to the reader in the same timeframe as Joe Ledger and the team put the pieces together for themselves.
This entry in the series strengthens its position as one of the best and most exciting in modern fiction. Recommended without reserve.
For those of you simply browsing this is the third book in the series. "The king of plagues" features Joe Ledger, a brilliant and funny lead. Now, what's he doing this time around? Joe is back to lead his team against another villain out to cause havoc. I don't want to reveal too much for fear of ruining the surprise for anyone so I won't explain any further than that.
I did lend this to a friend who had read the series too and they felt this was less gripping than the previous two but I disagree. The reason for this being, I felt the second book ended on a massive hook and so this book would explain a few things. The introduction of a couple of new characters and a new plot was also great and kept me on my toes. I can understand why some might feel this was the weakest of the three because it wasn't as action packed as the previous two so if this is what you loved the most you might be disappointed in that respect.
I felt that I was still engaged though and wanting to know more so for that reason I've rated this a four star. A sign of a good book to me is when you finish and are hoping the next one has already been written. I'm interested to see where Maberry will go from here with Joe and his team - A fantastic series in my opinion and well worth a read.
Bring on Joe Ledger 4 - "ASSASSIN'S CODE". So far seems to be scheduled for release late March 2011!!
Whilst it doesn't come close to hitting the heights of Patient Zero, this third DMS book is a definite improvement on The Dragon Factory. This is a more streamlined effort than its predecessor, and whilst its undoubtedly a work of fantastical fiction its doesn't veer so far into the realms of implausibility as The Dragon Factory did. Maberry also appears to have reigned in his most self-indulgent tendencies. Whilst his prose still sometimes strays into the realm of the overly-melodramatic it does so less frequently and he's scaled back on the cod-psychology and rambling internal monologues from Ledger (although they do still pepper the book and you still have to suffer the Modern Man/Cop/Warrior claptrap).
The previous two book's strong points, namely pacing and action, remain in place for this third outing. There are some great action set-pieces on offer here, especially an intense shootout at a Starbucks coffee shop. The only disappointment on the action front is the grand-finale, which feels somewhat rushed and rather anti-climatic, although thankfully there are no mythical creatures or scorpion dogs on display this time. This slightly weak ending does allow Maberry to leave some promising plot threads dangling for future DMS adventures to pick up, and the book's pacing as a whole is pretty good, with less flab than The Dragon Factory had. The author has retained his habit of disrupting the flow of current events with multiple flashbacks, or 'interludes' as he rather pretentiously calls them, but these are generally more relevant to the plot and less disruptive to the narrative than they were in The Dragon Factory.
What 'The King of Plagues' really lacks however, is a solid, compelling hook to the plot. Patient Zero had it (Zombies!) and even The Dragon Factory had the race against time factor of a threatened bio-weapon attack to keep you reading, but The King of Plagues doesn't have a similarly strong attention grabbing plot device. The real motives and ultimate inentions of the 'Seven Kings' are, admitedly for dramatic reasons, kept opaque and uncertain until comparatively late on. The reader is aware that the stakes are high, but not what the ultimate price of failure for Ledger and the DMS may be (although you can guess). The result is a plot that moves forward at high speed but without a real sense of direction. When the ultimate destination and the 'Kings' true plan is revealed it also feels rather anti-climatic. I greeted it with a shrug of 'is that it' rather than an excited 'wow' or 'I didn't see that coming'.
Similarly the true identities of certain parties, which are supposed to keep you guessing until they are revealed near the end to lend a twist to the tale, are blindingly obvious from early on. If these thin attempts at adding further mystery were intended to make up for the lack of a truly compelling plot then they don't come anywhere close to achieving that goal.
Despite these flaws however, I liked and enjoyed The King of Plagues. Action packed and full of great set-pieces it expands Ledger's world further, introduces us to some great new characters and is worthy, just, of its four stars. I just hope that next time Jonathan Maberry comes up with a truly compelling adventure for the DMS to tackle. I'd happily wait a bit longer for the next Joe Ledger novel if the results were up to Patient Zero-like standards.
Oh and please, no more cringe-making cameos from Bono. Ever.
It's not the best of the first 3 Joe Ledger books but still deserves the 4 stars that I have given it. The characters are as brilliantly OTT as ever, especially mysterious hard guy "Church" who seems to head up the DMS whilst nibbling on vanilla wafers. Top and Bunny are as ridiculously masculine and pumped up on testosterone as they've always been. In this instalment we get their female equivalent in the form of a Circe O'Tree, a good looking 30s web analyst who happens to be able to scream, aim and fire with the big guns!
All in all, total hokum. But total hokum that you can't help but enjoy. A great way to forget the troubles of the word and immerse yourself in a crazy, fast moving, hilarious and ofttimes moving piece of fiction. Can't wait for the next instalment!