Patient Zero (A Joe Ledger Novel) MP3 CD – Unabridged, October 15, 2010
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"A Deadly Influence" by Mike Omer
From author Mike Omer comes the first in a new series full of the psychological twists and police procedural turns that his fans have come to know and love. | Learn more
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A dark, chilling and funny thriller about zombies. . . The book is as fun and funny as it is chilling and thrill-packed. Joe is a fantastic character, full of compassion, real vulnerabilities and a deliciously dark sense of humor. An immensely entertaining package. --Kirkus Reviews
[An] exciting thriller. . . Plenty of man-to-zombie combat, a team traitor and a doomsday scenario add up to a fast and furious read. --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
- Publisher : Blackstone Audio, Inc.; MP3CD Unabridged edition (October 15, 2010)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1441761764
- ISBN-13 : 978-1441761767
- Item Weight : 3.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Admittedly, I've never served in the military but I find it impossible to believe that special forces vets would defer leadership to a surly, snarky detective with no combat experience but is super good at martial arts.
Also, I've done martial arts and I had a hard time following the descriptions of fight scenes.
This book is a total waste of time and money. It's not even the best zombie book titled Patient Zero. Read the one LT Ryan instead. JT Sawyer's Emergence is way better too. They're both free. I really hope Amazon will give me my money back.
There are the characters. Joe Ledger is the main character and rather than being a super soldier, he comes along as a different flavor. Yes, he's "Warrior" but he's also a "Cop" so he doesn't have the freedom to act that some Special Ops characters tend to have. He's a "hero waiting to happen".
There is the team that he needs to lead: First Sergeant Bradley Sims, Second Lieutenant Oliver Brown, CPO Samuel Tyler, and Bunny Rabbit. Joe starts by offending all of them and then needs to shape them into a team who trust each other and work together.
His friend and "shrink" is Rudy Sanchez who gets swept up into the story and has his own role to play.
There's even a love interest in Major Grace Courtland however the author develops this slowly and let's Joe demonstrate his character and that he's a gentleman.
There are the "bad guys". Rather than picking a terrorist stereotype, the author comes up with a new concept: a corporate super-villain who uses terrorists who, in turn, use him. In addition, there are the moles planted by the villain in our government organizations.
The Bio-technology is plausible and well explained in the book.
"If you seek peace, prepare for war." ("Si vis pacem, para bellum")
The plot and the pace grew throughout the book and ended on a high note.
I'm looking forward to reading this author's next book.
I only found 1 typo in the Kindle edition of the book which I've reported to Amazon.
What's the threat that Ledger has been enlisted to fight against? One of the most wanted Islamic terrorists in the world, El Mujahid, has gotten his hands on a bioweapon that could make the entire human race go extinct. The bioweapon causes people to turn into zombies! In an unholy alliance, the terrorist group is being financed by Sebastian Gault, the owner of the most powerful and influential pharmaceutical company on the planet. El Mujahid is in it to strike an apocalyptic blow against America. Gault is in it to make trillions of dollars selling the cure for the zombie virus. Let's just say Mujahid and Gault don't exactly see eye to eye on the final endgame.
Some zombies have been infiltrated into the US in cold storage so its up to Joe and a hastily assembled strike team to get intel about the terrorists plans.
I know, aren't we about zombied out by now? Like the overinundation with vampires after Twilight or cheap mom sex after 50 Shades of Grey. The answer? Not quite. You're looking at the man who finally got around to reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy after decades of beating around the bush. I was completely horrified by the utter banality of it all and quit reading about 60% through the novel. I felt like I had wasted two months of my life. So I was ready for a light and entertaining easy read that wouldn't strain my brain cells.
At first I thought I wouldn't make it through this book because our hero Joe Ledger seemed like such a basic dudebro horndog. But he began to grow on me and matured a bit. One of the suprising things about this novel is that killing zombies and killing people actually takes a toll on the good guys. This isn't the point click and shoot morality of a videogame. People are scarred when they take lives. They have to deal with mental issues because they are facing the impossibility of people rising from the dead to eat them. I really liked Maberry's realistic take on it. I feel like even in shows like The Walking Dead, the cast quickly got over the new reality of zombies walking around.
The action in the book was done really well, even though Joe's team members were almost anonymous and hard to visualize. They just became names to me and never really developed their own personalities. The MAIN players were all written well though: the leader of the DMS, Gault, Mujahid, and another DMS squad leader, Grace. All these characters had their levels of mystery and really intrigued me.
The novel does get a bit wacky and reads like a cross between James Bond and World War Z. Sebastian Gault is the super villain with his limitless sums of money and secret lairs with all the science fiction tech. DMS has a super computer that can comb the world for any scrap of information the department needs. But it never gets really corny. I felt like Maberry just tipped his hat to those worlds.
I will definitely give the next book in the series a try.
Top reviews from other countries
Im not going to pretend that these are novels with much literary merit to them. They will not challenge you, you will not find life changing story arcs, or even many characters with any real dynamism. What you will find is pure story telling at it's finest and most outlandish, action that rips past you at the speed of light, sucks you in, and refuses to let go.
I really reccomend these, I dived into patient zero while looking for a good zombie book and I am glad I found this series. Daft, silly, and great fun.
The genius behind the biotech company teams up with Islamic terrorists to hatch a plot which is going to kill the United States of America.
In the meantime, Baltimore Detective Joe Ledger is recruited into the top secret unit, Department of Military Science, DMS, which is dealing with the threat. He is a super-hard policeman, although I had to laugh at part of his assessment. The head of the DMS is the mysterious Mr Church, who is answerable only to the president.
“Elapsed time from the slide locking back to completed kill is 0.031 seconds,” said Church. “Tell me why I want him for the DMS.”
Can you believe that anyone can react to an event and complete a move to kill somebody in three-hundredths of a second? The move itself would have taken over half a second.
There were a few more minor irritations.
“Sure, what do you want?” “My usual. Iced half-caf ristretto quad grande two pump raspberry two percent no whip light ice with caramel drizzle three-and-a-half-pump white mocha.” “Is any of that actually coffee?” “More or less.” “And you think I’m damaged.”
Is that necessary?
Counting Javad, our patient zero, we have a loss of life totaling one hundred and eighty-eight civilians and twenty-four DMS operatives. Two hundred and ten deaths as a result of one carrier.
I make that 212.
“LOL,” Bunny murmured.
Clearly didn’t laugh out loud if he was murmuring!
“I hate to break up this Dr. Phil moment but I kind have to go fight some zombies.”
Where does “like” come into it?
Those irritations aside, the tension in the story builds with a race against time to save humanity.
The middle section of the book became a bit predictable and boring for me, as it resembled a shoot-em-up computer game, but the last third was all action and compulsive reading, with lots of twists and turns.
It is exciting, and the ending is good.
I really don’t know what “normal” zombie stories are like, but I believe that this one would be different. I enjoyed the ride.
Ultimately if you want something trashy to fill a few hours, this is perfect. It's entertaining, quite straight forward, and a lot of fun. Reminds me some what of the Clive Cussler books in that sense - and it does a perfectly good job.
Patient Zero tells the story of the DMS, Department of Military Science, who take on a terrorist trying to create zombies as a bioweapon for an attack on America. I did not realise that this was the first in a series of books about the main character, so my initial expectation was that it would go in a more World War Z fashion, but I still really enjoyed it nonetheless. I do recommend it if you're looking for some simple action writing.
The recommendation reappeared after I bought Chris Farnsworth's extremely enjoyable Vampire/Espionage cross-over Blood Oath (highly recommended and definitely not a Twilight or Tru Blood cash-in). This time there were some readers reviews to go with the synopsis, and these suggested that contrary to appearances there was more to Patient Zero than a muscle-bound hero blowing away Zombie hordes. The fact that Nick Brett, whose reviews I generally trust, thought it a fun read made me think twice and so I took the plunge.
I am very glad I did, because Patient Zero is not at all the sort of book I was expecting. Even with the positive reviews I was still thinking it would be a mash-up of a Matthew Reilly novel, all frenetic but implausible action, and Romero's Living Dead movies. I pretty much dismissed reviewers reference to Michael Chrichton as overly excessive praise. It turns out that, whilst I still can't really see the similarities with Chrichton's work, Patient Zero is very far from being just action and zombies. It is a proper, adult thriller with a relatively complex plot, some decent characterisation (for the genre) and at least a stab at making the science behind the 'zombies' (or 'Walkers' as the book calls them) sound plausible.
There is plenty of action of course; some of the most intense and best written I have come across in a while. One seemingly last, desperate stand by the book's heroes was so tense that I literally felt impelled to keep turning the pages to find out how it ended. The story as a whole in fact, has a feel of constant forward momentum that keeps you gripped from start to finish, but avoids being a headlong rush of constant action that just becomes wearisome. There are plenty of quieter moments, allowing Maberry to give key characters a little more depth or provide some necessary exposition.
I've not read any of Maberry's previous novels so can't compare them to Patient Zero, but he's obviously a writer with some talent. Structure, descriptions and dialogue are all first rate and as I've said before he's a great writer of clear but ferocious action. He does go slightly OTT on the emotional analysis from time to time and as another reviewer has pointed out some of the cod-psychobabble he throws in just feels out of place, but these are minor quibbles.
There are also some significant holes in the plot he has come up with, with characters making decisions that simply defy logic if you think about them too much and conspiracies that are far too overly complex, but such is the book's momentum that these pass you by whilst you're reading it. Just don't think too hard about it afterwards.
The final act is also a little messy. After the bavura Alamo-style last-stand two thirds of the way through anything less was going to feel like a bit of an anticlimax, but the final series of events simply has too much going on, with parallel plot threads being tied up simultaneously and numerous threats to be taken care of. Although its never gets confusing its doesn't really flow either.
Its not enough to really detract from all the great stuff that has gone before however, and overall Patient Zero is more than deserving of four stars. If I didn't have a stack of other books to read I'd probably be ordering the next book in the series, The Dragon Factory , right now. As it is it is going straight to the top of my wishlist.