The Eden Plague: Plague Wars Series, Book 0 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
When special operations veteran DJ Markis finds armed invaders in his home and it all goes sideways, he turns to his brothers in arms to fight back. On the run from the shadowy Company, soon he finds himself in a war for possession of a genetic engineering secret that threatens the stability of the world.
But who is behind it all - and are they even human? Beginning in the world of today, Eden Plague is a futuristic thriller that launches the Plague Wars/Stellar Conquest series, eventually spanning hundreds of years of ground and space warfare, from hand-to-hand combat and covert actions, to Space Marines and interstellar battles.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 59 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 04, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #196,596 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#660 in Technothrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,118 in Military Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,652 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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What got me, as I read further and further, was the "militia mentality" -- the conspiracy anti-government/big business attitude. Maybe VanDyke is right, but I have difficulty accepting the basic premise.
The story, as it goes, is that Daniel Markis, a war veteran who relies on drugs and alcohol to damp down on the physical and psychological wounds, discovers the someone has broken into his home. With the clichéd paranoia that is so ubiquitous in stories like this, Daniel (or DJ as he is known) arms himself with a gun conveniently at hand and goes to face the intruders.
What follows is an infestation of "good" from Elise that heals DJ's' physical and emotional ills. He rounds up old military buddies to rescue Elise (I know that I am leaving out a bunch here) who has been recaptured by the evil corporate machine. They escape to an abandoned military bunker hidden in the mountains of Virginia. There are still tons of guns and other ordnance, but these commando types have been transformed by the Eden virus. They now have a moral imperative not to kill. So they infect people instead with this virus. This, honestly, I take as a positive since so many of these "militia" type stories focus on weapons and aggression. VanDyke shows other writers that not every problem has to be centered around weapons.
What follows is their effect to infect the rest of the world while greedy business types (Jervis A. Jenkins IV) and government agencies (the NSA is hinted at) try to stop this altruistic insurgency.
Some how, just a tiny bit of the virus goes a long way. It cures Muscular Dystrophy, cancer, Alzheimer's and regrows lost limbs. Additionally, it seems that the three scientists DJ & Friends rescued from the corporate bad guys are able to brew up gallons of the virus in this underground bunker where they've found millions of dollars stashed away in gold and cash. Really?
The baddies (via Jenkins) want to keep it secret for their own nefarious purposes, the government--well that's never really clear--make your own assumptions.
The farther I read into the story, the more of the "America (& by extrapolation--the rest of the world) my way". It left me wondering(no matter how well-intentioned) who has the right to force any other group of people into a particular set of beliefs. There is the issue also of food. If the virus heals and requires huge ingestion of food, how are all these billions of now healthy people not going to eat themselves into famine? Now that people are more fertile, and as children add to this Methuselah-like population, what about overcrowding and pollution? VanDyke has not taken these issues into account in this fantasy.
Yes. Read this book. It is entertaining, despite the philosophical disconnect and embedded slippery slope fallacy. Sometimes, in order to enjoy a piece of writing, we just have to suspend disbelief.
With a professional, conceptual editor, this story could sell well for the author. VanDyke, takes a new twist on the negative that can arise from positive intent. He has taken care to remove more "cockroaches" (ubiquitous typos, cut & paste, and grammar errors) than most authors. Yet the book could use some work in character depth as well as follow through (the whys) on plot lines that both continue and end .Support of alternate storylines could yield greater depth.
The main characters were smart, well-meaning; likeable people, who then became push-overs to Daniel's leadership. When I imagine the possible concerns of thoughtful scientists, family men and women, and veterans, I think that more characters than Skull might have split off to follow their own vision, complicating the story later on. With the pushback against GMO foods in today's world, it seems unlikely that so little resistance to the plague's invasive modification of the human body/psyche would arise -- even for the best of reasons. A plot is often enriched by the diversity of action taken by the "good guys."
As a woman and an author, I thought VanDyke's female characters looked a lot like caring men. A woman's hand might flesh-out the female characters and appeal to more women readers.
I'm confused by a review that found religion unnecessary to the plot (though in his defense, the reviewer has read later books). Humans exhibit innumerable beliefs that affect their choices. People of faith may honor deity, religion, atheism, supernatural forces, myth, truth, science, good vs.evil, the unknown, love, etc., while non-spiritual people find other decision-making priorities to steer their lives. Diverse beliefs make for richer story.
Overall, I recommend this book as a well-paced, suspenseful and creative addition to books available on-line. I hope to review later books as I finish them. This author is worth another read!
Top reviews from other countries
Having said all that, this one wasn't for me.
The 'Eden Plague' is just mentioned as a kind of a MacGuffin - its there and the ensuing dystopia is kind of as a consequence of it, but it doesn't really explain how the Eden Plague came about (other than a very brief and not at all detailed intro at the front of the book), or how it works.
Society breaks down between those who have caught it and those who haven't, maybe not for the reason you might think. This isn't a 'zombie apocalypse' type story, but for me its too much dystopian and not enough scifi.
The hero of this book, the injured ex-marine in the product description, makes some really stupid decisions which anyone in their right mind - and especially someone with military training - wouldn't do, just so the author can dive off on some new pointless tangent and waste a few more pages of my time.
Others might enjoy it, but its not to my taste. Sorry, but I won't be buying the rest of the series.
The main premise, a virus that cured people both physically and mentally, was intriguing. The writing was generally good, with only a few typos and glitches. There were some flaws in the logic at times, I didn't really follow the explanation of the way the virus had developed and worked, but it was always very readable. It kept my interest up to the end.
Most importantly, although the prequel to what I assume is quite a lengthy series (I haven't read any more of the series yet), this story is a standalone book with a proper ending.
It's also different from other plague stories - well, up to now. I have the first trilogy, as well as the first two free books. I hope that I can read all twelve but I am not sure I can afford it. Anyway, I will enjoy what I have.
Very well written with only minor errors and that strange way American authors have by using 'off of', which isn't even consistent - certainly not good grammar. I am curious why authors add a comma before the 'and' in a list because a comma is for a pause, so why would a pause be needed in that context? However, it was fast-paced and detailed enough without being boring. Some important lessons, too.
The big question is will I be reading more books from the series? Despite enjoying both "The Eden Plague" and "Reaper's Run" I don't think that I will be reading more books from the series. For me the big ideas have been worked through and I am happy to leave the story at this point before things get boring. However, the quality of Vandyke's writing is decent and you may well feel otherwise.
The plot lies firmly in the "super-human" genre, though presents only a single trait and doesn't got to ridiculous extremes, preferring to focus on the peripheral consequences of such a situation, something it does very well and without becoming boring or "debate heavy".
Beyond here be slight spoilers - be warned!
My only two complaints would be towards the end of the book. Given that the trait is contagious - and apparently quite easily transferred between humans - the plans to spread the contagion seemed overly dramatic and obvious - inevitably drawing attention from the authorities. Knowing this was a risk, the protagonists could surely have come up with plans that allowed them to infect random people across the globe surreptitiously and then allow the contagion to spread naturally, as highly contagious infections do, without exposing themselves.
My second complaint was finding that the book was part of a series. It seems these days that no one is prepared to write single works but that everything must be part of some 10 book saga. In this case I felt this first book could have been a little longer and stood very well on its own without the epilogue and the endless extension into multiple volumes.
As usual, I really wanted to give 3.5 stars but given the choice between 3 or 4, it falls heavily towards 4, primarily because the author - rare in such books, I find - carefully considers the sociological and political implications of the plague rather than simply having the protagonists flying around and fighting crime in lycra. I haven't decided whether to buy the later volumes or not yet, as I feel they may spoil what was really a good stand-alone novel.