PANDEMIC by Scott Sigler


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Yeah, yeah. Space zombies have taken over the world, courtesy of Sigler (Nocturnal, 2012, etc.) and his capable if derivative Infected series, which winds down with this volume.

Fans of the series will know that it started as a kind of police procedural that got increasingly supernatural and sci-fi–ish, a kind of Childhood’s End with oodles of mayhem. Sigler lays it on plenty thick here—among other things, the Navy is now blowing itself apart, half populated with the “infected” and half with swabbies still eligible for honorable discharge. And why the Navy? Because somewhere under Lake Michigan, something very strange is happening. Margaret Montoya, the tough and resourceful doctor who’s helped battle the alien virus, is back in action in a world full of unpretty pictures: “His own blood had baked flaky-dry on his skin. A softball-sized pustule on his left collarbone streamed black rot down his wide chest.” Eck. (And that’s not even to mention the severed penis that the dude is clutching, presumably his own.) It wouldn’t be a proper shoot’em-up without an assortment of Sgt. Rock types—Navy SEALs, Delta Force, top cops and ops, and so forth—with the usual gallows humor (“Your courage is immeasurable, Roger. If you don’t turn into a plant, drinks are on me”). Sigler excels at snappy dialogue, but the story itself is too familiar for anyone who grew up on a diet of The Omega Man and Aliens. Still, for those who can’t get enough of must-eat-brains yellow monster types with extremely bad attitudes, this is just the book.

Will the Earthlings prevail? Cue Count Floyd, the old SCTV creature-feature host: “Oooh, very scary, boys and girls.” Or maybe not. Competent enough but without many surprises.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-3074-0897-6
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2013


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