Scott Sigler is a special, new kind of writer to join the publishing world; one might even call him an author of the twenty-first century. He wanted to bring his work to the people of the world, for free. He began on March, 2005, by podcasting his book Earthcore a bit at a time, with continuous updates. Earthcore was branded as “the world’s first podcast-only novel,” and Sigler started off with three listeners; at the end he had over ten thousand subscribers. He followed this with Ancestor, Infection, and The Rookie, and currently has over thirty thousands subscribers. And now, with a big name publisher, Sigler brings Infected to the people of the world in book form (a free version is also available on podcast).
In Infected, something is seriously wrong with the world. Something is making people crazy, crazy to the point where they are driven to kill others, their family, and then to horribly mutilate themselves, finally taking their own lives. The government is trying its best to keep this whole thing a secret, and at the same time trying to find out what’s making people do this and find a solution as fast as possible. CDC is working non-stop, the big problem is once they get to one of the bodies of these “special” people, the rate of decomposition is so rapid that they don’t have enough time to perform autopsies and fully examine the bodies before they are left with nothing more than a black murky puddle.
Sigler has done his research, giving the novel a classic Michael Crichton feel, going into the science and the biology as members of the CDC try to find out what sort of “infection” is making people kill others, and more importantly how contagious it is. While there is a lot of “head jumping” from various characters that can leave the reader a little disoriented, and the writing at times seems to need some editing, with the flow being disjointed; Sigler clearly has a unique voice in Infected that will only get better with successive books.
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Originally written on March 29th, 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.