06/25 on the Bookshelf . . . “Velocity” & “Ancestor”

Velocity

After enjoying The 7th Victim and really enjoying Crush, the first of the Karen Vail novels by Alan Jacobson, I look forward to the third installment in Velocity, due out in October.  And for those wanting to check out BookBanter’s interview with Alan Jacobson, click here.

Ancestor

I’ve read two of Scott Sigler’s previous books, Infected and Contagious, and am interested in seeing what he does with Ancestor.

“Contagious” by Scott Sigler (Crown, 2008)

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Scott Sigler began his writing career by recording podcasts of his books and attracting the interest and support of listeners around the world. This eventually landed him a publishing contract. After the success of last year’s Infected, Sigler quickly followed up with the sequel Contagious.

It looks like the world is pretty much doomed. The aliens have invaded and they’re slowly taking over by infecting people on the genetic level with a virus that grows and takes over the body. Symptoms of the virus include indicators of the common cold, as well as the need to kill your fellow man for no apparent reason, and some scary looking blue triangles. Humanity’s hope rests on the shoulders of former football star Perry Dawsey who was actually infected, but under the skillful hands of Margaret Montoya, was brought back from psychopathic insanity, albeit agonizingly. Dawsey now has the ability to know where the aliens are mounting a new offensive, but he is a reckless killer who gives new meaning to the term loose cannon.

Sigler has a specific over the top style, holding nothing back. His characters are loud, large, overbearing, and not for those looking for finesse. But this world is a tough place, and you have to be tough to make it through. It’s all about balancing the costs: how much are human lives worth? Under the government of a new President, decisions have to be made, quickly, with little time to consider repercussions. It is, after all, the end of the world.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on March 16th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

“Infected” by Scott Sigler (Crown, 2008)

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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.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on March 29th, 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.