First, if you have not read Infected, you need to read it before you even read this review, the synopsis, or the quotes. Contagious is a sequel to Infected and even though Sigler tries to bring you up to date at the beginning, you really need to read Infected before Contagious to appreciate the continued story of Perry Dawsey and the alien invaders. Apparently Sigler is writing a trilogy so I can look forward to Pandemic later this year.
It could be said that action/adventure books combined with elements of science fiction are my guilty little pleasure. Sigler didn't disappoint me. Infected was one of my top books for last year so I've been looking forward to Contagious. I enjoyed Contagious very much and highly recommend it. It should be noted, however, that Sigler isn't the best writer in the world. This isn't a literary masterpiece and a careful reader will find a few technical mistakes, but it is among the best of it's kind. Very highly recommended. Rating: 5
Synopsis from cover:
Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.
Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight of endless horrors.
These three and their team have kept humanity in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile, other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of all.
Catapulting the reader into a world where humanity’s life span is measured in hours and the president’s finger hovers over the nuclear button, rising star Scott Sigler takes us on a breathtaking, hyper-adrenalized ride filled with terror and jaw-dropping action. Contagious is a truly grand work of suspense, science, and horror from a new master.
"Symptoms begin with itching and small rashes that grow into large welts, then finally triangular blue growths. The disease also seems to create extreme paranoia in its victims..." pg. 2
"Dawsey is the only known survivor. He had seven parasites, which he cut out of himself, removing the final one five weeks ago." pg. 4
"Hatchlings tried to build and activate a construct that we believe is either some kind of gateway or weapon." pg. 5
"They called themselves the Exterminators.
The boys had even come up with a unit insignia: a lightning bolt hitting an upside-down cockroach. They wore it on the right shoulder. Under it they added small black triangle patches for each combat mission, and decorated the triangle with a white X for each monster killed." pg. 12
"It wasn't an ambush. He had a feeling it was something worse.
Not a trap... a decoy." pg. 34
"As the saying went, if you don't like the weather in Wisconsin, just wait ten minutes. Dew had heard the same kinds of jokes about Michigan, Ohio and Indiana - and they were all true." pg. 63