Crown Publishing: 1/21/2014
Hardcover, 592 pages
And now in Pandemic, the entire human race balances on the razor’s edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares.
To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero—a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she’s a monster—a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil.
All Margaret knows is that she’s broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands. Guilt and nightmares have turned her into a shut-in, too mired in self-hatred even to salvage her marriage, let alone be the warrior she once was.
But she is about to be called into action again. Because before the murderous intelligence was destroyed, it launched one last payload — a soda can–sized container filled with deadly microorganisms that make humans feed upon their own kind.
That harmless-looking container has languished a thousand feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.
Pandemic by Scott Sigler is the third and final book in his Infected trilogy. This is a satisfying, highly recommended conclusion to the science fiction/horror series started in Infected and Contagious.
After the first two books I wasn't sure exactly what direction Sigler could possibly take to bring this series to a conclusion. Although Sigler has a prologue to summarize the story so far for readers it doesn't really do justice to everything we've all been through to reach this point. I never would have guessed the events in Pandemic. If you've read the first two you know you will be reading this one. If you haven't read the first two, then you'll need to get started now.
Not wanting to spoil the story for anyone, it's safe to say that the alien threat is not quite over and Doctor Margaret Montoya is being called back into action to serve her country. The real question is if she is up for the task. Her marriage may be ending and she's frozen in a depression, obsessively checking out social media for negative comments about her previous actions. She has saved the world once already but may not be up to the new threat.
Sigler understands social media and his astute choice to include it in his novel gives Pandemic a cutting edge, up-to-date feel that can sometimes be lacking in new releases set in present times. There is one hole is this final novel of the series and that is a main character that we love. There simply wasn't a character to take the place of Perry Dawsey and Dew Phillips - although Tim Feely came close. The narrative is told from the point of view of several different characters, but it was easy to keep track of who was who. Mostly it is all about the strategic maneuvers, confrontations, and violent conflicts this time around.
Be forewarned that there is a lot of blood and guts and language and horrific actions here so the series is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. If you can't get through the opening pages (which has a young crew member cauterizing the end of her cut off arm with a blow torch) then it is best to not continue.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Crown Publishing for review purposes.