The Han Agent by Amy Rogers
eBook review copy; 260 pages
The Han Agent by Amy Rogers is a so-so medical thriller.
In the 1930's Japanese scientists began experimenting with biological
weapons, but the program was forced to end due to WWII and all notes and
evidence of the experimentation was hidden away. Jumping to the
present, Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura is an ambitious
virologist working at U.C., Berkeley who defies a ban on genetic
manipulation of the 1918 influenza virus. She publishes a paper on her
work and is subsequently expelled, fired, and banned from working at any
U.C. school. She accepts a position with Koga, a pharmaceutical company
in Tokyo. Her younger brother Shuu also works for Koga. She travels to
Islands, near the southern tip of the Japanese archipelago and quickly Amika and Shuu are entangled in a high-profile geopolitical struggle
between Japan and China.
Those of you who follow my reviews know I enjoy thrillers involving viruses, plagues, dystopian scenarios, etc. The Han Agent
was seemingly a perfect fit for my preferred genres. What I never
envisioned was being bored and having to force myself to finish a book
featuring biological weapons. After an intriguing opening, the action
in the first first half of the book slows down and the hook, the
biological weaponization of a virus, is set aside for political
Now, I can suspend disbelief with the best of them and roll with the
action, assuming there is some action, but it is difficult to overcome
sheer disdain of the main character. Amika is arrogant, self-important,
overly confident, and annoying as all heck. I rapidly grew tired of her
and her whining. Add to this a predictable plot and the lack of true,
thrilling action and suspense and it is hard to rally support and
enthusiasm for a novel. The quality of the writing is good, however, and
the narrative does reach a satisfying conclusion. I'm sure there are
other readers who will enjoy this novel more than I did.
My review copy was courtesy of ScienceThrillers.