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Plague Zone (2009)

Plague Zone (2009)
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3.55 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0441017991 (ISBN13: 9780441017997)
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English
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ace
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Plague Zone (2009)
Plague Zone (2009)

About book: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion."Plague Zone" by uber-talented Jeff Carlson is a brilliant conclusion to the "Plague" trilogy. These three works of art will make a much more complete story if read in order. In a pinch any of them will work as a stand-alone. However, without knowing who the characters are, or what their history is, you will be short-changing yourself.In "Plague Zone" our lead characters have embarked on an ambitious program to establish a peaceful community, consisting of many people who have tired of the war and its dire consequences, and just want to get on with living. By scavenging other sites of various tools, equipment, materials and food, the community is actually turning out the way everybody hoped it would. That is, until an older woman approaches the exclusion fencing that surrounds them.Contact was made, to see what she wanted... perhaps she was a refugee who only wanted to become a part of their joint effort. Sadly, such was not the case. In a world where ANY good news is too good to be true, the community was under siege once again. This time only a handful of survivors escaped, commandeering a jeep which got them 30 miles away before running out of gas.Jeff Carlson has proven time and time again that he is a legitimate creative author, who can hold his own against "the big boys" in the world of fiction. His "Plague" trilogy is more than adequate to make that obvious to all but the densest of readers. I kept getting a creepy feeling running up my spine, every time the thought crossed my mind that I had somehow gotten hold of a History book from the future.The plot, the story, the characters, even the xenophobia ring true to life, and the trilogy plays out in an incredibly realistic manner. As in life, good guys die. Sometimes bad guys win. Ethnic and religious hatred are as much a part of our DNA as is hair color and body shape."Plague Zone" is frighteningly plausible. It does not rely on aliens from outer space, or demons emerging from an earthquake fault, or even zombies popping up in various cemeteries, to create an aura of fear and horror. "Plague Zone" relies on the greatest monster of all: the evil that resides inside Man.I most emphatically urge you - ALL of you - to get this trilogy and read it, in order. Even as frightening as it can be, you will find, as I did, that you just cannot set it down and walk away, without a serious effort and a very good reason.

I think it's safe to say that if you enjoyed the first two books in this series, you'll enjoy this one. Jeff Carlson exercises his completely unique storytelling abilities to good effect in this final volume.I am left impressed with the scope and detail of the series as a whole. I believe the near future is incredibly difficult to write in a convincing way - particularly when it concerns huge, world-changing events. I've read plenty of apocalyptic stories. And don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed most of them. But most would pale alongside the Plague trilogy when measured for a sense of realism.Mind you, sometimes the balance of realism and "fun" swings one way or the other. And I have often felt that the Plagues swing away from fun more often than not. So I doubt you'd ever hear them described as a "wild romp" or a "rollicking good time." But the story is good and the characters are three-dimensional. And Carlson keeps the velocity high enough to give the story the kinetic energy to push forward.In short, I persevered. And along the way, I enjoyed the action, the science, and the all-too-real characters.
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Reviews
Gendou
Overly violent, like the second book, but also rich in creative use and description of nanotechnology. By now, the main characters are pretty clear, and this reader was very invested in them. What I appreciate most in Carlson's writing is that technology isn't a substitute for magic, but instead, has practical limitations, while still being of central importance to the plot.Though I'm not sure about the speed at which the Plague nanotechnology acts on its hosts... Wouldn't it take hours to multiply from minute to macroscopic quantities, even if it replicates 100 times as fast as biological life?
Andrew
Ok I found it! And now finished it. This was the last in the trilogy and to be honest the easiest and quickest to read. The book is really one long scene played over many of the remaining characters you are introduced to in earlier books. Where as the first two volumes had long treks and journeys where characters were introduced, developed and set in place for some further storyline (which appears to have been all focused on this book), this volume really is one long final confrontation. I could see this book being 300+ pages of story dictated in one long breath it really does not feel like it lets up. Now as much as i enjoyed this book and i did read it at a pace - i feel that the pace is totally different to the two earlier books - if they could have been set at this pace then i think who series would have benefited more. However that said I think they needed some sort of conclusion to it all and this certainly gave it well gave it without giving too much away.
Sarah
Wow. What an excellent ending to an excellent trilogy! Jeff Carlson’s Plague Year books were probably the best I’ve read in the last twelve months, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the final instalment, Plague Zone, was the strongest book in the trilogy. Not only was it as tense and exciting as the others, it also managed to be a satisfying conclusion, which is no mean feat. In the aftermath of the nanotech plague Ruth Goldman, Cam Navarjo, and their small band of survivors have set up a small peaceful village in the Rockies. As usual, they can’t catch a break. Their attempt at re-establishing society and a semblance of normality in their lives is swiftly ended when a new contagion arrives on their doorstep. Ruth and Cam once again find themselves in a race to discover the source of the plague, while international war between America and China threatens to destroy the last remnants of civilisation around them.Plague Zone is an excellent ending to the trilogy not only because it takes events to their logical conclusion, but also because the ideas that the other two books dealt with were brought to a head here. Whereas in the first two books the choices made are often morally dubious and doing the right thing is all but impossible, in Plague Zone there is no longer a right or wrong choice left. The impossibility of it all is summed up very well by Cam early on in the novel:“Had the two of them made a mistake or done something right?What if the answer was both?”Maybe it is both. Almost every decision that Ruth, Cam and the rest make has huge repercussions, both positive and negative. All anyone can do anymore in the Plague Year universe is decide who will die and hope that things will get better. I highly admired Plague Zone for the risks it takes. I was somewhat dubious about the relationship between Ruth and Cam as superfluous romances can be detrimental to an otherwise good plot. However Carlson pulled it off well, the very human bond ensuring that the dangers never became too abstract. I was also worried about the nature of the new plague (view spoiler)[– I wasn’t sure that introducing zombies at such a late stage was a good idea – (hide spoiler)]
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