Book 66 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from September 22 - 26
Plague War by Jeff Carlson
Book 2 of the Plague trilogy
Summary (via the book jacket)
Earth has been ravaged by the machine plague, a nanotech virus that exterminates all warm-blooded organisms below altitudes of ten thousand feet. The remnants of humanity cling to life on isolated mountain peaks around the world.
Nanotech researcher Ruth Goldman has developed a vaccine with the potential to inoculate the world's survivors against the plague, but the fractured U.S. government will stop at nothing to keep it for itself. Determined to share the cure, Ruth and Cam Najarro, a man who lived through the aftermath of the plague at great personal cost, must brave the devastated wasteland America has become.
Together, they begin a cross-country odyssey during which they will encounter both the best and the worst in human nature - unaware that an even greater threat is posed to strike...
This was pretty typical for the middle book of a trilogy. Stuff happened but there were no resolutions and everything was building for the next book. It ended in the perfect place with a great cliffhanger and I'm ready for book 3.
The plague is such an interesting concept but it seemed like this book was full of new problems instead of solving any of the original ones. As with the first book, there were so many angles and different sides that I wasn't always sure what was going on.
I also felt that too much of the action happened "off camera". For example, one chapter left off with a terse standoff between characters and then the next chapter was someone else's POV a few days later explaining how it resolved...not the same thing as seeing it play out ourselves.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"In some ways their wounds and exhaustion had left them childlike. Their vision was becoming more and more immediate, limited to the moment. Maybe that was good. No one's sanity could endure pain without end. It was a survival mechanism. But it was also dangerous."
"Her transformation was complete. Ruth had always been tough but now she was a warrior in every aspect, lean and hard and too sensitive all at the same time. To say that she was twitchy would not be incorrect. And yet the twitch was a cool, distant feeling, insulated by experience."
"He had seen all kinds of bravery and evil. Sometimes they were one and the same. The only difference was in where you stood..."
"Their lives depended on it. More importantly, her work would shape the outcome of the war. Mankind would rebuild on North America. There was no question of that, but the color of the natives' skin and the languages they spoke would depend on Ruth's success or failure."