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Plague Year Mass Market Paperback – 27 Jul 2008

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; First Printing edition (27 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441015146
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Carlson is the international bestselling author of PLAGUE YEAR, INTERRUPT and THE FROZEN SKY. To date, his work has been translated into sixteen languages worldwide. His new novel is FROZEN SKY 2: BETRAYED.

Readers can find free fiction, videos, contests, and more on his web site at jverse.com

Product Description

About the Author

Jeff Carlson is the international bestselling author of the Plague Year trilogy and The Frozen Sky. His next novel is epic thriller Interrupt, coming July 2013 from 47North. To date, his work has been translated into fifteen languages worldwide.

Readers can find free excerpts, videos, contests, and more on his web site at jverse.com

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Andy Phillips on 30 Sept. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book in an airport because I wanted something to read and it was the best thing on offer. However, I was pleasantly surprised and ended up finishing it in a couple of days.

The story centres around an outbreak of a nanotechnology 'plague' that was intended for medical use but is released from its lab into the general population. The nanobots are capable of reproducing inside all hot-blooded animals, consuming the host from within, inside of a few hours. As with most of these stories, a few people escape the plague, but in this case it is not due to usual excuse of natural immunity. The nanobots are unable to function below 70% of atmospheric pressure so the only survivors are those that managed to escape to altitudes about around 10,000 feet above sea level.

The story follows two main groups of survivors. The first group are living on a mountain in Colorado and have resorted to cannabalism in order to avoid running out of food. They are aware of a similar group living on a nearby peak and become aware that somebody is trying to contact them from that settlement. The second group of people are the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, including a nanotechnology expert who is trying to find a way to destroy the nanobots loose on the surface.

I won't go into any more detail as it will ruin the story, but I would recommend this book to anyone interested in sci-fiction, disaster or adventure stories. It reminded me of a cross between 'The Stand' by Stephen King and the story of the Andes plane crash, 'Alive'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Gorton on 26 Nov. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found the storyline interesting and it carried me through to the end, wanting to know what conclusion would be reached. I did feel that the story ended rather bluntly, where a lot more could have been said. Perhaps there is potential for a 2nd instalment?

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to emphasise with any of the characters and found it difficult to get interested in their individual plots. For example, I felt that Sawyer could have been more mysterious at the beginning, to pull you through to find out more. But I found his character quite flat and it wasn't until the middle of the story that he became more interesting.

By the end of the novel I felt that there was something missing. Whether it was lack of character development or the end that seems to just fizzle out, I'm not sure. But I look forward to seeing more Jeff Carlson nooks in the future as I think he has the potential to be great. I enjoyed the hard science and his viewpoint of how civilisation would collapse and be re-built, albeit in little pockets, was extremely thought-provoking.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr Stephen J Gaskell on 10 Dec. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Post-apocalyptic tales usually fall into one of two camps: the plucky lone survivor living hand-to-mouth, or the happy-go-lucky hippy commune who discover modern society was overrated. In Plague Year, Jeff Carlson, avoids both these tired tropes and paints, to my mind, a realistic portrayal of people coping as best they can in terrible circumstances.

Perhaps coping is too generous a word for the day-to-day existence that a band of strangers eke out on a cold, barren mountaintop east of San Francisco. Survive might be a better word. For although there is empathy and a community of sorts, there is also the brutal calculus of existence: if he eats, I don't. Despite these bursts of selfishness, what comes across is how very human these characters are. They make hard choices, and they suffer for it.

The second thread of the novel follows an astronaut who is aboard an international space station and has witnessed the devastation that the machine plague has wrecked on the world below. Unlike the grim physical quest for survival on Earth's high ground, her battle is a psychological one. As a nano-tech expert she is frantic to aid the fight against the machine plague, but how she might do this is unclear. Her confined unease is well depicted and provides a good contrast to the heart-in-mouth adventures of those below.

A "page-turner" in the best sense of the word, Plague Year presents a well-thought out, politically viable apocalyptic scenario, and marries it with compelling characters who you care about. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. S. Loch on 29 Feb. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
To set the scene the world is infected by a plague of nanites which eat anything warm blooded that they come in contact with, but deactivate in areas where the air pressure is less than 70% that of sea level. This produces mountain top islands that are inhabited by those who have escaped the plague.

Plague Year is a novel variant on the old plague survivor genre that unlike many such stories is actually believable. On the negative side, Carlson's addiction to short sentences can irritating some times and the political parts of the story don't really work.

The book is strongest when it deals with how people cope with the situation, and weakest when it moves into politics and conspiracies but overall is a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I R Wright on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
WOW!

A totally unique entry into the world of apocalypse. Here we see a world where a 'nano-plague' has distinguished all life below 10,000 feet. We get to see the survivors eek out a sorry existence in the harsh, barren enviroment of mountain tops, unable to travel below the 'threshold'.

The story is more technothriller than horror, but the feeling of isolation that the characters feel is really well done. In the later novels, the story becomes more epic and happens on a global scale, with international conflict between nations. Damn you China!

In addition to the many well-rounded characters and an accurate representation of a crumbling Government, the main character, Cam, is likeable yet flawed in the ways that all good protagonists should be. His emotional turmoil is later expounded by the physical agony that all of the plague survivors experience and this leads to a constant mood of pain, anguish, and bleak depression. But the glint of human spirit is present on every page and that's why we keep reading! We want the world to make it and we bleed, burn, and starve with the characters as they struggle to survive each day. In my mind that's what all worthwhile apocalyptic novels should strive for...

If you haven't yet read Jeff Carlson's work, I would suggest you purchase the entire Plague Year trilogy as I guarantee that you will want to move straight on to the next novels in the series as soon as you finish the previous ones. I brought them seperately, and the wait between was agonising, so don't do that to yourself. This story is a trilogy so buy them all!

Iain Rob Wright
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