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The Dragon Factory [Paperback]

Jonathan Maberry
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Feb 2011

Having protected the world from a zombie plague in PATIENT ZERO, Joe Ledger and his crack Department of Special Sciences combat team are thrown into an even more frightening crisis.

A genetic-engineering program has been used to create the ultimate fighting machine - soldiers bred for war, soldiers with greater strength, higher reaction speeds and an utter disregard for pain. Theirs and others.

It's a nightmare from the pages of Doctor Moreau and soon Joe and his team are up against both the big business concerns who have billions invested in the project and, on the street, adversaries bred expressly to kill them. It's enough to make you wish you were facing zombies again . . .

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The Dragon Factory + The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger 3) + Patient Zero
Price For All Three: 19.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (10 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575086971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575086975
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; nominee for several state Teen Book Awards; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; THE DRAGON FACTORY, 2010; THE KING OF PLAGUES, 2011; ASSASSIN'S CODE, 2011; EXTINCTION MACHINE, 2013; CODE ZER0, 2014, and PREDATOR ONE, 2015.

His mystery novels include the upcoming Dylan Quinn mystery-thriller series for teens: WATCH OVER ME (Simon & Schuster, 2014) and COLD, COLD HEART (2015); and the NIGHTSIDERS series of middle-grade horror/sci-fi adventures, which debut in 2015.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and is scheduled to write DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game.

He is also editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its forthcoming sequel, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE; and he'll be writing a new V-WARS ongoing comic book.

He is also the co-editor for the REDNECK ZOMBIES FROM OUTER SPACE (2013) and editor of the forthcoming dark fantasy anthology, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone, 2014).

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. In 2014 he'll launch two new comic book titles: BAD BLOOD (Dark Horse) and V-WARS (IDW), and will be writing a ROT & RUIN ongoing comic for IDW as well. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Jonathan has published several dozen short stories in a variety of genres: mystery, horror, thriller, science fiction, military fiction, fantasy, western, urban fantasy, humor and others. His collections include JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio; HUNGRY TALES (2012) and TALES FROM THE FIRE ZONE (2012) and the forthcoming JOE LEDGER: SPECIAL OPS (2014, JournalStone). His work also appears in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club (released by Blackstone Audio in 2013).

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's Big Scary Blog ( focuses on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors. Jonathan also writes the SCARY OUT THERE blog, through which he and his guests explore teen horror fiction in its many aspects. Current and upcoming guests include R.L. Stine, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Nancy Holder, Kim Harrison, Ellen Hopkins and many others. That blog can be found on the website of the Horror Writers Association: In 2014 he'll launch THRILL RIDE, a new blog discussing mysteries and thrillers for teens.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including the American Library Association, KeyCon, American Library Association, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's The Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, ZenKaiKon,The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone. He is developing a psychological thriller novel based on that play.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar, Stoker, and Scribe Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey. In 2006 he helped found the Wild River Review, an notable online literary journal.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Janice Gable Bashman, Cordelia Biddle, Eric Red, Amber Benson, Kathryn Craft, Jeff Marriott, Nancy Holder and Michael Boatman. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

Jonathan created the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill in multiple locations each month.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in Del Mar, California.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at,

Product Description


...everything a good techno thriller should be - clever, imaginative and above all thrilling. (BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY)

Book Description

Special forces expert Joe Ledger is back in another brilliant horror thriller.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Self-Indulgent 22 Oct 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having found Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero surprisingly enjoyable I was looking forward to this follow-up adventure of Joe Ledger and the DMS.

I can only say that it failed to live up to my expectations. Whilst Patient Zero was a tightly plotted, focused exercise in high octane excitement, by contrast The Dragon Factory is a rambling tale that lacks focus, is poorly paced and goes on far too long for too little reward.

The action in the book remains very well written, with some of the set-pieces easily up to the standard of anything in Patient Zero. To get to them however, you have to wade through some horribly self-indulgent and overblown writing. Bits of this crept into Patient Zero, with Ledger's inner monologues that were full of cod-psychology and purple-prose, but such episodes were thankfully kept to a minimum. In The Dragon Factory they're front and centre from the word go and quite frankly they irritated the hell out of me. Much more introspective self-analysis about 'the inner warrior' and I might have given up on the book entirely.

Worse than that however, was the central plot of the book itself. Surprisingly, though Patient Zero dealt with zombies as bio-weapons its plot felt far more plausible than anything on offer in The Dragon Factory. From the identical, twisted blonde twins to the genetically engineered creations Ledger and co encounter none of it felt remotely plausible. The true identities of the primary bad guys were both utterly predictable and laughable, and by the time events lead all the protagonists to an artificial forest populated by various mythical creatures I was really struggling to suspend my disbelief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
"The Dragon Factory" takes up where "Patient Zero" left off. The super-secret DMS organisation continues its struggle to protect the world against rogue super-science. Rather than the Islamofascist enemies of the first book, Joe Ledger and his cohorts now square off against the real thing.

The result is once again a competent but underachieving and rather cartoon-like thriller that mixes conspiracy elements with out-and-out heroic action. The faults of the first book are still present and correct. Maberry still can't do believable human beings; his female SAS major is if anything even less credible here than in "Patient Zero", and other minor characters, particularly his American servicemen, never rise above stereotype. On the other hand, the author can construct a plot that pulls the reader along: he does his research and knows a good premise when he sees one.

Frustratingly, there are glimpses of a shorter, better book inside "The Dragon Factory". The promises and dangers of biotechnology offer real potential for intelligent popular fiction. The sub-plot in which the DMS faces political enemies more dangerous than its external foes adds a degree of complication that drags the novel briefly closer to the real world. But after a promising opening "The Dragon Factory" loses its way. Maberry's moral world is absolutely black and white, and he is far too inclined to sideline his more interesting material to allow Joe Ledger the inevitable staged displays of superhuman combat skills, which by the end have become repetitive and even boring.

Recommended for readers who enjoyed "Patient Zero", and still a clear step up from the likes of Matthew Reilly. Otherwise, this is another disposable read for a long journey: good enough, but no better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Comic book nonsense 9 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first outing from the author, Patient Zero. It was nonsense, but well delivered nonsense and did what it promised on the cover. This follow up is also nonsense but the delivery suffers from over the top bad guys and a plot so daft it is also embarrassing.

The action is delivered well I have to say, but the plot and the characters badly let everything down. By far the most interesting character is Bishop, the guy in charge of the black ops Government department that combats threats to the US/World. The main character is Joe Ledger an ex special forces/cop is leads somewhat from the front while occasionally becoming introspective and annoyingly slowing the story down. Awful and predictable bad guys and some utterly stupid genetically produced clones and creatures feel like they came out of a badly written comic.

Not good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Fantasy in a realistic setting 1 Jun 2010
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Having really enjoyed Jonathan's original offering I really wanted this title to deliver more high octane thrills as the principle protagonist slaughters his way to his mission goal. I wanted more twists, I wanted more shades of grey villains and I wanted a character who could be bent by circumstance to be just as twisted as the bad guys .

This Jonathan delivers in spades and it's an adventure that does what it says on the tin. Its well written, the story arc has plenty of twists and its almost like the old fashioned Saturday Morning Matinee's with its cliff hangers at the end of numerous chapters. It's ideal material for those who want that something special with great action sequences in an action thriller that should be made into a film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good read
Published 20 days ago by paula Dixon
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good book that keeps you engaged. The plot is a little too macho but it is fun and keeps you hooked.
Published 8 months ago by Keith Taylord
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read!
The second book in the Joe Ledger series was fast paced and gripping from start to finish, an excellent read, roll on book 3!!!
Published 14 months ago by Stephen Clarkson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Another great offering from Maberry - love Joe Ledger and hope he keeps saving the world! Looking forward to the next instalment!
Published 21 months ago by Susan Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Joe Ledger is back!!
After reading (and thoroughly enjoying) the first novel in the Joe Ledger series "Patient Zero" I definitely wanted to give this sequel a go. Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2011 by N. J. H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed techno-thrills
Although best read after Patient Zero, this is a novel which could easily be read standalone. A new drama for the Special Forces-alike team unfolds as they become embroiled in a... Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by Mr. G. Battle
4.0 out of 5 stars Semper Fidelis...
I definitely prefer Mayberry's first DMS title Patient Zero, perhaps because it's a fresher idea (not totally new by any means) and it avoids many of the cliches Dragon Factory... Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2011 by Ironspider
5.0 out of 5 stars better than the first story
Patient Zero was excellent , this is better!!Gives us a bit of an insight into the hero's background.Action throughout. Cannot recommend this enough.You will not be disappointed!!
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by Dave. Baldry
4.0 out of 5 stars A grown up Matthew Reilly
Just finished this book this morning and WOW! It is amazing how fast the action is, only Matthew Reilly in my opinion has created anything as fast paced and so easy to engage with. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2010 by P. G. Tite
4.0 out of 5 stars Good writing - silly premise - excellent book
This is the second in a series by Jonathan Mayberry, the first being Patient Zero.
They're daft, and over the top, but you'd have to throw in 'gritty', and 'gripping'. Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2010 by Mr. Steve Williams
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