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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
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...
Published on 1 Jun 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Self-Indulgent
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,...
Published on 22 Oct 2010 by C. Green


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Self-Indulgent, 22 Oct 2010
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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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. The problem is that Maberry takes a relatively simple idea, a threat to world stability and security from genocidal madmen armed with genetically engineered weapons, and makes it far too complicated and OTT.

The same goes for the book's narrative, which contains numerous flashbacks that are ostensibly there to provide background but often feel redudant. We don't need to know how various minor characters die or to spend time with the IT geeks at the CDC. The information these episodes contain could be conveyed by far more efficient methods that don't slow down the narrative. At times it feels like Maberry has watched one too many episodes of LOST on TV and decided that flashbacks were cool.

All I can hope is that Maberry's next book is handled by a stricter editor who reigns in some of the authors excesses. He remains a great writer of action and characters such as Mr Church and concepts like the DMS are still great. He just needs to drop the psycho-babble and keep his plots more streamlined (and less predictable too. I could see the ending of TDF coming mile away and one character's eventual fate was obvious hundreds of pages before they actually met it). Books like this don't need to be full of stylistic tricks or heavy handed emotional beats. Three stars, but only just!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maberry's second techno-thriller is no advance on the first, 23 Sep 2012
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
"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
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
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 "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 22 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
Good book that keeps you engaged. The plot is a little too macho but it is fun and keeps you hooked.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read!, 23 Jun 2013
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The second book in the Joe Ledger series was fast paced and gripping from start to finish, an excellent read, roll on book 3!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joe Ledger is back!!, 25 Jun 2011
By 
N. J. H. (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
After reading (and thoroughly enjoying) the first novel in the Joe Ledger series "Patient Zero" I definitely wanted to give this sequel a go. So for those of you familiar with the series, Joe has just done his bit in saving the world from a plague of zombies working for the DMS - a specialised, and very secret, government agency. This next installment sees Joe up against some new villains and their handiwork. The surprise is pretty fantastic - let's just say, it makes zombies look appealing.

The first novel had quite a bit of scientific information regarding pathogens, disease and infection.The dragon factory still holds onto the science element but in a little more detail. Some of these sections I found really interesting actually and they especially helped me to understand some of the key elements within the novel. I did find the science element a little far-fetched sometimes so if you're picky about accuracy then you might find that irritating.

I did find one thing a little annoying, not enough to ruin my opinion of the book though, Maberry was a tad over the top with some of the British characters dialogue in that they sounded VERY British. But again, this took nothing at all away from the book.

Did I think this was any good? Did it match up to Patient Zero? Absolutely! If you were already a fan then this next installment won't disappoint you. I sometimes think that the second books in a series can be more of a filler than a great addition but that's certainly not the case this time - Joe Ledger is as enjoyable and hilarious as ever. If you liked the previous characters on Joe's team then you'll be pleased to know some of them are back to help him out.

Was there anything you should know before you buy? Be prepared to be desperate to get hold of "The King of Theives" - Joe Ledger 3.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good writing - silly premise - excellent book, 14 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
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'.
I've read books that somehow miss the point, and don't quite cut it, but Mayberry's writing is right on the nose. His conspiracy theories are so over the top as to be - well, they SHOULD be implausible. It's a tribute to his writing style that the books work very, very well.
OK. That's about it.
Pretty clear I liked this book. But I'd recommend a new reader to Patient Zero first.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction in its truest sense., 25 April 2010
By 
D. Lloyd "Riddick" (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
Joe Ledger and Echo Team make a welcome return after their first outing in 'Patient Zero'. This time, the focus of the Dept. of Military Sciences is not viral threat, but genetic terrorism.
Many found weakness in the 'bad science' of Patient Zero, but I feel they were missing the point. Maberry consults with scientists about what is actually possible today, and then extrapolates a possible extreme from that. This makes the premise credible enough for the plot, and to allow the reader to suspend disbelief, but will never stand up to scrutiny through eyes looking for fact. It is plausible science fiction - what Arthur C . Clarke did with space travel, Maberry does with biochemistry, but those who didnt like Patient Zero will not find these percieved faults fixed in this book.
Jonathan Maberry's knack for pace, and his ability to draw a story together from so many different angles and perspectives, makes for a genuinely exciting read - as in PZ, locations and characters change from chapter to chapter, with each thread invariably left on a cliffhanger that makes you turn pages faster than any other modern fiction writer I have encountered.
It's not perfect however. The early segue's that recap Joe Ledger's history are clunky, and really not of any value, even to those unfamiliar with Patient Zero. The 'psych 101' interplay between Ledger and his best friend/psychiatrist Dr Sanchez also doesn't ring true, and is if anything, even weaker than in PZ. When the rest of the world has been crafted with such conviction, these weaknesses stand out even further, but they are short moments in an otherwise fantastic read.
So, if Patient Zero didn't light your fire, then this will be of no interest to you. But if you enjoyed it, or if you are coming to this review by chance, and like the idea of Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum writing a Sci-Fi fantasy, or Jack Bauer's world being thrown a curve-ball, then you would do well to buy this, and its excellent predecessor.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 10 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Dragon Factory (Paperback)
Another great offering from Maberry - love Joe Ledger and hope he keeps saving the world! Looking forward to the next instalment!
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The Dragon Factory
The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry (Paperback - 2 Mar 2010)
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