Ever since I first stumbled across Infected, I've been a fan. I'll freely admit I've been actively waiting for this particular book to appear. Books one and two, Infected and Contagious, were suitably icky fast-paced horrific affairs and this new book promises more of the same. The only real difference in this case? Sigler has ramped up the tension, the action and the gore to the max. How splendid.
Margaret Montoya and Clarence Otto both return in Pandemic. I think it's probably fair to say that Sigler actively enjoys putting his characters through the physical and emotional ringer. When we first meet her, Margaret is still suffering from the aftermath of the events at the end of Contagious. She was forced to make some horrible, but necessary, decisions and the repercussions of them are slowly destroying her. She's finally reached rock bottom and, just like any good sequel, it's at that point where she gets dragged back into the action as the alien infection begins to spread once again. Agent Otto remains on hand as her able protector but the dynamic of their relationship has changed quite significantly. This change has direct implications as the plot continues to unfold. Montoya is a fantastic protagonist, utterly driven to stop the infection but emotionally damaged. Her fragility is a fascinating counterpoint to the highly stressful situations she finds herself in. You can't help but find yourself cheering her on, willing her to find the inner strength to keep going against all odds.
Like any good horror, things start off small but the initial, slow pace picks up pretty quickly. By the time you get to the second half of the novel, events are rattling along at break neck speed. The plot becomes a race against time. Once the alien disease properly begins to take hold, everything very swiftly descend into total chaos and society starts to breakdown. Unsurprisingly, this means that things get extremely violent, but don't forget its Scott Sigler we're talking about here. Sigler's writing never shies away from the extreme, but confronts it head on. Mr Sigler is a master at judging his audience's expectations and he knows just exactly how far he can push any given situation. He's a canny guy though, as he also knows when something is best left to a reader's imagination. It always strikes me that this particular skill is the mark of an exceptional author, especially when it comes to the horror genre.
In previous novels the author has lifted elements from social and mainstream media and included them in his various plots. He's done the same thing here. In this book Twitter plays an important part in proceedings. It's a nice touch to see how new technology interacts with the end of the world. There are some clever ideas incorporated that never occurred to me before. I'll say no more than that, it would spoil the surprise.
There's a good chance that if your planning on reading Pandemic, you've probably enjoyed the nasty delights that can be found in Infected and Contagious. Possibly you may have read Ancestor as well? If you have, can I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for a familiar face. A character pops up who links the books together and I have to admit I didn't manage to suppress the squeal of delight when that happened*
I think there is a feeling of anticipation with any horror novel written by Scott Sigler. You are always waiting for that delightful moment when the last shred of restraint disappears and things get chaotic. Pandemic certainly doesn't disappoint on that score. The second half of the book is just plain old nuts, I loved it. Part alien invasion, part cannibal holocaust with a liberal dose of SEAL based action thrown in for good measure. The SEALs themselves kick a spectacular amount of ass, and if I am honest I wouldn't have it any other way. Sigler writes stories that are unashamedly outrageous but they are always HUGELY entertaining.
I'll end with a word of caution - two days after finishing Pandemic I came down with the mystery illness. Coincidence? I sure hope so. I bet I'll be fine once I've had some sleep...
on 9 May 2014
Pandemic is the third book in the Infected series, but it's been a long time between drinks. The second book, Contagious, was published in late 2008, and I have the feeling that perhaps a third book wasn't originally on the cards. The ending of Contagious was left pretty open, but there are quite a few cast changes in Pandemic. It's not a companion novel, as I wouldn't recommend reading it without reading Infected or Contagious, although perhaps others that have read it as a standalone would disagree.
As I loved Infected and really enjoyed Contagious, I was interested to see where Sigler took the story next. As a horror writer, Sigler is incredibly talented and has a tendency to write rather epic novels, and at nearly 600 pages Pandemic wasn't a casual Sunday afternoon read.
Picking up the open threads from the end of Contagious, Pandemic brings back some loved characters from the series and introduces some other memorable characters, both good and bad. The plot itself felt a little bit slower to get going than Contagious and particularly Infected, but once things started developing it turned into an addictive horror novel.
Once again written in multiple third-person POV, Pandemic has perhaps too many POVs - and there are long gaps between appearances for a few characters, to the stage that I found myself wondering at times if I'd missed some key part of the plot.
Familiar characters come back into the story right from the beginning, and in particular, Margaret, has been very much changed by the events of Infected and Contagious. However, I did understand her reactions, even if I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her. Clarence, Longworth and Cheng return too, all of them a little changed but pretty much the same characters that I came to know and love or loathe in Contagious.
There are also new characters to fill some of the voids left after Infected and Contagious, and of those my favourite was the sleezy yet brilliant scientist, Dr Feely (aka Dr Feelygood) who had me smirking with his one liners, and admiring the way he overcame his fears without turning into an amazing action hero when the s*** went down.
Unlike Infected and Contagious, Pandemic has a more global view - the virus spreads quickly and devastatingly, and in that way Pandemic feels more rounded than the previous books as it encompasses global reactions and politics. There is once again a heavy focus on both science and military, and at times the weaponry descriptions went right over my head, but the virology was interesting and although I'm no scientist, it felt realistic and was pretty much flawlessly presented. The action scenes are excellent, with a real feeling of desperation and intensity.
Pandemic is an excellent ending to a series that holds a special place in my reading heart - it's frightening, heart-racing horror, with characters that are unique and either likeable or loathesome, and a few that fall somewhere in between.
on 20 April 2014
I very much enjoyed the first book, but I found myself being frustrated far too many times during this one.
Most of my issues came from the fact people in this book acted incredibly stupidly. I don't mind occasional stupid actions from characters, as some people are not smart, but it grates on me when the supposedly intelligent characters act repeatedly with the mental ability of your average rock.
Examples of this are when Margret ignores things that should raise flags of alarm, and even if she missed it, Otto might well have pointed out some of what she was missing. There is a point where military personal get infected in two separate instances while wearing the correct protective equipment. Margret’s first thought is that they made mistakes. Once perhaps, but two groups back to back is far less likely to be a mistake. They are highly trained people used to strict discipline and routines, and so you would not jump to the instant conclusion that two groups one after the other made the same mistake with highly infectious material.
Someone else other than her might make such mistakes I guess, but having seen what she has and knowing what she knows about the infection I’m not sure I believed she would make such a silly error as to ignore something that sticks out, and I don’t believe that Otto coming from his background would be as quick to assume it either. For me, it would be like her thinking she would make the same mistake twice on the same day. It may happen, but the chances are slim and so you’d consider other possibilities as well.
The list of times in this book that characters miss very obvious information or clues just got massively frustrating for me, and when we finally got to the Cooper character in Chicago I lost all patience with the book. The man is so stupid I fail to believe there is anyone quite as dumb as him on the planet that wouldn't have manage to fall down a well or off a cliff by his age. If you read the book you will see my point, and certainly by the time you get to him making his uTube video. You would have to be clinically brain-dead to do some of the things he does, or miss the obvious things going on that he remains oblivious to.
In short there are good points to the book, and I can see why many give it high marks, but for me I just cannot read books when too many of the characters are stupidly naïve and overlook everything that given the same information the reader can see as easy as their own reflection in a mirror. I hope the author stops making dumb characters in future just to stretch out a plot, as it is just bad writing in my opinion. Not to mention on occasion having characters act in ways that is totally out of character to how they have been written about previously. Margret does so several times, and I didn’t buy it I’m afraid.
I debated on two or three stars, but went for three because there is a lot of good in the book as well, and there are certainly a heck of a lot of worse books you could read or listen to. But any book that causes me as many hair pulling moments can't get more than this.
Thank you to Crown, the author and Netgalley for the advance copy. VERY exciting!
The alien intelligence that unleashed two horrific assaults on humanity has been destroyed. But before it was brought down in flames, it launched one last payload-a tiny soda-can-sized canister filled with germs engineered to wreak new forms of havoc on the human race. That harmless-looking canister has languished under thousands of feet of water for years, undisturbed and impotent…until now.
So, the final part of the trilogy that began with “Infected” and continued with ” Contagion” comes to a highly readable, brilliantly written and explosive conclusion…I still remember being on holiday in Cornwall, picking up a copy of “Infected” at the bookshop and sitting enthralled on a beach for 4 hours…reading the tale of one Perry Dawsey and the alien infection that was slowly taking over his body. Now a few years later I come to the end of the tale..
Our heroine, Margaret Montoya, returns once more, a shadow of her former self, playing the blame game endlessly and addicted to reading blogs that blame her utterly for the death toll in Detroit..until one visit changes all that. With a discovery at the bottom of Lake Michigan and a terrible tragedy, Margaret is once more thrust into the limelight and battling once again to save the planet…Will Margaret be able to pull it off one more time and finally rid the world of this alien invasion? I’m not telling. But now I know!
So, what do you need to know? Well firstly if you havent read the first two books in the series try and do that first. This is a complete story – in three parts. Thats not to say that each of them could not be read on its own – Mr Sigler is clever in giving enough information in back story without spoiling the previous instalments – but hey a trilogy is a trilogy for a reason. The HEART of the story is in starting at the beginning and reading to the end…With some fantastic characters, each growing and changing as events occur, this intriguing and addictive tale of a somewhat different kind of Alien Invasion deserves to be seen as a whole. I have loved each and every one of them. This final part was no exception.
With his indubitable writing style Scott Sigler puts us right back in the heart of the action – deals with the scientific notions of the plot in an easy to follow manner and takes us on one final journey through the orbital eye…and it was a page turning roller coaster ride of pure adrenalin rushing madness. A perfect ending? Well that one fellow readers will be in the eye of the beholder. For me, yes. Terrific stuff. I’m sad to see it go….
Happy Reading Folks!
on 11 March 2014
Fantastic prologue shoves you right back in to the Triangles world of horror.
The complex science (fiction based in truth is always the best stuff) is very neatly and simply explained again by SS. He really excels at this element of writing.
Updates are given about the last five years via flash backs and “chat pages”. I really enjoyed the use of modern media to convey public opinion and show how Margaret and Clarence have been existing since the last Triangle showdown.
New and old characters are updated and fleshed out in true SS style. Even old theories are updated and explained.
The two main story lines this time are Jeff and Cooper the boat men, with Bo Pan and Steve hiring their services to locate the Orbital; lots of shady espionage stuff going on this time too which lends a spooky tense feel to it.
Swift jumps between the two main stories really build the tension and with the little peaks from the Triangle perspective give an added bonus of horror.
With all of SS there is never any skimping on the gore factor.
As mayhem and destruction occur it’s scarier than a zombie apocalypse as you don’t know who is infected.
It’s not just individuals or families that are infected this time, the Triangles are aiming globally.
The finale is excruciating to read but I was riveted the whole time, at over 12hrs reading time this is an epic book and nicely rounds off the Triangle trilogy.
on 15 April 2015
Been a fan of Scott Sigler ever since I picked up a copy of Infected years ago on a whim. Read the blurb and thought this seems interesting and was thrilled to find out I was not wrong, in fact I quickly discovered I had underestimated the book. Scott Sigler is a great horror/sci-fi/thriller writer and clearly knows how to capture the reader from start to finish. This book is a great end to an excellent series. As an avid reader I have often found myself greatly dissapointed by the ending of a series, more often then not the series seems to just come to a stop, no climax and a disappointing ending that screamed the author was bored of the storyline and had given up. I am sorry to say that on hearing that Sigler was planning on drawing the infected trilogy to a close I am ashamed to admit I was half expecting the same lack-luster ending to all the series that I have read in the past. I have never been happier to be proven wrong. Not only was Pandemic a great read, it was the perfect climax to a series that got better with every instalment. Pandemic was the climax that the series deserved, a perfect ending to the series. Sigler answered every question and left the reader wanting nothing. One of the few endings to a series that have left me feeling satisfied. Not a book for the faint of heart but would recomend the author to anyone who can handle the gore/horror that is synomous with Sigler's work.
on 10 February 2014
I have long been a fan of Scott Sigler and will make no apologies for beating the drum for an awesome author.
Firstly, If you haven't read Infected and Contagious STOP!
Go and read those two books first as they build the foundation for the third part of this story.
I guess the clue as to what happens in this book is in the title but don't let that put you off buying it.
The way that the author builds the persona for each character is true to his earlier work and I have to admit that I have an almost perfect picture in my mind of what each character would look like if it were to be made into a film.
The science as always is spot on. The tension is amazing and the outcome although as the title indicates leads to a pandemic the way the author takes you there is far from predictable.
If you are in any way a Sigler fan you will love this. If you have read the first two books it is a must read. I have to say I've been wondering how it would end for years. If you have never read any of his stuff and have happened on this by chance then you have struck gold my friend. Buy any of his books and you too will become a Sigler Junkie!
on 6 February 2014
I stumbled upon this and pre-ordered it immediately. I read 'Infected' almost by accident (quite some time after its initial release) and it was so utterly enthralling and so well written that I then immediately read 'Contagious', which was equally as brilliant.
I'm about 75% through this and I've been hooked from almost the first page. Margo Montoya and Clarence Otto are back with a host of new characters, deadly scenarios and race-against-time situations, all skillfully written with Scott's trademark prose. I'll amend this review if the end turns out to be a cop-out but I very much doubt that Sigler would do this to his readers.
If you've read the first 2 books in the trilogy, you simply HAVE to read this and you'll love it as much as the others. If you've read 'Infected' but not read 'Contagious', buy it right now. If you've not read any of these books and you have even the slightest interest in the horror genre, I urge you to buy all three before you do anything else - they really are THAT good.
on 14 February 2014
After reading the previous installments of the trilogy, I really wanted this book to be good. The final part of the trilogy (for me at least) can often affect the perception of the previous two books and so it had a lot of work to do to meet, and possibly beat, the high standards already set. It didn't disappoint.
It starts of at a fast pace, gets faster, throws in a bit of science making the whole thing at least plausible if not possible, adds to the mixture a healthy dose of gore and horror and then takes you out with an ending which makes the build up seem almost pedestrian by comparison. Being just short of 600 pages, it's quite a lengthy book but I would have been happy for it to just go on and on, there's so much happening that there's not a dull moment and barely a page to catch your breath. Great characterization of heroes and villains alike and scenes which will make you cheer, laugh and cry(?).
In summary - I hoped it would be good, I didn't expect it to be this good.
on 25 February 2014
Pandemic is a fantastic end to a brilliant trilogy. From the original, claustrophobic Infected, through the more expansive Contagious, and finally to Pandemic, the apocalyptic conclusion.
I'll be honest - this wasn't my favourite of Sigler's properties, but he has certainly won me over. The book starts at an even pace, with a sense of inevitability, but things ramp up toward the middle, and end at breakneck speed, without a clue as to what the finish will be. You're never really sure what's going to happen, or who is going to survive. There's plenty of his trademark visceral gore, matched by equally typical science. And once you get into the second half of the book you'll have problems putting it down.
Science fiction fans who can stand a bit of gore won't go far wrong here.