December 2009 Archives

Book Review: Plague Year

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Plague Year Plague Year by Jeff  Carlson

My rating: ★★★★✩

Very good, light read for the plane. An excellent apocalyptic setting, that held together well throughout the book.

In Plague Year, a "nanotech" virus got loose and reduces all warm-blooded creatures to mush. The catch? There is a governor that says it can't survive if at the standard air pressure at 10,000 feet. So everyone made a run for the mountains and small pockets of humanity survive, barely, with the occasional foray below the magic line, at a terrible physical cost. Cam and Sawyer lead one faction in California.

A capital of sorts is established in Leadville, Colorado, "the highest incorporated city", while the space station is still in orbit and Ruth is a leading nanotech engineer who pines to get back to Earth to help out. Finally, she finagles a landing and finds out all too much. She and Cam end up leading a party to recover important information from the creation lab.

This was a fun read and the premise held together remarkably well. The main characters were well drawn, if slightly wooden, as was much of the dialog. And some of the frictions that happened didn't always make sense, but the story went along so smoothly you hardly cared. If you like your apocalyptic novels to be hard sci-fi, then this is your book. See his Plague War for the sequel.

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Plague Year
Jeff Carlson


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