Infected, #1

Author: Scott Siglerinfected
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Date: 2008
Genre: SF, Horror
ISBN: 9780307406101
Price: $24.95
Number of Pages: 352
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, E-Book, Audio

Rating Scale: 2Q, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

http://scottsigler.com/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-scott-sigler/

Links to Reviews

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jul/23/sciencefictionfantasyandhorror3

http://www.amazon.com/Infected-Novel-Scott-Sigler/dp/030740630X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425529841&sr=8-1&keywords=infected+by+scott+sigler

Reader’s Annotation

A parasite has been spread and is infecting people. Can the world survive?

Summary

Infected is a fast-paced, science-fiction thriller about a disease that is turning people into murdering psychopaths. The story revolves around three main characters: Dew Phillips, a CIA operative on the case, Margaret Montoya, a CDC epidemiologist, and Perry Dawsey, a former football player who has been infected. The story opens with Dew and his partner coming to the house of a man suspected of having the disease. They enter the house and find that he has killed his wife and children. They find him in the bathroom, soaked in lighter fluid holding an ax. Right in front of the agents, he proceeds to chop both his legs off. The agents are paralyzed with horror, but as the man proceeds to light himself on fire, Dew’s partner tries to intercede and gets seriously injured by the ax. Dew rushes his partner outside of the now-burning house, where an ambulance rushes him to the ER. After surgery, Dew’s partner succumbs to his injuries and dies, leaving Dew completely devastated and hell-bent on hunting down whoever bioengineered this disease. Meanwhile, Dr. Montoya has just been flown in to look at the body of the infected. This is the first time that she is able to do an autopsy in time, as the bodies of the infected mysteriously disintegrate after a few hours. As the body is already starting to decompose, she and another scientist work quickly and find some very startling aspects that reveal that the disease is a parasite that is so complicated and advanced that it is beyond modern science. The story also revolves around Perry, who wakes up to rashes all over his body that at first drive him crazy with itchiness. As a few days go by, he slowly gets worse.

Critical Evaluation

I thought that the premise for this book was absolutely fascinating. I loved the action scenes and the horror elements of the story. It was suitably gory and scary at times. However, I did have one big problem with this book and that was the characters. I didn’t feel a connection with any of them and at times they just didn’t feel believable to me. The dialog felt forced and at times extremely wooden. Montoya especially grated on my nerves and I solidly disliked her from the beginning. I think I would have really enjoyed this book if it wasn’t for the terrible characters. It’s the type of book in which character development isn’t a main priority, but if the characters are actively annoying it takes away from the pleasure of reading the story.

Significance of Book

Scott Sigler is a New York Times best-selling author who became famous in 2005 for releasing his stories for free through podcasts. Even now, he still releases parts of his story on Sundays through his website. He has earned the attention of a lot of news sources and has amassed a significant fan base.

Read-alikes

Parasite by Mira Grant

Pandora’s Legion by Harold Coyle

Awards and Lists

N/A

Discussion Idea

  • Discuss the use of science in the book and whether or not it adds to the story.
  • Discuss the characters

Justification of Selection

One of the reasons I picked up this book is that I was intrigued by the idea of a deadly infection that drives people to violence and madness. I am a huge fan of zombie fiction and this seemed to have similar themes. I was also intrigued that the infection seemed to come from an alien source, which is something I haven’t really read about.

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