Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Plague Zone-Jeff Carlson

Plague Zone
Jeff Carlson
Ace, Nov 24 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441017997

Three years ago a nanotech plague was released and spread across the world killing anyone who lived below 10,000 feet in altitude. Russians and Indians were welcome her until the Russian ignited a bomb to try and destroy the superpower. Russian military landed on the West Coast with the Chinese following them. In Jefferson, Colorado, Cam Najarro, his wife and nanotech expert Ruth Goldman formed a small community that was barely surviving.

One day a woman breached their perimeter, but they soon realize she carried a new plague that affected the brain. The Chinese launched the new infection as well as deployed their military to round up survivors as they have no room for any of them. Ruth is the only chance the United States has to find a cure for this new plague, but she must meet up with plague free members of the military complex that possess the equipment she needs. Cam is looking at the hot zone of California for a scientist who might help them with the antidote while the government fires nukes at China. Cam and Ruth are in different places far apart, but sharing the same fear that short of a miracle the end of humanity is coming soonest.

The final thriller in the Plague year trilogy raises ethical questions about scientific research seeking a cure for a pandemic disease and issues on government intervention along the lines of Typhoid Mary. Jeff Carlson makes a case that scientists created the plagues that governments deployed and these same researchers seek the cures. Whereas Ruth and cam hope to save Planet Earth in spite of the insanity of leaders, the governments continue on their merry military maelstrom; picture world wide New Orleans circa Katrina as DC (and Texas) fiddle with wars elsewhere. Jeff Carlson provides a super cautionary science fiction techno thriller.

Harriet Klausner