Monday, February 09, 2009

Book Review: Contagious

book coverScott Sigler’s Infected is such a demented joyride, I was doubtful that he could pull off an equally entertaining sequel. Why did I bother to doubt him? Sigler’s got a cult following for a reason: He delivers. Contagious not only meets my expectations but exceeds them in a book filled with insidious aliens, bursting hosts, and a persistent crew scrambling to stop an airborne invasion.

The same players are back for more punishment in Contagious: CIA veteran Dew Phillips; his boss, CIA director Murray Longworth; epidemiologist Margaret Montoya; and my new favorite literary character: the refrigerator-sized ex-linebacker "Scary" Perry Dawsey.

It is six weeks later and the team finds itself in the unenviable position of having to stop an even more virulent strain of the virus—a virus that is correcting the mistakes made during the first invasion of earth. Where the initial strain infected hosts with triangles that hatched from bodies, the new strain pairs the triangles with crawlers that go for the brain. Guiding the invasion is the Orbital, a satellite that releases the seeds, programs them, and communicates with the hosts.

To make matters worse, a new president has just been elected. John Gutierrez has to hit the ground running after being briefed by Murray Longworth, making decisions he never thought he would have to make as POTUS. Will he logically subscribe to the adage that the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few?

In Infected Perry Dawsey took center stage in the first invasion because he had the guts to rid himself of triangles by knife, fork, and fire; in Contagious it’s a sweet-as-pie 7-year-old named Chelsea calling the shots as she communicates with “god”—the Orbital. As she gathers her army around her in Detroit, the infected and non-infected alike may face nuclear annihilation.

Pandemic, the conclusion to the Infected series, will be published in the next few years.

the deranged scott siglerScott Sigler has an awesome Web site filled with his trademark wit and wisdom on subjects ranging from Alf to Vikings, and populated with enthusiastic Sigler "junkies." He offers free podcasts of his books, all parts read by Sigler. Between writing novels, podcasting, and managing his Web site, Sigler writes the weekly horror column Laughing in the Face of Death over at

Currently I'm listening to Nocturnal on my iPod. It's a trip listening to Sigler segue seamlessly into Pookie the non-PC Chinese detective, a neglectful foster mother, a female police chief, a black homeless man, a fortune teller afflicted with Tourette's, Russian and Italian gangsters, a family of monsters, and a cast of many more.

The following books by Sigler are available through Interlibrary Loan: Ancestor, Earthcore.

Photo courtesy of Podcasting News

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