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Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
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Patient Zero

by Jonathan Maberry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Joe Ledger (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,19510610,096 (3.77)46
  1. 30
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (Joles)
    Joles: Undead creatures that reanimate with a nice bit of real-world science thrown in.
  2. 10
    Tooth and Nail by Craig Dilouie (magnumpigg)
    magnumpigg: Actually, this is my favorite Zombie book to date. The soldiers here are much more human and not quite as over-the-top heroic as Maberry's.
  3. 00
    The Breach by Patrick Lee (cdhtenn2k10)
  4. 00
    The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry (JacobDecker)
    JacobDecker: a continuation of this series.
  5. 00
    Feed by Mira Grant (wordcauldron)
  6. 00
    Pulse by Jeremy Robinson (cdhtenn2k10)
  7. 00
    Resurrection: Zombie Epic by Tim Curran (magnumpigg)
    magnumpigg: again, noticed no mention in other recommend lists.
  8. 11
    Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (kraaivrouw)
  9. 00
    Severance Package by Duane Swierczynski (JasonBrownPDX)
  10. 00
    Event by David L. Golemon (Scottneumann, cdhtenn2k10)
  11. 00
    Legacies by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  12. 00
    Quarantined by Joe McKinney (magnumpigg)
    magnumpigg: fun zombie read. noticed it was not mentioned in the other recommend lists.
  13. 01
    Wet Work by Philip Nutman (ShelfMonkey)
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Joe Ledger is a badass cop who's about to become a badass FBI agent. He has some issues due to some terrible stuff in his past - if I remember right, something about him, when he was a teen, being forced to watch his girlfriend get gang raped, after which they both entered therapy and she eventually committed suicide. But he's found a way to turn his issues into assets. He's in perfect control of himself, and nothing and no one can take him in a fight.

But then he kills a terrorist, after which he's brought to a shadowy guy named Mr. Church. Mr. Church has him take part in a test that involves restraining a man...who turns out to be the same terrorist Joe thought he killed, only now the terrorist is a biter and stinks like rotting flesh. Joe is asked to join Mr. Church's shadowy government organization, which is trying to stop a terrorist group bent on making the United States ground zero for a zombie pandemic.

The good: As usual, I enjoyed Ray Porter's narration. This book made me wonder just how many accents he has under his belt - he got to use a lot this time around and my only real complaint was that it occasionally took him a while to get a proper handle on how some of the characters sounded (the one I'm most thinking of here is Joe's friend and psychiatrist, Rudy). The battles were usually pretty good - my favorite was probably the part at the crab processing plant. Maberry's science-based explanation for the zombies was intriguing (prions + genius mad scientist), and the new zombies introduced near the end of the book were interesting. And I was mildly amused by Mr. Church's ever-present plates of Oreos and vanilla wafers.

The bad: For a military thriller featuring zombies, this was surprisingly boring. So boring that I came very close to not finishing it in time and was forced to speed the narration up, even though I really like Ray Porter's regular narration speed. It took at least half the book for most of the action to get started.

The characters were either giant cliches or forgettable. Or both. I got tired of hearing how amazing a fighter (oh sorry, "warrior") Joe was. As much as he'd claim to not be perfect, or not be as experienced or knowledgeable as other men Mr. Church could have brought in, all evidence indicated that he was this world's number one combat machine. Grace was his enormously obvious future love interest - the one thing that surprised me was that Maberry didn't include cringe-worthy on-page "confirming we're alive" sex between Grace and Joe, just a quick mention that they'd ended up in bed together (meanwhile, I was thinking about Joe's fridged girlfriend). The book does have cringe-worthy sex between two of the villains, though.

The villains were awful. The bulk of them were stereotypical Islamic terrorists. There was also a sexy female scientist who could apparently turn men's brains to jelly with a look, and an idiot who was bankrolling the terrorists and couldn't see the flaws in his plans to get rich via religious fanatic-created zombies. The one villain who marginally interested me was Toys (no idea if I'm spelling his name right), the idiot's employee and the closest thing he had to a friend.

Also, one thing I wish Maberry had done was mention the First Lady's name sooner. Or the vice president, or president. I don't remember what the First Lady's name was, but I do remember that it confirmed that neither she nor the president were real-life people. I suspect that the entire Liberty Bell ceremony scene would have gone over a bit better with me if I had read it when this book was originally published. The thought of Mr. Church's group answering directly to the current president made me shiver with horror.

I'm glad I finished this, so there isn't even the tiniest of nagging voices in my head, wondering how things turned out. But I have zero plans to read the next book.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Feb 28, 2019 |
A riveting fast and perfect paced blend of zombie apocalypse and contemporary military thriller. I’ll be reading more in the series. ( )
  SharonMariaBidwell | Jan 7, 2019 |
REVIEWED: Patient Zero: Joe Ledger (Book 1)
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Maberry
PUBLISHED: January, 2009

Love, love, loved this! Been a fan of Maberry’s other work for many years, but hadn’t gotten into the Joe Ledger series. This book was massively entertaining, and I’m ready to jump right into the next in the series. High action, good suspense, espionage, a lot of what happens is over-the-top, but that’s the fun of it, and the thrills. Just well written all around and exciting.

Five out of Five stars
( )
  Eric_J._Guignard | Jul 26, 2018 |
Great action and interesting characters. Wonderful escapist reading. ( )
  Omegawega | Apr 1, 2018 |
Good zombie novel. Nice mix of the spy genre and horror. Over the top in a few places but I still enjoyed it a lot. A great vacation read, which is where I read it. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Anyone who's read Jonathan Maberry's Pine Deep Trilogy, which culminated with last year's BAD MOON RISING, knows that the martial artist-turned-Bram Stoker Award-winning author likes his kill counts in the stratosphere.
added by stephmo | editFangoria (Jan 21, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Maberryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bennett, JonathanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grom, RobCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Unhappy the land that is need of heroes. - Bertolt Brecht
Until the day of his death, no man can be sure of his courage - Jean Anouilh
Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of St. John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison. - Heinrich Heine
Dedication
This book is dedicated
to the often unsung
and overlooked heroes
who work in covert operations
and the intelligence communities.
First words
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid-response group is called the Department of Military Sciences, or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bioweapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312382855, Paperback)

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills.  And that's both a good, and a bad thing.  It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills ... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance ..."--Publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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