We all have our indulgences when it comes to reading and movies. There are those we enjoy but aren’t exactly proud to say we love ’em. Back in high school I was a typical girl in that I was a fan of romances. I thought the movie A Place In Time was just dreamy! The flavor I enjoyed the most was Gothic Romance or Period Romances – it they had a bit of mystery to them all the better! I read Jane Eyre multiple times. I think I went through all the Victoria Holt novels in the local library and started in on the novels under Eleanor Hibbert‘s other pen names. Her writing consistency still inspires me as a writer but I out grew my fondness for romances.
It was the 80’s and the corny action films were the hottest thing. I developed a like for them. Why I laughed my way through Expendables 2 was the fun of a time past but still celebrated. In reading I got into thrillers because I enjoyed the challenge of working out the plot before the protagonist and the action. John Grisham’s The Firm was a favorite or later add a paranormal twist to it in Dean Koontz’s The Face or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Series.
My popcorn reading and moving watching now moved from romance to action. I enjoy listening to audiobooks as I go about daily activities. I’m not as much a music person any more as a spoken word person. When searching for a new action series for my ears I stumbled upon Patient Zero by Jonathon Maberry. It is full on action that’s for sure, centering around Joe Ledger a cop that comes to lead a tactical anti-terrorist team for the fictional Department of Military Science (DMS). This book centered on a threat of germ warfare – using a specially tailored disease as a zombifying weapon. The DMS rushes to stop it. There is a love interest in it that’s secondary to the main story, which I’m not averse to seeing. It’s fast paced action which is great when biking or walking the dog and fantastic to speed up house cleaning.
When it was over I was please to see that it was a series centered around the missions and adventures of Joe Ledger. I moved on to the second novel The Dragon Factory which centered on genetic engineering. Yes they wanted to make super soldiers and more! Again the DMS raced to stop the threat. It was a rollicking action packed novel that I enjoyed very much.
I have to admit I’m not a one book person. Sure I’ve got an audiobook going but I also read the printed word. Usually one or two of those type novels going. This time I lagged a bit getting into the next Joe Ledger installment while I caught up on the printed side. Then I delved into the third novel King of Plagues. Again Joe & his team faced bio-terrorism but with a twist of blackmail and betrayal coupled with outright terrorism – the story opens with the bombing of the London Hospital leaving thousands dead. The book gave me what I came for – a fast pace, action, and thrills. I am looking forward to the next in the series Assassin’s Code followed by The Extinction Machine.
These aren’t the most beautifully written works. Though genre doesn’t block the ability to have a beautifully written piece check out George R R Martin’s Fevre Dream for horror that is beyond well written that it falls into beautiful prose (for my buck it’s his best exceeding Game of Thrones). Still Joe Ledger has plot holes – just like my favorite action flicks do from Die Hard to Skyfall but if the action is good enough I’ll forgive them to go along for the ride. BUT these aren’t hideously written like some wildly popular series I tried to read to see what the fuss was about – but my red pen itch was too much after the third page I quit. Life is too short to read bad writing that wasn’t corrected by a competent editor. If you and your editor haven’t mastered the elementary basics of English grammar, I won’t waste my time. With Jonathan Maberry you don’t have to worry about this. It’s solid, clean writing that fits the main character and makes a great foundation for page turning action.
My concern about the series it that the threats seem to all be bio-hazard related. This can become trite and overly formula that it kicks me out of the story or another aspect of the plot is brought more to the forefront to cover this fact. This is what knocked me out of the House series years before it ended. It became too formula and the romance part moved to the forefront. I’m not a romance fan any more as the main plot line. I enjoyed two to three years of House and no matter where Joe Ledger goes I’ll have enjoyed three fun action novels. All in all I can’t complain too much, but you know me I can always finding something to fret over or kvetch about.
For end we’ll all read the Legal Disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique.
Until next time!