For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons—designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons. Within days there are outbreaks of mass slaughter and murderous insanity across the American heartland. Can Joe Ledger stop a brilliant and devious master criminal from turning the Land of the Free into a land of the dead?
Code Zero, a Joe Ledger novel from Jonathan Maberry, is the exciting direct sequel to Patient Zero.
Bestseller Maberry's sequel to 2009's Patient Zero, his sixth starring Joe Ledger of the ultrasecret Department of Military Science (after 2013's Extinction Machine), does a good job of making its variation on the zombie menace plausible. A copy of VaultBreaker, "the absolute bleeding edge of cybersecurity technology," designed to keep America's foes from turning off its energy grid, has fallen into the wrong hands specifically, those of an Asian woman who calls herself Mother Night, the liaison to a team of cyberhackers from China and other unfriendly foreign countries. Ledger and his team take what appear to be successful steps to thwart the threat posed by these hackers, but his optimism proves to be ill-founded. The Berserkers, monsters believed to have been wiped out, resurface and go on the attack, spreading infections that turn people into ravenous killers. Maberry's shout-outs to popular culture's depictions of zombies lessens the tension and feeling of doom, albeit just slightly.
More DMS and Joe Ledger Mayhem!
Nice twist to this one. It's one built in from the off, one that makes you squirm, knowing the inevitable carnage to come. The real thrill comes from experiencing and wondering just how in the hell the "good guys" pull this one out of the bag... And that's assuming they do. You know what they say about making assumptions!
I must admit that I haven't read a Jonathan Maberry book I haven't really enjoyed, but I'll counter for the sake of balance, that his novels aren't exactly literary masterpieces and I really hope he'd be the first to say so. However, what he brings to the table is a good few hours of properly enjoyable and honest high tension, intrigue fuelled and character driven action, and solid, relentless plot!
Start at "Patient Zero" and work your way through the series to "Now" and you'll dig it. Promise. Hope you enjoy.