This was a really good read. The book was a little slow-ish to start. Slow-ish because the urgency that you would expect once a sort of plague begins to show itself -that there would be more panic and that stuff would begin to happen quickly- seemed to wait until much later in the book to begin. I think that since this took a scientific approach, and they were really concerned with each site and what happened, that it just maybe moved in slow motion for me at first. It was not by any means boring though, and after a time the story began to pickup pace as expected.
I really got attached to the two main female characters Carmen and Holly. I found myself being irritated with their choices even though there was no way that they could have known they were in a story about a plague… because I kept seeing their demise in my imagination, based on their decision making, it made me want to kick them in the pants here or there. For instance when Carmen first decided to help out in Indonesia. And when Holly made a break for the woods, (view spoiler)[ running to her daughters when they were first seen since they were basically patient zero. (hide spoiler)]
I found myself by the end amused with the author’s decision to leave one story aspect unresolved. (view spoiler)[ Lucy and Emma could have become the virus incarnate at any time due to a missing enzyme showing up unexpectedly. Those super smelly fruits that Lucy was eating like crazy could have easily been the culprit since she was the only of the two sisters eating them, and she was the one hacking her lungs out like a plague sprinkler. And I really expected the author to at least give you a wink in a way to let you know that that was his train of thought – even if the main characters never discovered the reason that Lucy had become hot-zoned. (hide spoiler)] But he never did! Or, if he did I totally missed it…
I was also really amused by the sort of Morale of the Story concerning today’s political climate and iffy scientific advancements. (view spoiler)[ The fact that the government, meant to be there to help us, protect us, etc. was part of a huge political cover-up which caused this whole thing and kept it unconstrained for longer than it should have been, rang true in a very disturbing way (hide spoiler)].
Then you add the scientific element. (view spoiler)[ I keep up with the scientific stuff to a degree but I am not fully aware of even what is currently possible. I do know that we have much dormant DNA and that they have been able to produce feathers on the legs of chickens by switching on / off DNA that hasn’t been active for thousands of generations, and other studies just as weird an interesting. So I fully believe the possibility of some of what was presented in the story which caused the incident. Gene therapy being used for the girls, accidentally causing a dormant DNA to go live, all falls into a very interesting science-fiction and really added a cool surprise to the story. Even though it was sort of obvious to me where they were going the first time that Holly told Carmen about her kids being so healthy and not catching her chromosome disorder back at the main Camp (hide spoiler)].
All in all, this was a really good read. It is the first book I have finished which has a pandemic story line. I am not sure if I should expect this genre to follow this pattern or not. But I would say this was a good one.