Gollancz, out now
Former cop Joe Ledger battles against genetically engineered monsters – and the monsters who created them…
Barely has Joe Ledger and his team had a chance to catch their breath after saving the world from a plague of zombies in Patient Zero than they’re thrown back in the deep end, after footage of a unicorn hunt is sent to Washington. Cue a large number of fight sequences, mostly told in the first person, and the gradual discovery of another plot to take over the world.
Maberry seems to have taken on board criticism of the first novel in the series, with far more time devoted in this book to developing the villains. It helps that the eventual revelation of the main bad guy’s identity (which isn’t really a surprise by that stage) means that the reader doesn’t need much more information than simply his name to understand the depth of his villainy.
There’s also some discussion on the nature of evil, particularly the role that choice plays within the nature vs. nurture debate, and a bit of backstory for Ledger to explain the anger that lies within him.
But at its heart this is a thriller firmly in the Robert Ludlum mould, albeit with villains and creatures drawn as much from Primeval as the usual suspects.
Verdict: A fast-paced action adventure that never lets up. 7/10