This medical thriller suffers from first-novel problems. It takes forever to get off the ground, and the author is still struggling with exposition, especially when he attempts to explain and define medical terminology for the lay reader. Strong story, well-drawn characters, and an all-too-plausible plot keep it readable.
Dr. Noah Haldane knows taht humanity is overdue for a new killer flu, so when a mysterious new strain of flu is reported in China, he expects trouble. He soon discovers that the new disease is far more deadly than SARS. Noah and his collegues stuggle to contain the outbreak while is spreads to Hong Kong, Londaon and America. With the world connected by commercial flights, a killer bug can travel much faster than the flu of 1919, especially when someone is spreading the virus on purpose.
Can't say that I enjoyed this book much. I finished reading it, but not without a lot of work. The plot is weak and disjointed, the story took well in to the second half of the book to develop any real interest at all and I was disappointed by a silly ending.
I think Kalla has a lot of potential. He put a lot of fluff in this book to get it in to novel length and it spoiled the book. As he develops as a writer I hope he will have sufficient ideas to keep the reader engaged and entertained. This one didn't do that.
Islamics are the baddies here. However, I liked this book as it presented the baddie point of view in a more complex fashion than just black and white, which made for much more believable reading and character development.
Since I was asked, I will review this one. I don't like giving bad reviews, seems like I will probably get stuck with the book Would rather be honest about it. This one just never ended. Got to where I was skimming the paragraphs rather then really reading them. If I hadn't been stuck on a 12 hour flight and this was the last book I had with me, wouldn't have bothered finishing it.
If you like reading about meetings, lots of them, broken up with little bits of this or that, mostly in a lab or hotel room, this is the book for you. It had lots or promise when it started out, specially with the story line being so believable and possible in todays world. It did bring to light how bad things could go, and how easily it could be done. At the about half way point though seemed like the author was just trying to stretch out the story and had run out of steam. The whole book seemed rough, didn't really flow from one thing to the next very well. Almost like he was adding fluff to make it a full length novel. In time maybe he will get better at things, my understanding is this is his first book. The story and subject are a good start, just never really got going.
First novel or not, the main character was pretty sad too, specially in his personal life. A co-worker who read it called him "just plain whipped to spinelessness". After reading the book, that description seem fits. He is supposed to be this great hero, and yet he comes off as a timid wishy washy husband who can't stand up on his own feet. Not sure what the author was going for with that character, it came across as just... Pathetic for the most part. If hwas going for sympathy for the main character, it didn't work.
The ending was very weak too. Seemed like something that was tossed together at the very last minute just to end it. Didn't seem to have much thought to it, and where the rest of the book had something of a believable and possible story line, the ending was just done to get it over with. The ending had a little truth to it as the FBI does like to over complicate things to the level of just total stupidity. For this book the ending was just that, an ending.
Maybe someone else will like it more. Personally I can't say it was the worst book I have ever read, certainly wasn't one of the better ones.