Tag Archive | Bio-weapons

The Fall of Fort Bragg by Rachel Aukes

the-fall-of-fort-braggSource: ARC from the author
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is a Kindle Worlds novella in the Extinction Cycle by Nicholas Sansbury Smith.

I appreciated the opportunity to read this story written in the Extinction Cycle world as created by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. In this book we get to meet Horn’s wife, Sheila, and their girls, Tasha and Jenny.

This story did not disappoint. For all Aukes is not Smith, her story had the same level of horror, suspense and pacing I have come to expect from Smith’s books. I could have easily been fooled into thinking Smith had written it. Kudos to Aukes for remaining true to the series in this regard. Not that a change would have been awful; after all, this story is about a different group of people.

Not much else to say, really, except that fans of the Extinction Cycle shouldn’t miss this addition to the canon. It’s excellent.

Extinction Evolution by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Extinction EvolutionSource: ARC from author.
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

There’s a storm on the horizon…  Central Command is gone, the military is fractured, and the doomsday clock continues to tick. Despite overwhelming odds, Dr. Kate Lovato has developed a new weapon to defeat the Variants–a weapon that could end the war sweeping the globe. But can Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the remaining members of Team Ghost protect her and the survivors of Plum Island long enough to save the human race? 

Fans of this series won’t be disappointed to pick up this next instalment in the Extinction saga. Well written and fast-paced,  Smith’s writing continues to be of a quality that draws you right into the heart of the action and holds you there. The characters were still in my head a good couple of days after I finished the book.

In Extinction Evolution we get another roller-coaster ride as Beckham and Kate – and a few others – work to reclaim the world from the Variants. As usual, there are complications along the way and some pretty big challenges – not least that the Variants are, well, evolving. Things get serious, but we finally begin to see some real glimmers of hope. Even so, the situation is more dangerous than ever, and our heroes are getting tired.

Very well-written and vivid, an excellent continuation of the Extinction story. Now I need the next one please!

Extinction Age by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Extinction Age
Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel
On the eve of extinction all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope…
 
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance. 
 
Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels–where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape. 
 
At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy Destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended. 
 
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction. Will science prevail–or will mankind vanish off the face of the planet?

 

Book three in this series, and Smith isn’t done with us yet! For which, I must say, I’m grateful, as I’m really enjoying this series… if one can enjoy books that are essentially a never-ending (apparently) nightmare.

That said, this book makes one consider who really *is* the true monster: the human who has been turned into a monster as a result of a virus, or one who is yet human, yet turns on his fellow man?

It’s funny. Whenever I read these books, the predominant colour in my mind is grey. I’m not sure if that’s as a result of the covers depicting grey people, or how my mind deals with the horror within these books’ pages. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but an interesting fact I just realised. Everything is grey.

This book again expands our knowledge of the post-apocalyptic nightmare the characters are dealing with. We get to see a few more locations, and revisit a few as well. The action is relentless, with Team Ghost again getting little more than a few hours’ recovery time at best (less than 72 hours, mostly) between missions. I appreciated the few moments of beauty that were able to creep into the pages, reminding us of what Team Ghost is fighting for.

An excellent instalment of the saga, and I look forward to the next one with relish. Bring it on!

Extinction Edge by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

A BIOWEAPON DESIGNED TO SAVE THE WORLD…
A SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY THAT WILL ALTER HUMAN HISTORY…
AND A NEW THREAT THAT WILL BRING HUMANITY TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.

The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato’s bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the Hemorrhage Virus into something even worse.

Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.

With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty—a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.

At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won’t just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap…

This is an excellent sequel to Extinction Horizon. It picks up the action in the closing stages of Extinction Horizon, but from a different POV within NYC.

Smith expands the scope of the story nicely with this book. New characters are introduced, two of which quickly became my favourites among the new crop, and we see the threat from the Variants ramp up quite a few notches through the course of the book. It was good that, while there was a lot of bad news, some hope and good news is sprinkled through the story, allowing the reader to take a break.

In some senses, this book immerses one more into the utter devastation wreaked, and the threat level posed by the Variants, and I had to agree with this sentiment: “Beckham missed the days of fighting enemies that moved on two legs.” There were times while reading that I struggled to reconcile my daily life to what was in the pages of this book. Well done!

Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet–a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading… As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.

Total extinction is just on the horizon–but will the cure be worse than the virus?

A relentless, unflinching post-apocalyptic vision, Extinction Horizon is a terrifying what-if scenario of the consequences of scientists experimenting with bio-weapons. The story primarily follows a team of Delta Force Operators, led by Master-Sergeant Reed Beckham, as they struggle to carry out orders amid the growing chaos of a fast-spreading viral outbreak. In tandem, we get to know Dr Kate Lovato, a scientist with the CDC, who is fighting to find a cure for Ebola, but ends up struggling to find one for the bio-weapon-Ebola hybrid they name the Hemorrhage Virus. The Hemorrhage Virus is truly terrifying; it literally transforms people into hemorrhaging, violent, cannibalistic monsters. The bio-weapon latches onto the highly-contagious Ebola virus, with the result that the spread is extremely rapid. The Delta Force Operators spend several stretches of the book in direct combat with the monsters (once human, but little humanity remains after the transformation), making for a gripping read.

The characters in this book were, for me, totally believable. Well-rounded, they each had fears and aspirations, and the events that unfold test them all to their limits. The events themselves – not that far-fetched – and the science is plausible and well-researched. While the story is unquestionably gruesome, I did not feel that this aspect was overdone, or gratuitous; there was a logical explanation within the context of the story that accounted for the horrifying images and actions.

Colonel Gibson, the architect of the VX-99 bio-weapon and the resulting hybrid Hemorrhage Virus, cuts a sympathetic figure in this story. While his decisions have awful consequences, one can understand his motives. It was a relief that he acknowledged his guilt and complicity in the outcome, even before being challenged.

I thought this book was very well written. In selecting the Ebola virus as the main vehicle around which the story revolves, Extinction Horizon is very topical and, consequently, accessible. Smith, whose writing is consistent with his more recent novels, holds nothing back in depicting the horror of the situation the characters face, and draws the reader into the action with skill. I found it very easy to visualise the events as they unfolded.

This is an excellent book, and I have already recommended it to several friends. It is best suited to readers who like a good post-apocalyptic bio-medical thriller, and don’t mind a gruesome tale.