Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel
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Product Description

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....
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Customer Reviews:

  • Up there with World War Z
    A unique take on the zombie novel with logical and frightening reasons for the zombies (or 'walkers'), a likable hero and great supporting cast, excellent dialogue, and a story that doesn't stop moving forward. Never a dull moment, no clunkers in the dialogue or narrative. I'm adding Mayberry as a 'must buy' author! ...more info
    Just picked this book up cause I wanted a new Zombie book and it was a nice surprise :). Lots of action with good characters = esp Joe who is a bit like Jack Bauer but more personality and funnier. While the ending of the book feels crammed and the explanation for why the issue may not become more wide spread quicker was Convoluted it is an enjoyable book. Welcome Joe and may you kick more Zombie butt soon! :) ...more info
  • Great book
    This is a great book about zombie's. What better for a weapon of mass destruction then turning people into zombies. This book is well worth your money. ...more info
  • Kinda Boring after awhile
    I read over half the book before I just got too bored. Hero cop keeps fighting the zombies and barely making it out alive. Always the same formula. Yawn....more info
  • Action writing at its best
    This is excellent page turning potboiler pulp fiction that makes few pretensions otherwise.

    The action scenes are masterpieces, and there are plenty of them. They are clear, energetic, gruesome, and ultra violent. You'll burn calories just by reading them.

    I love zombie fiction, so for me zombies are a plus. But for those who feel otherwise, don't let the zombie element put you off too much. Even though zombies are central plot elements, I would classify this as an action hero story rather than a zombie novel per se. The zombies are plot elements that fit the zeitgeist of our times; they are a threat for our hero to respond to and could easily be replaced by any number of other terrorist threats or enemy hordes.

    The only thing I didn't care for was psychological stuff (the psychic damage of violence). A little bit is OK, but in a book like this less is better. Its nice for our ruthless killer (super)hero to have a sensitive side, but let's not dwell on it.

    ...more info
  • Thrill ride!
    I have not read a book that genuinely spooked me in quite some time! Am I jaded? No. I am just very advanced in my threshhold for terror. (Okay, I'm jaded) This book was like watching a B-horror flick with a million cheap shots to make you jump in your seat. It was great! I am female, and lest I betray my gender in a stereotype, I do not read military action novels. But this book has an action/military/horror/mystery theme that works beautifully. Joe Ledger is my new hero; he can do it all.

    So, why not 5 stars? The action got a bit repetitive and ho-hum in parts. I feel like the book could have been condensed by about 50 pages. But definitely read this book! It is pure enjoyment from start to finish....more info
  • Bullets & Zombies!
    Wow! This is a great action-thriller! I read all the time and this is one of the best books I have read this year. It has action, a great plot, good heroic characters and bad bad villains! It combines the hard nose action of "Die Hard" or "24" with the sci-fi / monster elements of "Fringe". What is not to like? I have already gone out and bought one of his earlier books, "Ghost Road Blues". I will buy his next Joe Ledger novel the DAY it comes out! You will not be disappointed. As I mentioned before I read a lot, but I don't always go ga-ga over some of the books I read. But "Patient Zero" has me sending e-mails to all my friends and co-workers who I know like to read. Only two other books in the past year got me to do the same thing: "Daemon" and "Deadfall". When I really like a book I love to spread the news. Well, I am spreading the news. How I never heard of Maberry before is beyond me. He now has another fan hooked on his writing!...more info
  • A Scary Ride
    I love zombie films and novels, so I was prepared for suspense and survival but this book scared the daylights out of me. It is a lightening-fast read with amazing characters. The premise is a secret US organization that deals with terrorist threats, that must deal with a threat from a combination of an enemy; a greedy industrialist and a Middle Eastern group dead set on proving Western ideas are evil. It was terrifying but I could not put the book down....more info
  • Stayed up WAY too late reading this one.
    Imagine a mix of Zombie novel and science-based fiction and secret operatives and action thriller. Jonathan Maberry is probably the only author living who can pull all of these together into one story and leave you gasping for more.

    I had read Maberry's Ghost Road Blues Trilogy and thought that I knew pretty much what type of box his stories would all fit into. Boy, was I mistaken! Patient Zero steps out of that box on the first page and takes the reader into uncharted, but breathtaking, territory. The plot of Patient Zero has little in common with the plot in the Ghost Road Blues series, but Maberry has a way of hooking the reader instantly and not turning loose until the final page.

    I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves adventures, thrillers, spooky stories, or just about any kind of fiction....more info
  • Suspenseful, Scary, Amazing!
    This was an amazing book. I went into it with some doubts, but I loved it. At some points it was scary enough that I had a hard time going to sleep. Well, I did read it late at night, which was probably not the best idea. I am 13 years old (I'm using my parents account), so I think It would be appropriate for any age. Maybe not 8 year olds but we'll see......more info
  • A Well-Written Thriller that Offers Non-Stop Action
    Don't judge this book by its cover - at first glance, "Patient Zero" looks like another cookie-cutter zombie apocalypse book. However, within the first few pages, you realize that it's a actually an action story focused on the threat of bioterrorism. This makes for a topical (and therefore genuinely chilling) book that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

    Maberry's writing is well-paced, mixing in a lot of action but without sacrificing character depth and development. It reads like next Summer's big blockbuster.

    The only recurring issue that I found was with the story's protagonist, Joe Ledger. Despite some backstory elements to give him some vulnerability, he too often comes off as perfect in every regard: unstoppable in a fight, always quick with the smart-guy comeback, never unsure of his worldview, and even smooth with the ladies. There is some acknowledgment of this early on when he allows himself one brief moment of self-doubt during his indoctrination into the super-secret government team tasked with stopping the bio-threat: "I can't do this! Where's Jack Bauer? Where's James Bond?" This was funny since up until this time, I'd been regarding this guy as half-Jack-Bauer-half-James-Bond (and throw in half-John-McClane as well - he's that big of a character!)

    So if you can (really) suspend your disbelief in places, "Patient Zero" will reward you with a very enjoyable thrill ride. It's highly recommended for fans of "24"-style thrillers and Tom Clancy or James Rollins books - not quite as much for devotees of zombie horror fiction. ...more info
  • What I expected, not what I hoped for
    Terrific dialogue. A fast-paced two-dimensional pulp fiction romp perfect for the traveling zombie enthusiast who won't have time for distraction by the gaping wholes in the story, super-smart bad guys who make super-stupid decisions, Afghan Provinces placed in Iraq, and special operations people who interact like recruits. This book was a fun read, but fell short of quality fiction in two areas: mastery of language and thorough research. Maberry's abuse of the passive voice and repeated violations of basic word meaning such as the distinction between "over" and "more than" are disappointing in light of his history as both writer and writing teacher. Many sentences would benefit from simply striking 3-5 superfluous words. (I suggest a long talk with his editor.) With regard to research, my impression is that Maberry wrote from imagination rather than readily available facts. At one point he describes a character as speaking "perfect Iranian," which is a language that does not exist; at another he labels a chapter "Helmand Province, Afghanistan" and then writes of British soldiers fighting in Iraq. His descriptions of military tactics and rank relationships among special operations personnel are respectively fast and fun, but entirely unrealistic. Yet none of these gaffs come near his sophomoric stereotyping of Muslims. Had Marberry treated the special ops, language, culture, and geography aspects of the book with just a tad more seriousness and respect, he may have created a story of the quality I hoped for rather than merely the quality I expected....more info
  • Zombie Terrorists!
    I hadn't realized that there were many zombie novels out there. Except for graphic novels and comic books, I was a zombie virgin. I loved the original "Dawn of the Dead" movie from the 80s, but now have found that reading "Patient Zero" has brought out the inner zombie in me. Jonathan Maberry has written a suburb novel that had me captivated by each chapter. The story is set in a post 9/11 world where terrorists create zombies to terrorize America. This gripping and creepy thriller is a must read. Whether it is greed or religious beliefs that motivate the villains, nobody would want zombies roaming the streets of our world....more info
  • What. A. Ride.
    This book has it all: thrills, intrigue, history, mystique, danger, love, psychosis, tricked out secret underground cave laboratories, a character who transforms into a hero. Oh, and zombies. What more could you ask for?

    I don't generally care for books that have zombies as the backdrop, becuase what I like about zombie books is the survival aspect. This book is more about how they got to be zombies in the first place, and the zombies are not the main focus - terrorists are.

    VERY good writing, compelling, and hard to put down. This is also one of those books where you wish you discover the series AFTER all of the books have been published, so there's no painful wait for the sequel....more info
  • Couldn't Put It Down!
    If you like medical thrillers and/or horror this is a great book for you. I love both and found this a really fun read. Course you do have to suspend your disbelief on occasion (like in an Arnold film where he always outruns the bullets) but I liked the characters alot and cared what happened to them.
    Not as "deep" as Mayberry's "End of the Road" books but definitely more fun. A nasty virus, zombies and terrorists- what more can you want?
    I hope there is more to this series!...more info
  • More Police Procedural Than Zombie Novel
    'Patient Zero' is more of a police procedural than a zombie book. It focuses on police detective Joe Ledger who is apparently one part John McClaine and one part Charles Bronson. He is recruited into a convert black ops unit to take down a terrorist plot that would release a virus into the American populace that would turn people into zombies.

    There is a far bit of gut-munching in 'Patient Zero', but overall its more about Ledger and his ragtag group of soldiers hunting down terrorist cells. The lead character isn't overly likeable due to the fact that he is constantly talking about "unleashing his inner warrior" and how he "just can't turn it off". Crap like that.

    And the author uses a plot device that I really didn't care for: as soon as Ledger is recruited, he is put in charge of a unit and sent into the field to take out a zombie infection. He doesn't know any of the men in his unit. He doesn't know who he's working for. Yet he takes the lead, kills the zombies, and brings all his men home. And as soon as he does, they are sent back into the field again a half hour after they return from their first outing. They succeed again and about an hour after that, his unit is once again sent on another mission. He and his group are sent on three tactical missions, kill about 400 zombies while losing no men, in less that four hours. I guess this proves to the reader what a heroic character Joe Ledger is. I think it made him look like a toolbag.

    Overall, 'Patient Zero' is alright. I'm a big fan of zombie novels but didn't really realize until I read this one is that what I'm looking for in a zombie book is the survival aspect. The whole thing of holing up in desperation with people you don't know and fighting to survive is what I enjoy. 'Patient Zero' just isn't that. You've got basically Superman as your lead character who you know is never in any sort of peril. The ending of the book gets too intricate with double-crosses and lamely sets itself up for a sequel.

    My advice: skip it. While its well-written, it just isn't very exciting....more info
  • Good for the right reader
    This book is a well written page turner with lots of fairly graphic action. There were a couple of weak points to the story, but if you can deal with these it is a pretty good read.

    First, you have to get by the stereotypes. All arms merchants are bad men who sneak around supporting both sides in order to make a buck. All freedom fighters are valiant, if misguided souls, etc. etc. Secret government agencies exists that sacrifice the lives of recruits who don't cut the mustard.

    The second issue is the readers ability to suspend disbelief. When you read any story, you agree with the author to pretend that certain things are plausible. This one takes some agreeing.

    That said, if you're looking for a graphic, action packed novel triumphing the strength of the individual, this one might be for you....more info
  • Zombies and terrorists - what's not to love?
    In a post 9/11 world, with slightly more high tech weapons and a virus that turns people into a zombie-like beings, Patient Zero opens up with Detective Ledger on a beach getting picked up by government agents and he proceeds to tell us about his run in with a group of terrorists 18 months earlier. We then see the supposed drug addict try and bite Ledger's arm only to be shot and "killed". I love zombie books, and this one is one is a favorite by far. Plenty of shock, plenty of guts, plenty of straight forward terror for the true zombie fan. Buy this book!...more info
  • Super Great Fun
    When all is said and done, I would not call this just a horror novel. This is way more mainstream thriller that anyone would love, even if you don't typically go for the ghoulies, goblins, vamps, and wolves. Yeah, it's got zombies that attack and feed on humans, but it's way more real-world than zombies crawling out of the ground.

    Joe Ledger is recruited by a secret military division that no one has ever heard of, the Department of Military Sciences. They are fighting biological and chemical terror threats against the US. And it seems the terrorists are planning to unleash a pathogenic toxin in the US, which kills the body but keeps the brain alive, and worse that that, causes the dead victim to reanimate and crave human flesh. And, it's contageous.

    You will not be able to put it down. If you like horror, thriller, espionage, James Bond, or military fiction, you will love Patient Zero. The action does not stop in this well-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill.

    If you loved 28 Days Later or World War Z, then just mix in a little James Bond style action, and you've got this pumped up, pulse-pounding novel. Great great great fun....more info
  • Maberry's Best Yet
    I was hoping that Maberry would continue his Pine Deep trilogy. I really enjoyed reading a story that took place right next door to my home town. Not being a zombie fan, I wasn't sure what to expect from Patient Zero but I wasn't disappointed. This is a very, very exciting read. It's as hard to put down as anything I have read. The zombie line is believable and scary and Joe Leger is as believable as Jack Bauer. How's Jonathan Maberry going to follow this one? ...more info