Book Review – Plague Year by Jeff Carlson

Plague Year
Plague Year by Jeff Carlson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note, this review cover both Plague Year itself, and then the Plague year trilogy as a whole (yes, I’m cheating to catch up on the stack of books I haven’t reviewed).

Cam Najarro is one of a small group of humans who are barely surviving on their mountain peak, survivors from a nanotech plague which kills all mammals under 10,000 feet of altitude. Their food is running out, winter is near, and they have no way to communicate with another group of survivors on a neighbouring peak.

When a messenger from the neighbouring peak makes it through with promises of better conditions, Cam and his dysfunctional group set off, but interpersonal conflicts almost kill them before they’ve begun. One of the group is desperate to reach a radio and communicate knowledge of the plague with the outside world, and will do whatever it takes, including killing the others, to do so.

Dr Ruth Ann Goldman, a nanotech researcher, is on the International Space Station, desperately working on a cure, but without a live sample of the plague to test with. Needing to continue her work on Earth, she and the remaining astronauts abandon the station to land near Denver Colorado, the new home of the US Government.

With humanity slipping off the edge of survival, it’s a race against time to develop a cure for the plague. But it’s not only humanity’s survival at stake; whoever controls the cure chooses who lives or dies and who gets first chance at recovering any sub 10,000ft assets. With all this at stake, the remaining governments won’t think twice about killing anyone or invading anywhere to get a cure and the advantage it provides.

This is a fairly enjoyable and believable post apocalyptic tale of what could happen if nanotech was accidentally (or maliciously) released into the wild.

There are some solid characters most with believable motives, although a couple of the villains felt a bit like stereotyped tropes. Carlson keeps us on the edge of suspense throughout the book and trilogy, with each progression logical and almost inevitable.

Plague Year suffers a bit from first book syndrome, with Plague War and Plague Zone each improving on the one before. I believe Carlson is re-releasing the series with additional reviewing and I’d definitely suggest getting the updated version of Plague Year.

While each of the books in the trilogy concludes with hope for humanity, the actions of many humans throughout can leave you a bit depressed and wondering if humanity deserves to survive.

If post apocalypse is your thing, then definitely recommended.

If not, don’t read it if you’re already feeling a bit down, as the ride may take you deeper than you like to go for enjoyment.


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