Newest Review: ... starts with strange triangular rashes, which eventually develop into sentient beings. I usually try to avoid any detail at all that can... more
Day of the Triffids meets Misery
Infected - Scott Sigler
Member Name: broxi3781
Infected - Scott Sigler
Advantages: Gets better at the end.
Disadvantages: It seems like forever to get to the end.
But as to the book itself, I'm afraid I found it very hard to get into, the characters rather flat, and I just felt this book could have been so much more. This book came up on my Amazon recommendations after I bought a couple of zombie books. This is, in no way a zombie book, it's closer to the Day of the Triffids. It has a bit of Misery thrown in too, but I don't want to go into detail on that, as I don't like spoilers at all in adult books.
The story is about a parasitic plant life that uses humans as hosts. The infection starts with strange triangular rashes, which eventually develop into sentient beings. I usually try to avoid any detail at all that can be seen as a spoiler, but we know from the very beginning these plant creatures will begin to speak as the cover of the book clearly reads "When you hear the voices it's already too late". In addition to this the plants play with all the neurotransmitter in the human brain, controlling their host and driving him or her insane in the process. Most of them seem to just give in to the infection and eventually go mad, murdering anyone near them at the time.
The main characters in the book are Margaret a CDC doctor who has been drafted into this project by the CIA. She isn't at all a likable character, and seems to be obsessed with her hormones and a desire for young cabana boys, but as they say any port in a storm will do - she doesn't appear picky - or professional. She comes off with lines like "I'm in charge now. I'm not this guy's bitch if anything he's mine" Sigler clearly does not know how to write a female character, but then this is meant to be a man's book I am certain.
The next character is Dew a tough as nails CIA agent, who has seen action in Vietnam - and one suspects quite a bit on American soil as well. He gets the job done, but I never got any feeling for him as a person. The only attempt to give him any background is a phone call to his daughter and a bit of ranting about her being in lesbian relationship. We get comments on his daughters partner being a "good kid as far as bull dyke lesbians go" and then we get a rambling speech on how he will continue killing for America - the greatest country on earth where even if he hates it - his daughter can be free to live as she chooses. I was getting close to gagging at this point, and it did nothing to add any depth to a character who is very much a cliche.
Finally we have "Scary Perry Dawsey", again a stereotypical figure. A huge ex footballer damaged by a violent childhood and trouble keeping his temper in check, he is somewhat bitter that all the glory that could have been his was destroyed when his knee was ruined a college football game. He is the most important character in this book, and perhaps a bit unbalanced before all of this starts, but again, I never warmed to him too much. He is just too tough, too bad ___. We get all sorts lines like "play through the pain", "I'm in charge", and some of the things he does are just too over the top. He realises early on that he is dealing with living creatures under his skin. He does manage to kill and remove one early on, so he knows exactly what he is dealing with. A great deal is made of the location of two of these, one on his backside, and one on a most private area, as well as another five on various parts of his body. He isn't big on doctors, but I expect most fellows would be rushing to a doctor as fast as their legs could carry them if they knew something awful was alive and growing there.
The first 177 pages basically give us a bit of the CIA investigation, and the fact that Perry keeps itching. My sons would find a lot of this amusing as he gets itches in private places. I'm not being a prude, it doesn't offend me, but it does bore me. After 177 pages I was bored to death. Things pick up a wee bit when the plants start speaking to him, but this all seemed like a build up to something more exciting, and when we finally get to a more exciting bit, the book is over.
I kept waiting for this book to get better, and I do feel it picked up at the end. Another book follows this one, and I keep thinking it might be better. This book does leave you on a bit of cliffhanger, and the main part of the story seems to be build up - but a build up to what? Maybe one has to read the second book to find out. I can't help thinking this whole book would have been so much better if reduced by at least half and then combined with whatever may be in book number 2. This is his first book, and I can't help thinking he may grow into a much more sophisticated writer.
I have noticed most other readers really enjoyed this book, and perhaps I am just too picky when it comes to reading material. I do think this book was primarily aimed at male audience, and perhaps this is something fellows would enjoy more, but I can't see my husband watching a movie of this ( he doesn't read), or being at all interested in the storyline. There are a few gory bits, but not enough to really keep the blood and gore fans going, there really wasn't any suspense, or any surprises. Everything was quite predictable.
I'm really sorry I can not give this book a higher rating, but 2 stars is the absolute best I can do. I can't recommend it, but other people have a totally different take on this, so you might find more of interest in this book than I did. It isn't the worst book I have ever read - but it also isn't a book I would ever read again - no matter how desperate. I would try the sequel if I came across one in a boot sale or something, but I'm not willing to risk anything over 50p on it.
Summary: Hopefully the sequel builds on this and moves a bit quicker.