The first book I'm going to review is The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry. This is the third installment in the Joe Ledger series. I listened to the audio version narrated by Ray Porter who is amazing! I have no idea how that guy can have a different voice for all the characters involved. And when he does a woman's voice it sounds like a woman instead of an exaggeration.
The Joe Ledger novels aren't the typical book I'm into with all the black-op special forces and crime solving, but Maberry adds that touch of sci-fi into his novels that I love. The things his villians come up with couldn't exactly happen, but there's enough truth there to make it seem credible. I read the first novel Patient Zero because it had Joe Ledger going up against zombies. I won't review that one here, but maybe later. Basically, a money hungry man funded a mad scientist to create zombies to create pandomonium which would make him rich. Well, money hungry and now completely crazy dude actually shows back up in this installment as... you guessed it- the King of Plagues.
Joe is a cop who was recruited into a secret government group called the Department of Military Sciences or DMS. In this adventure, Joe is in England when a hospital blows up and he is asked to help out the British version of the DMS. There is a secret society of which the King of Plagues is a part, plagues of course (and they use Ebola- my fav exotic disease in as far as it is completely awful), and we get to meet Aunt Sally after hearing so much about her. The author describes her as looking exactly like Whoopi Goldberg, but my version of Aunt Sally is not so much this:
Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) from Warehouse 13
I guess I just can't reconcile the image of Whoopi Goldberg being this super secret agent that everyone is afraid of, but Mrs. Frederic from Warehouse 13 she is scary. Aunt Sally and Mrs. Frederic could even be the same person. If you haven't seen Warehouse 13 you should, it's great. Awesome characters, comedy, ancient artifacts, what more could you need?
I didn't like The King of Plagues as much as the previous two books. Could be I was a little burnt out on Joe after listening back to back for three books in a row or it could be it took me awhile to get through it due to the holidays. I get kind of tired of Joe's being better than everyone and having to be so macho and antagonistic to every new person he meets. First he gets into a confrontation with a terrorism expert and then with Aunt Sally that could have both been totally avoided. I understand he is the best of the best, but no need to act like a terd about it.
The ebola scenario was pretty exciting and I loved meeting Aunt Sally for the first time. Overall, it was okay. A lot like the other two books. Disaster is imminent, we have no idea what is going on, in the final hour we piece everything together, Joe and his team save the world. I'm looking forward to the next one though. We'll see what cutting edge science Maberry uses this time for a terrorist attack and I've heard there are vampires. I'd rate this one a Walker on my Zombie Enjoyment Scale which I stole from ThinkGeek here: Zombie ID Chart T-Shirt