BOOK REVIEW: Pandemic by Scott Sigler

REVIEW SUMMARY: Broad in appeal and grand in scope.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Orbital may be gone, but when its legacy resurfaces it’s up to Doctor Margaret Montoya to put an end to the alien nightmare forever.

MY REVIEW
PROS: Strong characters; large scope; intense action; intelligently written science fiction.
CONS: Slow start; lack of a shock-factor; weak ending.
BOTTOM LINE: A global biological disaster thriller that neatly wraps up a beloved series.

Pandemic is the third Scott Sigler book I’ve read. The first was Infected, the beginning of the trilogy that Pandemic closes out. The body horror and psychological thrills exhibited in Infected shocked me to say the least. It read like an Eli Roth adaptation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Despite the protagonist’s compelling personal plight I found the overall plot to be lacking and the characters largely unsympathetic. The second Sigler novel I read was Nocturnal, the start of a different series. I wasn’t completely sold on Nocturnal but I could recognize Sigler’s improvement as an author. It was a much tighter story with better plotting. Unfortunately it seemed to suffer the same issues with unlikeable characters. I’m happy to say that Pandemic continues the trend of improvement, delivering a solid bio-horror thriller, large in scope and populated with sympathetic characters.
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MIND MELD: The Pros and Cons of Book Trailers

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Movies have had them for almost as long as there have been movies and now that books are going electronic, more books are getting them too. We’re talking about the increasing use of book trailers to generate interest. This week’s question for our panelists, suggested by an SF Signal reader, is:

Q: What do you think are the pros and cons of book trailers? Are they effective at promoting books?

Here’s what they said…

Mary Victoria
Mary Victoria has lived in seven countries and settled permanently in none. This is becoming problematic for customs officials trying to make sense of her passport. She has been at various times in her life a nanny, an animator and a writer of fantasy. You can find out more about her on www.maryvictoria.net

It seems as though every few months I hear about a miracle cure guaranteedto banish those midlist blues. If I just do ‘X’ (insert, ‘write a blog’, ‘make a website’, ‘self-publish’, ‘use twitter’, ‘do the convention/festival circuit’, etc.) my sales will take off. Suddenly I’ll be like Stephen King, complaining no one taxes me enough.

Sadly, while many of us tax-dodging authors do just that – blog regularly, front up for a website, tweet and share and make asses of ourselves at every book-related function we can get to – there’s no guarantee we’ll see a jump in sales as a result, especially with the whole publishing industry experiencing bad breath and an outbreak of pimples. Meanwhile, as we wait for the digital era to come of age, we should be in it for the love, the pundits say. The internet has made everyone a writer but Seth Godin tells us we can’t expect to earn a cent for love. We believe him because admitting otherwise might mean our books don’t please readers and no one cares.
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