“From the screenwriter of Jurassic Park!” screams the cover. Which Jurassic Park? Original Flavour or New Generation? No idea. This is another Mum recommendation, but much more successful than the previous effort. We actually picked her up a Bargain Box of Books for Christmas 2021, $100 for 30ish crime fiction novels that she’s spend the year reading.
I enjoyed it much, much more than expected. There were a few moments that actually had me laughing out loud.
So, and bear with me here because it’s exactly as nuts as it sounds, we have viral, fungal, world-destroying virus. OK. It does that thing where it compels its victims to climb something high in the vicinity, so that when they explode, its spores spread (apparently this is A Thing you see happen to ants). OK. Appropriately disgusting visuals.
The cold open is so, so good at setting this all up. And at setting up that the virus itself learns and adapts really fast. Massive tick for setting up great visuals with action, not exposition (clearly the screenwriting experience at work – show, don’t tell). All of the set pieces work really well, and Koepp has an eye for description that makes the story really vivid.
Assigning almost-sentience to a fungus is a bit much, but I bought it.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m sure I’ve negatively reviewed books that are concerned with much weightier issues, but I was on the edge of my seat, and read this in an evening.
I mean, of COURSE the government stored it in a cost effective lair that they just concreted over and sold to a storage company. This is exactly how the world ends!