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Friday, February 24, 2023

Pandemic (The Extinction Files, #1)Pandemic by A.G. Riddle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As pandemic, contagion, outbreak stories go, this novel fits squarely in the center of all the novels that I've read.

The good: a lot of real history and even nostalgic bits from the 90's and early 2000's, fairly decent grasp of the science, and when the plot is on track, it's really revving.

The meh: So many characters that are there more for the ambiance and the pathos that don't push the plot forward at all but still makes the novel feel like all the others. We're meant to FEEL for all these poor souls, after all, and it either works or it doesn't.

That's all fine and dandy. It didn't entirely work for me but that's a problem I have with all these same types of novels. A cast that kinda rambles along for a long time in flashbacks, going down rabbit holes. In this case, it turned into a big conspiracy thing with a scientific cabal turned dark. I didn't mind that in general but let's put this all in context with today. This came out in '18 and since then we've had Covid and covidiots and our own stupidest timeline of conspiracy theories that wish they were like the one uncovered in THIS novel.

So yeah, it's a case of reality being stranger (and a lot more stupid) than fiction, and it makes me feel kinda sad for the novel.

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