All the sex scenes
Coming off of Patient Zero, this was a huge disappointment. Very little happens for the majority of the book. Everyone who isn't one of the main characters is basically a soon-to-be-killed red shirt that only exists to make the main characters look better. And the numerous sex scenes that serve absolutely no purpose other than to plant death flags! You could literally skip past them and there would be no impact on the rest of the book.
The villains here are terribly written. Oh look, villain X killed random person Y! (this has been your alternating chapter reminder that these are bad, baaaad people, remember, killing is baaaaaad!). The main characters are also forcefully written to act stupidly. Oh, the villains are capable of manipulating genetics to literally create unicorns and dragons? And I'm being attacked by people who are too strong and too big to be naturally human? Obviously they must be using an exoskeleton and aren't genetically modified supersoldiers (which it turns out they are)! It's just more and more forced stupidity in a poor attempt to maintain shock value that already snuffed out long ago, like a bad comedian trying to extend a joke and delay the punchline to the point that it's no longer funny. The main characters are supposed to be smarter than this, but let's just conveniently drop their IQ several levels out of character!
Furthermore, Maberry has some obsessive compulsion with describing every single bad guy as big, mean, and tough, and casually namedrops various special forces such as Spetsnaz, SAS, and SEALs. And yet when Joe has to go up against ex-Spetsnaz, they instantly and conveniently become incompetent at fighting and die upon a glance at Joe's plot armor. So then what's the point of playing them up if in the end they're little more than amateur street thugs? I'm just supposed to believe what I'm being told, that they're big, mean, and tough, when what happens says otherwise? That merely namedropping "insert special forces unit here" is supposed to whitewash their actual lack of toughness? That Maberry thinks that he could get away with being lazy and that I wouldn't notice? It all reads like a something a high schooler would write; big tough baddies given lip service who just tip over once the hero comes along.
The ultimate result of all these factors is that this book has none of the impact, none of the tension, and none of the originality of the first book. I was so looking forward to a series about a Jack Bauer-equivalent vs. Sci-Fi trope X that somehow maintains a consistent level of quality. The last thing I was expecting to have my intelligence insulted by an author trying to sneak past lazy writing. Everyone in this book has devolved into a one-dimensional cliche, and I feel like my very human companions of several hours acquaintance just got replaced by robots. I'm not even mad anymore. I'm just sad.
I don't even know how to establish this. This is the third time I have listened. The THIRD time. And every time is amazing. The story is amazing.....the narrator is a GOD! I bow down.....absolutely bow down.
The Joe Ledger series is a great one and reminds me of the Monster Hunter International series which I also loved. Joe also appears in a Pine Deep story as well.
It was a very good book, I even liked some parts more than the original. Thought the main bad guys were far more interesting than the previous set. But some stuff annoyed me. Most notably the way the hero "defeats" the main bad guy at the end. Thought it was rushed and completely unbelievable. Considering how dedicated the main bad guy was. Performance was fantastic as always.
Joe ledger is an awesome character, with a great story, this book continues the thrill. Some have reviewed it negatively, but for me, I love intense action and mystery and the narrator has to be the best narrator I've ever heard. Ray porter I tip my hat to you.
If you read patient zero, this is just as good. I'm starting the king of plagues later today.