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Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1 | [Jonathan Maberry]

Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....
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Publisher's Summary

From multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry comes a major new thriller that combines the best of the New York Times best-selling books World War Z by Max Brooks and James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series to kick off the start of a new series featuring Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences.

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid-response group is called the Department of Military Sciences, or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bioweapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Jonathan Maberry is the New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Ghost Road Blues, the first of a trilogy of thrillers with a supernatural bite. A professional writer and writing teacher, he has sold more than 1.000 articles, 17 nonfiction books, six novels, and two plays.

©2009 Jonathan Maberry (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Brilliant, shocking, horrifying, it puts the terror back in terrorist.” (James Rollins, New York Times best-selling author)

“Plenty of man-to-zombie combat, a team traitor and a doomsday scenario add up to a fast and furious read.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Jonathan Maberry has found a delightful voice for this adventure of Joe Ledger and his crew: while the action is heated, violent, and furious, the writing remains cool, steady, and low-key, framing all the wildness and exuberance in a calm rationality (given an almost comic edge) that renders it as palatable as your favorite flavor of ice cream." (Peter Straub)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Kim Venatries 10-05-12 Member Since 2013

    There are few things better than a good story well told!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."

    Lots of people have reviewed this book already so I will just aim my comments to those (like me) who hesitate to get this because of the cartoonish cover art and well the whole zombies thing. I like zombie fiction but eventually it does get pretty predictable. This book is not your typical run and shoot zombies take over the world tale. It is not a gratuitous gore-fest. The story has multiple layers, science, mysteries within mysteries, strong characters, and intrigue that will keep you guessing and glued to your earphones to the last word. Yes, it is that good. And Ray Porter’s performance is flawless perfection.

    74 of 77 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-03-12
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-03-12 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

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    "Drop Dead and get back up great."

    While others are thinking about what to do, Joe Ledger is getting it done. If you take a second to think, Joe will kick your ass, he pulls no punches, he is balls out all the way.

    The book is funnier then a John Scalzi novel, Scarier then Stephen King and weirder then Dean Koontz.

    The Department of Military Science, seems to be the action side of the X-Files. It is run by Mr Church, but who is Mr. Church? People used to say Who is John Gault, but now they will be saying Who is Mr. Church?

    Don't get me wrong this is no comic book fluff, this is well-written stuff. Some say it is not literature, but I dare you to say that in front of John Maberry. He even knows how to use chapters, something that seems to confuse most modern Science Fiction writers.

    This is the best book I have listened to since I started listening and that is hundreds of books.

    Ray Porter does an excellent, excellent job. If I could give Seven Stars I would give it to him.

    34 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-04-12
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2015

    I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.

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    "My vote for narrator of the year."

    This book is (at the time of this review) the first of three books in "Joe Ledger" series. For fellow fans of Lee Child, Joe Ledger can be described as Jack Reacher, with less of a vigilante bend, and far more high tech toys.

    This is not, in my opinion, a bad thing.

    In my experience it's rare to find a "hero" of a thriller that still expresses disbelief and horror at the things he sees and does, and I found it refreshing. The pace was very good, and the short chapters and constant countdown kept it moving along swimmingly. I appreciated that the various villains had varying levels of "evilness", and the humor inserted regularly kept me chuckling to myself.

    The real hero of these books (both this and the following two in the series, which I read in quick succession) was Ray Porter, the narrator. He's absolutely amazing in his delivery, and his performance alone makes this book more than worthwhile. It really amazed me. He lent a depth to the character that really put the book on a whole other level.

    I recommend this book, and overall I recommend the following two books as well.

    34 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adam coralville, IA, United States 10-26-10
    adam coralville, IA, United States 10-26-10 Member Since 2007
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    "First rate zombie fiction!"

    This is just an absolutely great action/adventure/zombie tale. Fun, fast paced, and even funny this novel marks the first in what is the Joe Ledger series - I really enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next. As icing on the cake Ray Porters narration is perfect, and I mean perfect. Every character has their very distict voice, there is never any question of who is speaking and he moves seemlessly between them. Of the thousands of audio books I've listened to this is one of the best performances I have heard. I will be looking for more books narrated by him simply because they ARE narrated by him.

    39 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Naka 06-23-12
    Mike Naka 06-23-12 Member Since 2012

    Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL

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    "24 + james bond + zombies, whew! great book!"
    Any additional comments?

    great zombie novel...really, it is. i was skeptical at first b/c of the terrorist angle. i thought it was kind of dumb, but i decided to give it a try based on the reviews. i don't always agree with the reviews, but this time, i do! i must say this is a realistic twist on zombie fiction. there is real science behind how a zombie could be made. very interesting.

    don't be afraid of the line that he has to kill the same terrorist twice in one week. again, i was kind of turned off by that, but i still gave it a try, and boy am i sure glad i did! that was a great scene! i mean great!

    the bad guys are great. they are over the top, but definitely in a good way. great character development all around!

    imagine the show 24 mixed with james bond. joe ledger is jack bauer and james bond. the story is fast-paced and hard to put down.joe ledger is the man! he's funny and kicks some serious butt. i'm glad he's not a womanizer like bond.

    the fight scenes are realistic, excellently described, and flow seamlessly with the action. the science and tech is really cool. they add to the story and aren't boring or over your head. cool like tom clancy.

    after reading the first book, patient zero, i really wanted to know how the story continues. i initially picked up this book b/c of the zombie slant, but i am now a huge joe ledger fan!

    ray porter is an excellent narrator. top flight. he can perform different ranges of voices and different accents very well. he intones emotions like no one else i've heard. best i've heard yet.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 01-01-13
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 01-01-13 Member Since 2007

    The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history

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    "Wont't disappoint anyone looking for entertainment"

    I once heard a movie critic say of one of the Jurassic Park movies that you if you go to a movie like that to get complex characters and deep, philosophical discussions on the nature of God, you’re going for the wrong reasons and you are going to be disappointed. You go to see dinosaurs. Lots and lots of dinosaurs.

    That’s how I felt about this movie—excuse me, book. It was everything a thriller should be. The hero was a brick who could hold his own in just about any fight, but had enough of a brain to wonder occasionally about what all the killing was doing to his psyche. The black hat had understandable motives for trying to unleash a zombie plague and had his own trials to overcome. There was a bit of a love interest. And there were zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. The pacing was terrific, the bon mots made me smile and the whole thing was so visual that it was easy to see how this would make a great movie. Listening to it as an audio book performed by Ray Porter was the perfect way to experience this adventure. I’ve started to get used to the way many of the best audiobook performers can switch accents seamlessly, but Porter really amazed me when he nailed the voice for the protagonists’ best friend, who is described in the book as sounding like “a young Raul Julia.” An all-around fun listen that will not disappoint anyone looking to be entertained.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Sellersburg, IN, United States 11-03-10
    Jessica Sellersburg, IN, United States 11-03-10
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    "Very, very good."

    This was my first "zombie" novel. I had expectations of something decent, something to please the zombie fanatic out there and not much else. Well, it did please me as a zombie fanatic. It not only pleased me as a fan of the zombie genre but it thrilled me as a reader. This was an over all very good book. If I were reading the physical book itself I would call it a "page turner". This is not only for the zombie fan but also for the action fan, the covert ops fan and even the conspiracy theory fan. No, it's not Dickens, but it is fun, fast paced and not dumbed down. Really it was a treat. Very well written and boy, the narrator was superb. I could re-listen immediately. I certainly hope there is a follow-up.

    25 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 04-22-12
    Mel USA 04-22-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I've Always Had a Thing For the Bad Boys..."

    I guess I'm outted...I'm a closetted zombiephile. Yeah, I said it! "By the prickling of my thumbs," every now and then I like it when "something wicked this way comes" besides Hamlet's father. And Jonathan Maberry may be my new go-to man when I need a shiver fix--because I had a blast with this one. Joe Ledger was just as fun as Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, Jason Bourne, etc.

    Before anyone starts "humph-ing" and scraping their nose along the ceiling, Maberry has some serious credentials in the world of writing and PZ is not just another zombie story (not that there's anything wrong with that). Patient Zero is about espionage, secret ops, counter-intelligence, and the most terrifying, shock and awe inspiring, secret weapon imaginable, in the hands of the mujahideen. It could happen....I just read something the other day about Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter; guess O'Reilly missed that little fact.

    And Ray Porter! He has a fan page...'nuff said.





    35 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-15-15 Member Since 2015

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

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    "Pretty stupid - A B-Grade movie in book form"

    Any author who writes about zombies or vampires or any other done-to-death monster had better bring a really creative twist to the table to make a story worth their reader's time. Unfortunately that didn't happen here.

    There is absolutely nothing new or interesting in this exploration of the extremely stale zombie theme.

    There are plenty of other things not to like here: flat characters, crude stereotypes, inconsistent "science", etc.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 04-14-14
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

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    "Okay story, excellent narrator"

    I'm not too into zombie stories but this one had an interesting twist in the reasons why. I won't be continuing on with this series but I will listen to a few of the Walking Dead audio books to see how they compare. Also, the narrator for this book is excellent, one of the best I've ever listened to at Audible and I will certainly look into other books he did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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