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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

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  •  
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 10-05-12
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 10-05-12 Member Since 2010

    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.

    34 of 37 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.

    35 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-04-12
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2010

    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.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 08-03-12
    James Springfield, MO, United States 08-03-12 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

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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.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Naka VA 06-23-12
    Mike Naka VA 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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 04-22-12
    Melinda UT 04-22-12 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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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.





    30 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 01-27-14
    Anthony Moore Springfield, IL 01-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved it!!!"
    Where does Patient Zero rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This would make a great movie, lots of action and a great story.


    What other book might you compare Patient Zero to and why?

    Don't know what to compare it to.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    His ability to change his voice, you forget it's just one person.


    If you could rename Patient Zero, what would you call it?

    The Legend of Joe Ledger: U.S.A Undead Sureal Anti-Humans.... LOL


    Any additional comments?

    Great book and glad it was recommended to me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Salt Lake City, UT, United States 05-24-13
    Kathryn Salt Lake City, UT, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2010
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    "I was hoping this would be better"
    What aspect of Ray Porter’s performance would you have changed?

    His performance was fine for the character. Unfortunately, I didn't care for Joe Ledger.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was decidedly dissappointed by this book. Even though detective/police/government conspiracy type books have never been my thing, I decided to give it a try because I'm a fan of anything having to do with zombies and it had such good reviews from others. Unfortunately, this missed the mark for me. Ledger's sarcastic, cynical and "witty" style of speaking had me rolling my eyes on a fairly regular basis. It was just too much and seemed so forced to me. Not only that, it was exactly what I would have expected. There weren't any clever twists, cliffhangers or a surprise ending. I found the plot line trite and predictable - aside from the zombies.


    Any additional comments?

    If this is the genre of book you are normally drawn to, you will probably enjoy it. The character development wasn't bad and there are plenty of action-packed scenes. However, if you're going after this book only because of the zombie thing, there's a good chance you won't be happy with it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Sellersburg, IN, United States 11-03-10
    Jessica Sellersburg, IN, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2006
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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.

    20 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.R.H. Rouge Valley, Oregon 02-18-13
    J.R.H. Rouge Valley, Oregon 02-18-13 Member Since 2011

    There are very few pleasures, in this life, that match the bliss of listening to a well written story read by a skilled orator. "Language is a virus from outer space." William Burroughs

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story bogs down under the weight of mediocrity."
    Any additional comments?

    It is too bad that after being a member of Audible for a little over a year and listening to some excellent books that I have to start here, a rather mediocre thriller, but it is what it is and it's better to start now than not at all. I have gotten so much from reading others reviews that I thought I would throw my voice into the fire.

    Ray Porter lifts this book from something that might not be listenable to a book just entertaining enough to not put down. I do prefer a few other narrators to Mr. Porter, Pacey and Brick, however he has the perfect voice for a thriller, or wanna-be in this case. So, if you are a major Porter fan and like your black ops mixed with a little zombie mayhem, this might be for you.

    The major problem with Patient Zero is the lack of an engaging, dynamic central character. Although, Joe Ledger is a relatively interesting figure he is not compelling enough to unite the story lines into a cohesive narrative. His most prominent personality trait, other than being a lethal warrior, is that he is a smart ass, however this is not depicted in a unique manner that defines his character. It simply comes off as flippant, unbelievable and juvenile. If this was handled in a way that gave his personality distinction it might have served a purpose, unfortunately it doesn't and Ledger best friend the psychologist Ray becomes a much more compelling figure.

    My last thought here is that you need a bad guy for this kind of story. At the beginning we are promised a type of mad scientist, a trope that approached properly could have been very successful in this type of story. We never got the mad scientist. Instead we have three different bad guys, well two guys and one woman, that have a sorted love story inside a malevolent end of the world plot. None of these figures gives us anything engaging enough to be concerned about or allow us to vent our hatred at what they are planning. They are benign and undefined. I personally didn't care what they were doing.

    I have said nothing very positive about this novel, but that is not to say I did not enjoy it at moments. Some of the action scenes are very well orchestrated, beautifully described and addicting. Mostly, I had the feeling of guilty pleasure while listening. Like watching a movie that isn't very good but does offer enough action and mildly interesting plot twist's to keep you occupied until the end.

    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
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