In the frozen waters of the Arctic, Marine bioterror expert Joe Rush races to save a submarine crew from a lethal threat.
"The pleas for help stopped coming just after five in the morning, Washington time. The Pentagon staffers cleared for handling sensitive messages sat in horror for a moment and then tried other ways to reach the victims. Nothing worked so they called the Director, who phoned me."
In the remote, frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean, the high-powered and technically advanced submarine U.S.S. Montana is in peril. Adrift and in flames, the boat - and the entire crew - could be lost. The only team close enough to get to them in time is led by Marine doctor and bio-terror expert Joe Rush.
With only 36 hours before the surviving crew perish, Joe and his team must race to rescue the Montana and ensure that the boat doesn't fall into enemy hands. Because a fast-approaching foreign submarine is already en route, and tensions may explode.
But that’s the least of their troubles. For the surviving sailors are not alone on the sub. Something is trapped with them. Something deadly lethal. Something that plagued mankind long ago, when it devastated the entire world. And the crew of the Montana has unknowingly set it free. Now, Joe and his team must not only find a way to save the Montana and her crew, but stop a lethal horror of apocalyptic consequence from being unleashed on all humanity.
©2014 James Abel (P)2014 Penguin Audio
Great storyline, great plot and I was certainly riveted. What I don't like is making the "brilliant" main character suddenly stupid and unable to understand/figure it out in parts of this story just so the plot can be extended. This was a great storyline and those moments weren't necessary.
Top 25. It would be easy to call this book out as somewhat formulaic, but a tension and high level of research runs through it ( with some minor bumps which are excusable to anyone but a purist.)
Of course, Ray Porter brings the story completely to life, which sure helps.
Gosh, any of the countless Arctic based submarine stories, as well as " latent disease unleashed" books. This offering combines those, with a nice conspiracy overlay AND the always dangerous Chinese Navy, to combine and deliver a highly compelling story.
Well, I did feel like Joe Ledger was in the da house, and that is not a bad thing. Porter is one of the finest audio book performers in our time, and this offering brings this to light yet again. His cadence, his laconic tone at times, and his authenticity sparkles.
The current titles says it all, and brings it all together.
This is a highly contemporary, relevant and interesting study in science, the arctic, history, submarines, conspiracies...in other words, you name it, this one has it. Perhaps abit too much at times, it is still a fine listen, easy to digest and yet with enough substance to keep the listener entertained. Highly recommended.
Worth the credit, compelling story line intelligently written. I work in the arctic where the story takes place and it was obvious that the author did his homework as his descriptions were spot on. Narrator did a good job
I love medical thrillers, so that was the part that got me interested in this book. However, it didn't really read like much a medical thriller, as it felt like it was more about the action.
I was disappointed in this book in that there were a lot of "coincidences" and at the end the book there were conveniently open questions remaining that really just communicated plot holes. There was interesting stuff going on in the book and you are wondering "why are they doing this" "how did they do this" "where did they get this information"... and those questions are never answered. This book is a lazy weekend-on-the-beach read, so don't expect much.
Yeah, it was short and distracting and entertaining enough for what it was. Personally though, I wouldn't spend more than $5 on this book though.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
When I started "White Plague", I expected something along the lines of "Ice Station Zebra" or "Deception Point" - secrets, betrayal and super-power rivalry set against the unforgiving Arctic climate. All those elements are in "White Plague" (although the super-power rival to the US is now China rather than Russia) together with the idea of one brave man solving a puzzle that will save the world, but the book goes beyond all that by focusing repeatedly on the moral dilemma of choosing whether the survival of the many justifies the death of a few.This was little more depth than I expected from a military thriller and it made the book much more interesting.
"White Plague" centres around the mission of US Marine Colonel and bio-weapons expert, Joe Rush, to rescue a US Submarine that has been crippled by fire and is now on the surface in the Arctic ice.
Inevitably, Joe is a troubled man: haunted by his past, divorced, sleepless, isolated and a few days away from leaving the leaving the Marines. I almost groaned at all this because it sounded so clichéd. Fortunately, the character of Joe Rush is rounded-out not only by the action in the Arctic but by vividly described flashbacks to his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of the book I understood and believed in, Joe Rush. I can't say I liked him much because, while he was admirable and brave and heart-sore, he still seemed to have "insensitive asshole" as his default setting. Still, my dislike of him is a tribute to how well written the character is.
Whatever his faults, I was glad to see that Joe Rush didn't suffer from the blind patriotism of Jack Ryan or Jack Bauer, who are both disturbing examples of men who will do anything to anyone if they perceive them as a threat to the USA. Joe Rush holds himself accountable for his actions and constantly questions the moral basis for own decisions.
"White Plague" is full of difficult moral decisions: for Joe Rush in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arctic; for an Airforce General, asked to do an unspeakable favour for the President, through to the advisors to the President and the President himself. All of these dilemmas come down, in different ways, to one question: would you personally kill a small number of people to save a large number of people. The answers are varied, thoughtful and never easy.
There's some good writing in "White Plague", particularly the descriptions of the Arctic conditions, the vivid images of the what it feels live to ride in Humvee in hostile territory, or walk into an apparently deserted village in hostile territory and the remarkable clear view of being on-board a large, unfamiliar ship. Unfortunately there is also a tendency towards cliché, which is disappointing when it's clear that James Able can do better. The book would have been better if the female lead had not had have a frail beauty as well as being an internationally known Arctic explorer, an athlete and a designer of submarines, or if the Senator on-board had not has such a tendency to bullying through unoriginal verbal bluster. I also thought the ending had too much wish-fulfillment for a novel that had, up until then, seemed to understand political reality.
"White Plague" left me wondering why anyone joins the military and puts themselves in line for such hard moral decisions.
Oh and my favourite quote in the book is "Politics is Hollywood for ugly people."
All mysteries all the time, that's what I read. I joined Audible when I started having a long commute. Now I listen everywhere!
The premise was ok, but other authors do this kind of book a lot better. For the first quarter of the book, or maybe even a third, I kept thinking--enough unnecessary detail, get on with the action already!
Author , James Abel's, and narrator, Ray Porter's,
combined talents produced a highly visual, thoughtful action adventure with interesting characters. The novel is full of current world problems based on many true facts such as the United States has only one ice breaker suitable for Arctic ice at a time when many see the Arctic as the place of near future resources and world transportation. The "Naval Proceeding" has included several articles speaking of the economic, political and military importance of the region. This novel is not only entertaining but highly relevant.
The author weaves an interesting, but somewhat flawed story. The hero of the piece is portrayed as a Marine Corps Lt. Colonel who is somehow a medical doctor as well. Huh? The Corps rely on the Navy for medical services and Navy doctors are assigned to work with Marines. In the narrative, the Lt. Colonel had combat duty in Afghanistan as a Captain, which led him to leave the Corps to go to medical school and then rejoin as a special medical doctor. Then he is supposedly permitted to lead Marines in combat? This would never happen.
A couple of other foopahs got my goat, so to speak. In one chapter a Marine salutes the Lt. Colonel inside a ship's cabin as he leaves. Marines do not salute indoors unless they are armed with a weapon and wearing a cover (a hat), In another chapter the author refers to Marines "storming the beach at Normandy". Did not happen. We were too busy killing Japs in the Pacific and were, in fact, forbidden to participate in the European theater of war due to Army resentment of the Marine Corps grabbing all the glory during WWI after several notable battle achievements were ballyhooed by William Randolph Hearst's newspaper chain, in turn, embarrassing General John Pershing and infuriating then Army Captain Harry S. Truman, who after the end of WWII, attempted to disband the Marine Corps entirely. How's that for a run on sentence!
The takeaway here is Marines are very sensitive to the portrayal of their traditions and service. All the author had to do was run the story by any former Marine. He would have been gently guided to the right path making the story less painful to swallow. Simple fix - make the Lt. Colonel a Navy doctor. The Marine Major would NEVER salute a Navy doctor indoors and I would have then given this book an overall score of 4 stars.
Excitement,excitement,excitement!!!! I had to finish this book in one seating. I can't wait for the next book to come out!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
This novel would have had more suspense if the plot had been more realistic especially related to the "moral dilemma" of whether to kill actual and potential suffers of a contagious with no known cure . The most interesting aspect is the degree to which government and big businesses practice crony capitalism.
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