A biological crisis of epic proportions threatens the world. Genetically manufactured creatures, called airwars, attack and kill at random. Despite having captured and sequestered the airwar's creator, a hastily formed world government appears to be more effective in consolidating power than in managing the crisis.Hope emerges when a navy admiral discovers there are individuals born genetically immune to the deadly stings of the creatures. As the "immunes" struggle to protect humanity, they bemoan escalating governmental control. There is, however, one key immune with the intelligence and leadership to look beyond the crisis. As the government unfolds its secret plans to end the crisis, the future of humanity may well rest on his shoulders.
©2011 LJS&S Publishing (P)2013 LJS&S Publishing
The Immune was clearly intended to be "Twilight Zone-esque" (for those not familiar with the original TV series, the Twilight Zone, Rod Serling created the series of mostly sci-fi vignettes as a vehicle for dealing with sensitive societal and political issues that would have otherwise gotten him blacklisted if not for the alien and futuristic themes). In this case, Doc Lucky Meisenheimer (about as pseudonymical as it comes) has crafted a tale of terror due to a global infestation of an unusual lifeform the size of a dirigible that floats in the air dragging poisonous tentacles that eat humans. Attempts to kill the creature leads to the release of juvenile forms that quickly envelope the planet. As this catastrophe is unfolding, an offshoot of the United Nations assumes command and calls the shoots for the human defense. National sovereignty is relinquished; guns are banned (in a attempt to prevent more juvenile); the media is controlled; and even resettlement is imposed. The few humans that appear to be "immune" to the poison are organized into a fighting force (in Speedos), but mostly for PR purposes. It's clear the author is parodying the rise of the security state along with the gradual erosion of liberties along with the theme of controlling the message and swaying public opinion. All of this however is done in an over the top manner and sustaining the degree of disbelief becomes difficult. Sodomy by alien celery is the icing on the cake.
While the author's intent is obvious and the story itself is engaging, the plot is quite weak; there are simply too many crude developments that are hard to accept. Just the existence of a floating whale-like creature is never questioned or discussed until a hokey explanation is offered. The military gives up quite easily without considering alternative weaponry or armor. Politicians roll over and even rogue dictators are happy to play along. People are tortured and eaten by pigs for a skin protein (why wouldn't you simply clone the gene for that protein and makes tons of the stuff?) There are just too many questions sane, semi-intelligent people would be asking along the way. It seems as if every certified loony was given unquestioned authority to decide and the planet turns into one giant insane asylum. Towards the end of the story, the only feature sustaining interest is the ever increasing ridiculousness of the evolving plot.
The narration is superb and does make up for a weak plot.
The performance by Stefan Rudnicki, who is rapidly turning into one of my favourite performers. He takes a longish, and multi character filled book to the next, and wonderful, level.
Accents, genders, nuances, all are illustrated brightly with his voice. This is a moderately compelling story that he brings alive.
Gosh, an apocalyptic/conspiracy/hero saves the day story would match this, but the spin of the Airwars , and the ( OK no spoiler here ) others...spins this uniquely.
Is it fair to say ALL OF IT?! He is remarkable in this book and makes it well worth the credit alone.
Too long, and why do that? Stretch it out and enjoy it!
I started out abit skeptical of this book, and it just kept getting better and better all the time. The conclusion seems abit rushed, and maybe somewhat contrived at the very end, but on balance, the journey of how the listener gets there makes it worthwhile.
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