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Publisher's Summary

Once thought to be pure academic legend, scientists recently found proof of the existence of viruses thousands of times larger than ordinary viruses. So far all have been innocuous, but what if one was a human pathogen? While drilling for oil in the desolate reaches of the Arctic, an unsuspecting company extracts a permafrost ice core that has been frozen for 30,000 years, accidentally releasing a "megavirus". Top investigator Sarah Spallanzani and her team must race against the ticking clock of the short Arctic summer to discover a way to protect workers from the virus before competitors drain the basin of its rich resources...and before anyone else succumbs to the deadly fever of the Laptev virus.

©2015 Christy Esmahan (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 03-17-17

A GREAT virus story

A quick look inside my brain: I LOVE Bio-Thrillers. Some of the best books I've ever read were by the amazing author Richard Preston. They are hard science books and most of them are non-fiction that reads like fiction (which is even scarier). The reason I'm prefacing my review is because I absolutely loved this book because it felt like it got the science right. And the parts where it didn't Esmahan openly admits it in the epilogue of the book.

This book has been on my radar for quite some time. It's probably been recommended to me by Amazon more times than any other book. (Amazon knows all!) Well, I'm really glad that Tantor picked up the rights to this book in audio because I finally got a chance to give it the listen that it deserved.

Yes, this book is a lot of hard science fiction -- but so was The Martian and that book absolutely took off. Just because it contains actual science doesn't mean you should steer clear of it. I feel the complete opposite. The Laptev Virus drew me deeper and deeper because Esmahan kept sprinkling in more and more fact-based fiction (which feels like an oxymoron).

I've been looking for a Bio-Thriller that took the science seriously. Crichton got it right in Andromeda Strain, Preston in The Cobra Event, and I can gladly add Esmahan in The Laptev Virus.

The story is about a mega-virus that is found in the arctic that looks to have been laying dormant for thousands of years. Sarah is a researcher who is working hard to try and find a cure for AIDS when she is pulled off that project to figure out what this virus is and potentially find a vaccine for it. The story follows Sarah in her lab with her co-workers and assistants as they try and find out what this virus is and why it does what it does.

The other thing that really helped this book as the narration provided by Vikas Adams. The main character is a strong and vivacious female. Sometimes this can be rough when a male provides the voice. Adams absolutely crushes it. He is able to give Sarah a voice without it sounding fake or over-acted. Adams narration was perfect for this book.

Overall, if you can't tell already I loved The Laptev Virus. The only complaint that I have is that it didn't give a proper ending. Sure all the characters had most of their problems solved, but at the same time... I won't say since it will ruin the ending of the book. I had a brief chat on twitter with Esmahan and she mentioned that Sarah's adventures continue in The Cobra Effect.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Gave up just when it was getting good.

Book had a good premise but really didn't follow through. Seemed like thw author was more interested in discussing how to manage a bunch of idiots.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No thanks

I bought this after listening to one of the Audicted episodes, in which one of the Audible editors goes on about what a wonderful narrator Vikas Adam is. He sounded alright in the short sample they played on that show, and since the subject matter of this book is in line with my interests, I thought it would be a great choice for me to experience one of his performances for myself.

I couldn't even get through it. I found the narration silly, the voices like caricatures. It was also oddly pretentious, in a west coast sushi bar sort of way. The words were artificially drawn out and smoothed, as though he wanted to make himself sound as suave and refined as possible. It made me want to gag.

As for the story, it might have been good, but I couldn't get past the narration long enough to make a fair judgement. Maybe I will read it in print.

I think this might be the last time I listen to the Audible editors. I want my credit back.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Synopsis is Misleading

I found the synopsis of this book to be misleading. It's basically about researchers trying to find a cure to a virus. Very little of the plot is spent on the people actually afflicted with the virus. Especially, those at the Antarctic station. If you don't mind a book loaded with a lot of scientific terminology and a moronic animal lover who screws up all the results, then this is the book for you. I was disappointed that the book wasn't more about the crew in the Antarctic and what they were going through and why Max did what he did. There was never any clear explanation of his actions.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Maybe the next chapter

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The potential for a stunning thriller was there, but it was talk, teach, talk, teach, talk, teach

Would you ever listen to anything by Christy Esmahan again?

Never

Which scene was your favorite?

The End

What character would you cut from The Laptev Virus?

silly lab tech

Any additional comments?

this was a huge disappointment. Audible has a great return policy, since I stayed with it hoping for something to happen, I will settle for warning others, unless you love fictional biology lessons. Vikas Adam was very good, I will not fault her for the material.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ended too soon

I really liked the story, but also feel it should have continued where it stopped. Felt it was a premature ending.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful