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Publisher's Summary

The contagion is in your mind

In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.

Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker for the NSA when his brother Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before.

But that's not the only pattern - the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, deadly goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, unexplained alliances form between governments that have traditionally been enemies, and Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic. Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction.

Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the free will of every human on earth at stake. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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

Intriguing idea poorly executed

I really wanted to like this book - I had to make myself listen to the entire thing. This book has received 4-5 stars on multiple sites.

The reader appears to be chosen for his ability to pronounce Portuguese words correctly but doesn't catch things like "neuron star".

The main character is totally ridiculous - the brilliant 21 year white male old college drop out who solves the problems that no one else can. He loves the NSA! He can't wait to be part of the team! Yay! He doesn't freak out when the head of the NSA - he is travelling with him - is murdered in an explosion in Brasilia! The head of his group - a 70 something lifetime employee of the NSA - just loves her new hire and defers to the snotty know it all! This is a matter of national security! Just yuck

The premise is interesting but vague - it has big holes in some areas. I am usually willing to suspend belief for a good sci-fi story - after all, it is fiction - but this story pushed it past my limits.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

the main character was horrible

Good premise. Interesting idea. But the character development was horrible. First, the NSA is an intelligence agency. WHY IS THIS KID TELLING EVERYONE he works for the NSA? It's supposed to be secret. WHY IS HE TELLING EVEN THE PEOPLE HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING? That makes no sense.

In the book the protagonist goes up to some girl and basically starts divulging classified information he shouldn't be. Like... WHY. It wasn't even relevant to the plot. At all.

Like don't get me wrong. The concept itself was very interesting. But the protagonist was absolutely CLUELESS. I found myself screaming at the protagonist while listening to the audiobook in traffic because his actions were so nonsensical. And the other people in the cars around me probably thought I was crazy.

And then the ending doesn't make a lot of sense either. I don't want to give away spoilers. So I won't. But the ending doesn't quite fit the premise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jazmaan
  • Santa Monica, CA United States
  • 10-27-17

There's a fungus among us!

Excellent hard sci-fi. I'm not going to post too much information here, because it will be more fun for you if you don't have any preconception of what's going on before you start enjoying this book. Suffice it to say that this book is well written around an intriguing and original concept. The Audiobook performance is not the best I've heard, but the narrator grows on you and is appropriately nerdy for the main character. His female voices aren't bad either. The hard sci-fi aspects are built around an emotional core of losing a family member to Alzheimer's, but the book is not overly sappy either. It's also got some good spy tech going on. And like all good hard sci-fi, you may actually learn something - in this case, about mycology! Highly recommended! I look forward to the author's next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • SUMAS, WA, United States
  • 10-17-17

Predictable and Tedious

This felt fairly uninspired, I would not waste your time, money or energy on this book. I say that as a lover of science fiction, fantasy and even non fiction. A protagonist NSA agent, an antagonist mycologist and an Alzheimer’s patient all within one family group. If any other character was important in the story I’m sure they would have ended up being a close relative as well. Groan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Evolution, Co-Opted

Like author David Walton's previous books, Superposition and Supersymmetry, The Genius Plague is high-energy, high-velocity intrigue. With ingredients like Amazon adventure, brain-boosting mushrooms, shadowy NSA activities, fluid global alliances and even some good-old brother-against-brother challenges thrown in, The Genius Plague is a potent brew and will draw in and transfix even the most casual listener. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • tony
  • Springfield, SD
  • 02-07-18

Good Book - Very hard to put down!

If you could sum up The Genius Plague in three words, what would they be?

I’m surprised there isn’t more reviews for this book I thought it was one of the better ones I’ve listened to lately, and I listen to almost one a day.

What other book might you compare The Genius Plague to and why?

The first book in the Joe Ledger series, you know the basic worlds about to go to hell in a handbag and it’s up to a team of misfits to save us all!

What about Nick Thurston’s performance did you like?

The way I judge the performance is if I fail to notice the reader after a few chapters and he was able to do that.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

not really

Any additional comments?

starting the next one by him now.

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

Summary of this book (slight spoilers)

Short review: this book proves that while mushrooms are jerks, people are worse. That’s about it. I liked the narrator but hated his accents. Story was pretty good though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique, wonderful when combining fact and fiction

Well developed story. Eases you into the leaps from realities of known biology onto a constantly changing edgenof your seat story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Book was great. Good pacing, characters, and plot. Can't wait to pick up another one by Walton. Narration was ok

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Genius Plague was an all-around very fun book

The Genius Plague was an all-around very fun book to read. Walton presents a lot of complicated science in a very ingest-able format. The book is well-paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I wasn't 100% satisfied with how the book ended (maybe only 80% satisfied!), but I absolutely loved the journey to get there.

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  • D Caddick-brown
  • 12-20-17

Great!

Very engaging with some very interesting ideas. This is the first book I've read (listened to) in just a couple of days in a while!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful