The King of Plagues

The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 3
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Series: Joe Ledger, Book 3
Length: 16 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6,308 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $27.97

Buy for $27.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Saturday, 0911 hours — A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured.

1009 hours — Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen.

Compelled by grief and rage, Ledger rejoins the Department of Military Sciences, and within hours he's attacked by a hit team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak.

Soon Ledger and the DMS begin tearing down the veils of deception to uncover a vast and powerful secret society using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt to destabilize world economies and profit from the resulting chaos. Millions will die unless Ledger meets this powerful new enemy on its own terms as he fights terror with terror. 

Take another thrill ride with Joe Ledger.
©2011 Jonathan Maberry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel.” (Brad Thor)

What listeners say about The King of Plagues

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,262
  • 4 Stars
    1,600
  • 3 Stars
    350
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    33
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,855
  • 4 Stars
    784
  • 3 Stars
    126
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    15
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,747
  • 4 Stars
    1,514
  • 3 Stars
    423
  • 2 Stars
    74
  • 1 Stars
    32

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Entertaining

Joe Ledger is a terrific character for this genre. He has strength and compassion as well as good solid hatred of the bad guys.
This is a well-rounded storyline with lots of action, weird bad guys and gals (love all the twisted weirdos wanting to fulfill their own twisted weirdo agendas) and cool behind-the-scenes military/government stuff.
And I totally disagree with some other reviewers who criticized the author for the political comments. I appreciated the intention as the comments were woven into the story as not only from the main character's point-of-view, but to add reality to the story.
And who doesn't love that dog? I adored Ghost and all his human-like qualities! I want that dog!
Ray Porter is an absolutely outstanding narrator.
On the next installment.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Joe Ledger ROCKS!

I cannot choose which is my favorite Joe Ledger book, I have tried by listening to them each several times. Jonathan Maberry is one of the most talented writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading. His books are smart, creepy, and will pull you into the world in which his characters dwell. The King of Plagues is the third part of the Joe Ledger trilogy, My advice is start the book when you have plenty of time to listen, because once you start you will not be able to stop.

38 people found this helpful

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

Better Than The Second Joe Ledger

I was disappointed by the second Joe Ledger book Dragon Factory and almost didn't read this one. But, I was such a fan of Dust and Decay and Rot and Ruin (absolutely fantastic btw) that I decided to give this one a shot.
I don't think it was as good as Patient Zero but it is damn close.

18 people found this helpful

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

A scary concept

If you have listened to Book 2, The Dragon Factory, and you want to know the result of Joe Ledger's hunt for Grace's killer, then you should listen to book 2.5, Dog Days, before you listen to this book 3, King of Plagues. Also you will get the back story of the white German Shepard Dog, Ghost, from Dog Days. If you go straight to Book 3 you will feel as if you have missed something. Dog Days fills in the gap.

Now, in King of Plagues a truly wicked sadistic man, a major terrorist, makes good people do horrible acts of terrorism by threatening to torture and kill their loved ones. The enigmatic Mr. Church, Joe Ledger, and Ledger’s team from the previous book in the series, are after the terrorists and those associated with him. Joe is still grieving the loss of Grace, the love of his life. He still has his white shepherd dog, Ghost, by his side. He loves Ghost. The terrorist plot is complex, and the planned act will have a deadly worldwide effect. The climax is exciting and is written in short chapters that jump between different situations. Joe and Ghost are in the fight for their lives.

This is an imaginative book written in a fast-paced manner that keeps the adrenaline flowing. The ending has a big surprise. The narrator is excellent with his reading style and his accents.

2 people found this helpful

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

Jonathan Maberry, Ray Porter & Joe Ledger!!!!!

Ray Porter brings to life the members of Echo Team and the DMS team. I can't imagine another person reading these books, it would feel wrong, like when they do a remake of your favorite movies, the new actors/actresses will never measure up! I really liked this book, it kept you on your toes, had so much going on at the same time, but you never got lost or overwhelmed, you still connected with each player. You HATED "The Spaniard", you FEARED Nickademous, you CRIED for the dead and CHEERED (rather loudly I might add) when the good guys finally got something right!! This is actually the 3rd Time I've listened to this book. I've listened to all of Jonathan Maberry's books and when I need to get my "Joe Ledger" FIX and am waiting for the next book, I will go back and listen to the series all over again. Keep up the AMAZING work!!!

2 people found this helpful

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

PLAGUES Confirms I am STILL Not Sick of Joe Ledger

Having listened to the first three installments of the Joe Ledger series, The King of Plagues included, it's safe to say that I'll be a devout follower of Jonathan Maberry's hero for the foreseeable future (particularly since I've already downloaded the rest of these books and have book #10 on pre-order for its late-October release). But having also done a minor bit of binge listening and working through these first three books in fairly quick succession (for me, anyway), I'm not entirely sure what else I have to add beyond what I have already said in my reviews for Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory.

Maberry is a reliable author to turn toward, and the bulk of his work that I've read has left me satisfied. His Rot & Ruin series is a superb run of Young Adult post-apocalyptic zombie novels (a few which also feature Joe Ledger, naturally), and his latest, Glimpse, was an early favorite of my 2018 reads. His Ledger books follow a formulaic structure, as series books typically do, but they've proven to be immediately engaging. I like Ledger and his tough, smart-ass, but self-aware attitude, and Maberry has surrounded him with a great cast of supporting players and ultra-villainous baddies who you just cannot wait to see their asses kicked and/or killed.

The King of Plagues introduces us to a secret society of ultra-wealthy global elites, the 1% of the 1%, who control literally every single thing. They are the Seven Kings, and through their network of assassins, drug cartels, legitimate industries, terror cells, street gangs, government agencies, etc., they covertly run the world, destabilizing economies and nations for their own gain and pleasures. For the Goddess they serve, this is not enough, and so Sebastian Gault (a returning villain responsible for the zombie outbreak in Patient Zero) is recruited as their King of Plagues, with the goal of unleashing the ten Biblical plagues upon mankind in an act of global Armageddon. Joe Ledger, on sabbatical from the DMS, is called back into action to face what is easily the greatest threat he's faced thus far.

One thing that surprised me is the somewhat slower, more methodical pace of The King of Plagues in comparison to the prior two entries. Given this book's focus on germ warfare and biological terrorism, Maberry is forced to be a bit more restrained in the gunplay. While there are still plenty of great big giant action scenes, there are also quieter, more dramatic plays on turmoil. It is, after all, a little too reckless to get into a gunfight while wearing a hazmat suit and locked in a room surrounded by vials of ebola and contaminated air.

Restraining the violence is a good thing sometimes, and such moments allow Maberry to fully capitalize on the emotional horrors and physical trauma of murder by way of viral attacks, and the sense of powerlessness in the face of invisible microbial terrors. Other aspects of The King of Plagues are equally restrained, giving the book a bit more a grounded in reality feel. The Seven Kings aspect feels slightly comic-bookish and grandiose, but it's also hard to discount them given real world machinations and the influence of the ultra-wealthy on systems of governance and law. What cannot be discounted, though, is the severely human antagonists at the heart of Plagues. In fact, there's nary a zombie or genetically engineered beserker to be found. The horrors here are entirely human and natural, even if already highly deadly diseases have been given an extra bit of fictional oomph. For a series that has been populated with scientifically plausible-enough monsters, it's notable that Maberry bypasses that particular facet in favor of viruses and plagues, exhibiting the elasticity of this series and allowing the author and his characters to stretch their legs into some deeper and more diabolical arenas.

My only real complaint comes with a dangling loose end that came at the finale of the prior entry, The Dragon Factory. At that book's close, we saw Ledger on the hunt for an assassin that had previously escaped his crosshairs. It's an element that is all but abandoned here, as Maberry picks up the story sometime following Ledger's pursuit and his acquisition of an awesome white German Shepherd named Ghost. Apparently Ledger's hunt and Ghost's introduction are told in a short story, available separately naturally, which frankly irks me a bit. It's a bit jarring to have Ledger all of a sudden in the company of a killer attack dog, and denied the pay-off of The Dragon Factory's most pressing story thread.

This small issue aside, The King of Plagues is certainly a heck of a lot of fun. Ray Porter continues to impress, taking his rightful place as The King of Narrators as he exhibits a knack for various accents as Ledger's search for the Seven Kings takes him overseas to England and Scotland. It was fun listening to Porter adopt a Scotsman's brogue for some pertinent scenes, and his portrayal of the inmate Nicodemus allowed him to exhibit even further range in one particularly creepy scene.

Now that I've worked my way through the opening trio of this long-running series, I will be taking a small break from Joe Ledger's adventures before I get burned out. But you can be damned sure I'll be back for more soon!

2 people found this helpful

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

good fun, better than second book

This is the third installment in the series, and I wasn't sure I wanted to read it after the lousy second installment. This is better -- over-the-top comic book fun that's entirely unrealistic but good entertainment. And Ray Porter is a fantastic narrator that makes listening to this book a great experience. There were some things in the story that were even too unbelievable for a comic book, but all in all, it was still worth the time and credit. And I might even consider the next installment now that this one improved over the mistake of the Dragon Factory.

2 people found this helpful

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

Ray Porter - Still worth the price of admission.

In the third full-length installment of the Joe Ledger series, we again find ourselves blessed with one of the best narrators available; Mr. Ray Porter. His performance alone is more than reason enough to spend time on this book.

This was my least favorite of the series so far, a casualty of overtly political sentiments that felt clumsy and heavy-handed, and a couple of overly obvious plot set-ups that left little to be surprised by in the end.

That said, there are still things to recommend this book, and overall I do recommend it; both for the reading, and for the (by now) familiar characters that I continued to enjoy. Mr. Church/Deacon/Pope (the main character's mysterious boss) continues to be one of the more interesting characters I've enjoyed in the thriller genre in some time, and I will happily pick up the next installment of the series when it comes out.

Final Verdict: Not as good as the first two, but worth the credit if you've enjoyed the series thus far.

17 people found this helpful

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

The Danger Broadens

This is a worthy installment in the Joe Ledger series. Lots of well-written action by Maberry, plus excellent narration by Ray Porter.

The threat is broader, darker and more insidious than ever before, made worse by the reappearance of some characters we've already met before (if you've read the preceding books, which you should).

One of the things I found most rewarding about this book was the new insights we get into two supporting characters.

4 people found this helpful

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

I have become a fan of Joe Ledger

When I first started this series it was a break from the normal in depth books I tend to read. The quick action, interesting characters and end of the world ( or at least chaos of the world) plots are just simply delightful and addicting.

This book brings back Galt and Toys and the author did it in a good way. It didn't feel cheesy or forced. I really hope that they follow through on this and make the TV series.

If you read or listened to the other books you know the basics already. Good Guy Joe Ledger and the DMS must save the world again against the evil organization of the Seven Kings and the Goddess.

So if you need a break from the complex books, like action and can put aside the near invincibility and luck of Joe Ledger, I highly recommend this book. This is one of those books to just sit back, enjoy and go with the flow.

6 people found this helpful