Monday, August 27, 2012

Jonathan Maberry: The Dragon Factory

This is the second book in Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series. While there is not too much of a reference back to the first book, the first book, Patient Zero, does set up the characters and relationship and how Joe becomes involved with the DMS (plus it is a great read) that you may feel the need to read it first.

Joe Ledge and the DMS (Department of Military Science) are being hit on different fronts and one of them is their own government. Someone inside the United States government wants to dismantle and take control of Mindreader and is willing to go to any lengths to get it. If that was not enough, there is a mysterious email sent to the DMS that show creatures that are of myth and fantasy but seems very real on video. Additionally, there are red flags being set off all over the world as diseases that were thought to be extinct growing in rapid numbers, but only affecting people of certain race and color. Little does Joe and his Echo team know that there is a count down to the end of the world, and there is nothing that can be done once the clock hits zero. Joe, Echo team and DMS resources are spread thin as they try to unravel all the mysteries surround the attacks as well as protect the world from extinction and that some old points of views about the people of the world, never really do die.

I am a big fan of this series, so do not worry if you liked the first book in this series and are worried about the second one living up Patient Zero, I think that Maberry has succeeded in writing an awesome second book for this series. I love that Maberry continually has you questioning whether what is happening within the story could be real, could be happening on some level right now, within this novel that is the development of super-bugs with specific targets as well as combining the DNA of different animals to create new creature or Hybrids. As human have always been fascinated with creating and destroying everything around them, I think that theses were perfect topics for Maberry to explore and you get the real creepy/scary feeling when you read the information that he has amasses for this novel, you questions what is really being done behind all those closed doors around the world. I really appreciated that you can tell that Maberry has done his research on genetics for this book, as he is able to explain the creation of the creatures within this story. Maberry, knows how to weave a interesting story that is not over whelmed by the action (although there is quite a bit of action in this novel, I think there is more than the first book). The Joe Ledger series are for those who like their action reads, and maybe want to try something out with a sci-fi mix to it, as Maberry has succeeded on melding the two together, basically flawlessly. 
I really love the development of Joe's character within this novel as well as his relationship with Grace. I think that it was smart for Maberry to introduce something good into Joe's life, so that everything is not the dark, that consumes him. There are some big events within this book that I know will define Joe as a character in future novels, so if you also liked Joe as a character in the first, just watch out in this one. I also liked the introduction to Eighty-Two (yes that is his name). It was just a very interesting perspective to have especially when the voice if that of a child. I do wonder if Maberry will continue to have Eighty-Two within the books as I could see him being a fixture within the DMS.

I like that Maberry is not afraid to let his main character get hurt, both physical and mentally and the mentally part is what makes Joe who he is and his ability to be the best at his job. Maberry also does a good job of letting those around him get hurt as well, and you never really know which individual on Joe's team is going to survive (well except for Church, I would like to see the day where Church actually gets to be part of the action). This really adds to the suspense and even though people may get attached to certain characters, that suspense is what makes Maberry's books more interesting and more real as we all know not everyone can survive a battle (especially in this book as there are some very unique genetically modified creatures/humans/species).

This book does have several point of views, but I found that the majority of the chapters were focused around Joe voice. However, if you dislike having different points of view within the book you read then you will probably not want to pick this one up. That said you will be missing out a great if you choose not to pick this up.

I'm a big fan of Maberry and his Joe Ledger series, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series. Maberry's seamless way of making everything within his story appear real, will always keep me coming back for more and maybe just keep a better eye on the headlines, as things like this really could come true. The Joe Ledger series are for those who really enjoy their action adventure novels, with enough suspense and twists and turns to always keep the reader guessing.

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