Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Pandemic by Scott Sigler

By Scott Sigler
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Published: Jan. 21, 2014
ISBN: 9780307408976

Amazon Synopsis:

 Infected shocked readers with a visceral, up-close account of physical metamorphosis and one man’s desperate fight for sanity and survival, as “Scary” Perry Dawsey suffered the impact of an alien pathogen’s early attempts at mass extinction. In the sequel Contagious, Sigler pulled back the camera and let the reader experience the frantic national response to this growing cataclysm.
 Pandemic, the entire human race balances on the razor’s edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares. 

     To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero—a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she’s a monster—a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil. 
     All Margaret knows is that she’s broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands. Guilt and nightmares have turned her into a shut-in, too mired in self-hatred even to salvage her 
marriage, let alone be the warrior she once was.
     But she is about to be called into action again. Because before the murderous intelligence was destroyed, it launched one last payload — a soda can–sized container filled with deadly microorganisms that make humans feed upon their own kind. 
     That harmless-looking container has languished a thousand feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.
     Part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale, Pandemic completes the Infected trilogy and sets a new high-water mark in the world of horror fiction.

Book Links
Amazon  *  B&N  *  Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I have read (listened to, actually) several of Scott Sigler’s books before I started reviewing books on this blog, so when I had the opportunity to review Pandemic, I jumped at the chance. I don’t review a lot of material in the horror/thriller genre, but I do enjoy a good fright now and then, and Scott Sigler certain delivers in that area. In fact, after I finished reading the book, I visited his website and watched the trailer for the book. I realized that if that was a movie trailer, I wouldn’t be able to watch the movie; it would be way too scary for me to watch. So for horror fans, this book will be right up your alley!

Pandemic is actually the third book of a trilogy. I hadn’t really thought about that when I picked it up. I’m glad I had read (listened to) the previous two books – Infected and Contagious previously, though I would have been able to understand this book without having done so. It was nice to have the information and character development from the previous two books regarding the characters that continued on in this book as they were like old friends I was getting together with again on another frightening adventure.

It’s been five years since the Orbital and their deadly contagion tried to destroy earth. Dr. Margaret Montoya is a hero to some and a monster to others. To herself – she calls herself responsible for the deaths of her friends and colleagues that helped her save the world 5 years ago. She calls herself responsible for nuking Detroit.

Scott Sigler has a way of writing that really makes me relate to his characters. Perhaps it’s in part because I listened to the first two books in the series and caught the inflections and emotions in their voices? I don’t know. But I could hear those same voices when I read this book. Of course there were new characters in this book too, so my mind had to create new voices for those ones.

With each attempt of the alien micro-organisms to invade earth, additional modifications were made in order to help spread their invasion. These micro-organisms took over the human body and converted them for their own use. This time would be no different, and much more deadly.

This book was the most frightening of the three in the series. The newest iteration of the micro-organism was scariest for reasons I won’t divulge because it would spoil the story for you. Add to that a few other nasty surprises that only Scott Sigler could add, and you’ve got one nightmare that you’d never recover from if it ever really happened. And think pandemic…. That means it is not localized; not contained to one region, or one country….

I think Scott Sigler has done a fantastic, frightening, job of creating a horrifying story where you would never want to find yourself. His writing makes you feel like you are right there. It is so hard to put the book down because you have to know what is happening, what is going to happen to those people who feel like your friends.

Pandemic is quite graphic in its description of the brutality and violence that happens. This is out and out war against these beings. If this were a movie I was rating, I would have to rate it “R”.

As with all Scott Sigler books, there was quite a bit of swearing in the book. I don’t usually read books with a lot of swearing, but I have to admit I make an exception for his books because his writing is so good.

As good as it was, there were a couple of things that I did find a bit unrealistic in this book however. I thought that the spread of the disease was probably quicker than would be realistic for both the infections, particularly for the hydras. Hydra infection to death in about 24 hours seemed kind of fast to be realistic. And the number of and speed with which the immunizations were created and distributed were not really realistic either, especially when you look at the difficulty we have getting enough flu vaccine distributed around our country as it is.

One of the other things I love about Scott Sigler books is that he makes all of his books available in audio format (in serial form) on both his website and on iTunes for free. Pandemic is no exception. Sigler performs all his own works. I have a personal interest in this as I am a teacher for students with visual impairments and I always love it when products are made accessible for those without sight. Thank you Scott!

This is a freight-train-fast-paced book that will have you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. If you enjoy Scott Sigler books, you won’t be disappointed. If you like the horror genre, you won’t be let down. I gave this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Crown Publishing, who provided an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts were my own.

About the Author:

Scott wrote his first monster story in the third grade and hasn't stopped since. A creator of novels, short stories and screenplays, Scott's work revolves around modern science's dichotomy of simultaneously producing good and evil.

New York Times best-selling novelist Scott Sigler is the author of ANCESTOR, INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS, hardcover thrillers from Crown Publishing.

Before he was published, Scott built a large online following by giving away his self-recorded audiobooks as free, serialized podcasts. His loyal fans, who named themselves “Junkies,” have downloaded over eight million individual episodes of his stories and interact daily with Scott and each other in the social media space.

Scott reinvented book publishing when he released EARTHCORE as the world's first "podcast-only" novel. Released in twenty weekly episodes, EARTHCORE harkened back to the days of serialized radio fiction. His innovative use of technology puts him at the forefront of modern-day publishing and has garnered brand-name exposure among hundreds of thousands of fiction fans and technology buffs. 

He's been covered in Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, The Huffington Post, Business Week and Fangoria. He still records his own audiobooks and gives away every story – for free – to his Junkies at

Michigan native, Scott lives in San Francisco with his wife and dog.

Connect with the Author
Goodreads  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Google+
Website  * Instagram  *  YouTube  *  iTunes


  1. Thanks for the review, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I thanks for the great review! I have seen a lot of great stuff about this book, and plan to check it out as soon as I finish another great thriller, book one in a trilogy that will only get stronger as it progresses, "Chasing A Miracle" by Eliot Hartford Bailey.