Wednesday 27 January 2010



Avery Cates, criminal 'king' of New York, has climbed his way to the top of a heap of trouble. On his knees in the snow, with a gun to his head, Avery thinks this must finally be it. Instead, he is injected with nanotech and left confused but alive. Then everyone around him starts dying.

With every moment bringing humanity closer to extinction, Cates finds he will be either executioner or saviour of an entire world.

I read the first book in the Avery Cates series, The Electric Church, last month. And as soon as I did, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second one. Let me just say that it didn't disappoint.

Several years have passed since the first book and Avery is still a criminal. A rich criminal with a bad-ass reputation. He lives in New York with his crew and still wears the title: Avery Cates, cop killer. That's a tag that he'll never shake and sure as hell gets him into a lot of trouble in this installment.

When he's taken by someone and forced to his knees in the snow with a gun pointed at his head, Avery's pretty sure that his life is over. Instead, he's injected with a lethal virus that starts killing everyone around him. Anyone who comes in contact with him becomes infected, so the body count starts right away. With his crew. He's killed a lot of people, but knowing that he's killing everyone who gets close, really affects him. Especially the death of his very young crew member, Glee. Which pretty much haunts him the whole way through.

But that's not the worst of it, he soon finds himself taken from one place to another, but eventually ends up in the custody of SSF. Beaten to a pulp, kept alive only when they figure out that to keep him close means the virus is kept at bay, he's carted around. He winds up in Paris. This is where the location of the person who engineered this virus is supposed to be, but it only makes matters worse. As Avery catches up with some old friends--Kieth, Gatz and Belling--he also encounters those freaky Monks, who are still causing havoc. Betrayal has never been this horrible and unexpected.

I love the unpredictability of this series and that no matter how close to death he gets, he still manages to survive another day. In a world where most people don't get old, that he's well into his thirties seems a miracle. And I don't doubt that more hellish and horrible things await Avery in future installments, especially now that New York has fallen. I totally want to be there for the ride.

The Digital Plague is a fast, action-packed story that packs a punch. It's dark, gritty, violent, and has plenty of attitude. This book will get your heart pumping because things never stop. I also need to mention that I love the writing style. It's a very well-written book that's so vivid, it's almost like watching a movie in your head.

This futuristic-cyberpunk-noir series is a winner!

The Digital Plague, July 2008, ISBN 978-184-149704-4, Orbit Paperback

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