Title: King of Plagues
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: thriller, plagues, action, suspense, adult
Publication Date: 2011
After a catastrophic bombing of a London hospital, Joe Ledger comes out of his grief vacation to investigate. It is quickly determined that the bombing is the work of the Seven Kings, a shadowy organization that led by the Goddess , whose purpose is to spread discord around the world. Now, they have released a weaponized version of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, and the Department of Military Science must scramble all their resources to take them down.
I cannot believe I almost got rid of this book. I did a massive unhaul last year, and I almost got rid of this book, and that was ridiculous. I love this book. It’s so incredibly good. Jonathan Maberry is such a good writer.
Let’s start with Joe Ledger. Joe is a smart ass, confident, a little arrogant, He’s very good at his job, which is to lead Echo Team, a group of elite men and women who fight all the strange stuff the world puts out. What I love about Joe is that he’s deeply vulnerable, not afraid to admit when he’s scared or upset or, in this book, grieving. He’s a very real character and I couldn’t love him more.
The Seven Kings organization is terrifying. We’re brought into it through Sebastian Gault, one of the villains in the first novel, Patient Zero. Here, Gault is damaged, bruised, and reeling and oh so very ready to take revenge on the world. He’s quickly drawn into the mystique of the Seven Kings and falls into adoring worship of the Goddess, a woman named Eris.
And then there’s my favorite character, Toys. Toys is Gault’s assistant, the power behind the throne, which is a trope I love. He’s ruthless and heartless, but inconveniently starts growing something like a conscious during this book and becomes conflicted. He alone can see that the Goddess is just an aging woman who wants to destroy for destruction sake, but he can’t break the bonds he has with Gault.
The book is a very fast read. Maberry writes incredibly short chapters that entice you to keep reading, and I tore through it in a couple of days. I thought that right now this book would be too heavy, but it turns out to be just what I needed: an action packed, suspenseful thriller with great characters and a twisting plot that kept me reading.
If you like action, suspense thrillers with great character, yes, read this book. But, before you read this, go back to where it all started with Patient Zero.