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Infected: A Novel

A book by Scott Sigler

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Scott Sigler's Infected

  • Sep 16, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4
Pros: decent story, well-thought out characters, lots of gore

Cons: Some dangling plot threads unresolved

The Bottom Line: A fun read for fans of horror sci-fi

If you know anything about podcasting and independent authors, then you’re probably familiar with Scott Sigler. Not only is he a best-selling author, he’s really latched on to new ways of marketing. He’s made all of his novels into serialized podcasts at http://podiobooks.com/ (too bad he narrates himself. Meh.) and even has his own last.fm channel. He’s all over podcasts and blogs and social media. 

But as involved as I’ve been at Podiobooks myself, I had never read any of his books. From what I’ve heard or seen from his covers they were filled with mindless gore. Torture porn, if you will. But when I saw Infected at a local used book store (sorry, Scott), I decided to give it a try. 

I wasn’t surprised or disappointed. 

Infected  is part horror, part crime procedural, part science fiction. The  main story revolves around Perry Dawsey, a giant of an ex-jock sidelined by an injury. When he starts finding strange triangular shaped parasites under his skin, he begins to freak out. And with a past of violence and regret, freaking out is not a good option. Perry refuses to go to the hospital in a thinly veiled plot mechanism to have Perry take matters into his own hands. This is where Sigler really shines. He relishes putting his characters into situations where the only way out is with a butcher knife to their own ball sack. And he does it exceedingly well, with only a few moments of violent exploitation. He’s not afraid of gore, but he doesn’t use it as a crutch. The violence is over-the-top, but always comes across as justified. 

The book changes perspective from Perry to the scientists researching the parasites to the cops investigating other violent incidents seemingly related to the parasites. This procedural stuff is believable and gives a certain credibility to the  storyline. Make no mistake, this is no Hot Zone or Ebola scare. I never once got scared from a “ZOMG this could actually HAPPEN!” moment. This science is firmly rooted in fiction. 

Sigler deftly switches from all of these perspectives to weave a fun tale. Without giving anything away, readers may be a bit disappointed with the ending. There are no nice little wrapups and plotlines introduced earlier are not touched again. Sigler is clearly setting us up for “something else”. That something else is the sequel, Contagious. 

Infected is a fun ride. It’s certainly not the most original premise, but he clearly has a lot of fun with it. While it’s far from a perfect thriller, fans of horror science fiction can’t go wrong. Recommended.

Recommended:
Yes

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More Infected: A Novel reviews
review by . June 15, 2010
Pros: Keeps you glued to the pages, undoubtedly creepy and gorey     Cons: Needs a little extra polish; some obvious/cliche bits     The Bottom Line: Though it could stand to use a little polish, it's still interesting, exciting, and something you hope to hell never happens in real life.     Book-wise, I've been in the south for a while with Sookie Stackhouse and Carlotta Wren.  But then I started going north - and ended up encountering …
review by . March 10, 2009
Combining gory horror and sci-fi with imaginative cutting-edge medicine, Sigler's near-future trilogy begins with alien seeds raining down on America, borne by the wind. Billions of these spores die but a few land on human skin and burrow in.    We can't be sure at first what they are supposed to do since all of the victims turn into homicidal maniacs who kill those closest to them and then kill themselves in some gruesome fashion. At which point their bodies rapidly decompose …
review by . October 31, 2008
Infected
Dew Phillips and his partner in the CIA are on a top secret mission, chasing after madmen who are homicidal and suicidal, possibly infected with some new disease. Teamed with them is Margaret Montoya from the CCID, called upon to run autopsies on the victims of the infection. There's just one problem, there's never enough remains to autopsy, the corpses either burnt or liquefied. What they need is a fresh or alive host.     Perry Dawsey has a different life from what he once …
About the reviewer
Jeffrey Kafer ()
Ranked #741
Voice over artist specializing in audiobook narration. Hear more at http://audiobook-voice-over.com/ and http://JeffreyKafer.com
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Starred Review. In Sigler's riveting horror thriller, alien seeds from outer space infect a number of unlucky humans, who develop some unusual symptoms—itchy, blue triangular growths on their skin—that eventually result in the carriers becoming screaming, homicidal maniacs. CIA agent Dew Phillips must find out why these formerly docile citizens are running amok, aided by Margaret Montoya, a Centers for Disease Control epidemiologist, who reported the first of the strange cases. One of the infected, former football player Perry Dawsey, doesn't take any crap from anybody, not even the aliens residing in his body. Sigler (Ancestor) leads the reader from one startling detail to the next—the creatures learn to speak (feed us we hungry); they grow little black eyes—until even hardened genre fans will find themselves whimpering at each new revelation. This terrifying page-turner could be the author's breakout book, fueled by an extensive online podcast campaign.5-city author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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Details

ISBN-10: 030740630X
ISBN-13: 978-0307406309
Author: Scott Sigler
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Format: Hardcover: 352 pages, Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
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