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Infected: A Novel

A book by Scott Sigler

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Infected (you should probably put something on that)

  • Jun 15, 2010
  • by
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 aliens.

Once I finished Old Man's War, I moved on to another book in my reading list.  Infected by Scott Sigler.  It's been on my list since it came out in hardback (two years ago).  It's hard to forget about a potential alien invasion involving blue triangles that make you go nuts.

Which is exactly what Perry Dawsey discovers is happening to his body.  Strange growths are developing under his skin and it isn't long before he starts hearing voices.  The infection wants something.  And they don't want to be caught either.  But CIA agent Dew Phillips is working with a CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya to try and figure out why people are killing those around them and then themselves.  What it has to do with these strange triangle growths.  Perhaps if they can get to Perry fast enough, he won't do what he feels he has to do...

That's a pretty rough summary, but it's all I've got.  Go read the back of the book for a better one.  Sigler gives you an interesting perspective.  It's kind of like he waffled when it came to point of view.  At times it felt like an omniscient thing, others a typical third person format, and sometimes a mix of the two.  I didn't mind, and actually I kind of liked it.  It felt unique.  Either way, it gives you a look at everything going on, even at a microscopic scale.  He tells you how the organisms function, how they get onto a human, what happens after they die.  It's a cool blend of telling you all about a biology that doesn't exist even while you remain in the dark about their true purpose and just what will happen to Perry Dawsey after the organisms mature.

It's a wild ride and even though the pace is relatively fast, I found myself skipping ahead pages and taking peeks at things to see how they might play out instead of just reading like a normal person.  I got overly excited and skipped chapters of Dew and Margaret just so I could follow Perry to see how his condition progressed.

If you don't like the idea of creepy aliens growing in your body or of blood and gore and murder and liquefying remains, then by all means skip this book.  Sigler doesn't skimp on the gore, but considering what's going on with Perry's body and the organisms, in some ways it's kind of unavoidable.  The amount of pain that Perry fights through is amazing and considering everything he deals with, then later everything he does to other people, and then again everything he does to himself, I found myself wildly see-sawing about how I felt about the guy.  On the one hand, I felt bad for him because let's face it - alien infections suck.  But on the other hand, I hated what he did to some people and wouldn't have minded if he did actually get shot.  Then again, maybe the poor guy would have just been better off shot.

But I'm getting off track a bit.  It's an exciting book and if it were a movie, whoo Nellie it would be bloody.  It kind of reminded me (just a little bit, mind you) of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher, but much, much better.  There are things that you can see coming from a mile away, and in some ways I was a little disappointed that Sigler chose that route simply because so many others in books and movies have done the same before him.  Yet at the same time, it's always just gross and creepy which means it works.  Go look up the tarantula hawk or the movie Alien and you'll have a small idea of what I'm hinting at.

And even though I had an idea of what the organisms wanted, I still wasn't too terribly sure until we reached the end.  Then it was essentially, "Ah, yeah, ok."  However, there is a second book involved and this one has an open end that lets you know so.  I still have a few random questions (ok more like one), but it's not important and who knows?  Maybe it'll be answered in the second book, Contagious.



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More Infected: A Novel reviews
review by . September 16, 2010
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 …
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
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 …
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Nicole ()
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Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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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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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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