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Chris Van Deelen
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
It’s been many long years since I bothered to sit down and write a review for a book. Many years ago I used to review pretty much everything that I read, watched or listened to. To be frank, I just got tired of feeling like I wasted my time and energy in doing so.
But occasionally I will still write a review when I feel the urge to do so. Typically that involves something that really touched me in one way or another, or when I’m trying to help out a friend.
I just finished ‘Code Zero’ Joe Ledger #6 by Jonathan Maberry. I felt that when the novel came to a close that it was one that deserved a review.
I first read ‘Patient Zero’ several years ago. From that moment I was hooked on Mr. Maberry’s series. Let me make something clear, not just Joe Ledger, but his Benny Imura series as well. I have yet to delve into his horror novels, but I am sure that I will get around to them in the near future.
Sure, Joe Ledger is an absolute bad-ass and one hell of a warrior, but that is not what attracted me to the series.
Many men’s adventures are nothing more than machismo and near-homoerotism, based around firearms, and testosterone-laced hulking brutes who typically think with either their weapon of choice or their ‘ahem’. They get involved in absolutely ludicrous situations, kill hundreds and come out without a scratch, and then typically do things to the leading lady that would make a porn-star blush.
Frankly, Mr. Maberry’s titular character Joe Ledger is not one of these types. He is a hero, to be sure. He’s a warrior and he kills, but at the same time he comes across as very human. Joe is a damaged character. He suffered serious trauma when he was younger and it did something to him. Sure, as I already stated, he kills, but often the act harms him almost as much. He is a protector and he is one of the few genuine good guys that can be found in literature today.
For me these are all great traits to have in a character, but what really made this character one of my top three literary heroes is the fact that he is also funny!
Joe Ledger has joined my short-list of heroes. The top two are Harry Dresden and Repairman Jack. Joe is third, but that by no means diminishes his importance. As the series progresses, I’m pretty sure he’ll eventually surpass Repairman Jack.
And he is far from invincible. Joe has suffered many injuries over the six novels, as well as a plethora of short stories that he has appeared in, and has come close to dying numerous times.
That is a good character!
The best way to describe Mr. Maberry’s novels are ‘Techno-thrillers’. His books have delved into the realm of science fiction numerous times and some have a serious horror overtone as well. The novels have dealt with genetically engineered monsters, mutants, sociopaths bent on world domination, just to name a few. For me, this is a perfect combination that keeps me coming back and wanting more adventures. It’s a shame that I have to wait a year between novels, since it typically takes me only a couple of days to finish each offering.
Code Zero struck home on many fronts and has to be my favorite of the series thus far. I’m a geek. I love comics, I love video games, I love movies and television. I also train Shaolin Kung Fu in real life, but mainly for my health. So to see all these things come together in one story made this novel an absolute joy to read.
The villain in this novel isn’t your typical megalomaniac, not by a long shot, and despite the fact that this particular villain is utterly ruthless and ends up causing the death of thousands, she is also very interesting and the reasons behind her actions is well defined.
Many of the situations revolve around Video Games, and the climax takes place at Dragoncon in Atlanta Georgia.
I don’t want to say too much else as it might spoil it for those who have yet to get around to reading this novel.
As with the previous novels in this series, there is plenty of combat to keep enthusiasts of such very happy. There is also a great deal of horror involved, which will appeal to many of Mr. Maberry’s fans.
But there is the human angle. Joe and his comrades in arms are forced into situations that test them on so many levels and would leave most normal people gibbering invalids. And not one of those who are involved comes out unscathed – not only physically but mentally.
This is the sign of a truly talented author, one who can generate such empathy towards fictional characters.
I cannot recommend this novel any more strongly. Make that the entire series!
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Nickolas X. P. Sharps
- Publié sur Amazon.com
REVIEW SUMMARY: Code Zero? More like Code Awesome!
MY RATING: 4 stars
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A new foe has resurrected old threats. With DMS already spread thin, can Joe Ledger and Echo Team end a wave of bio-terrorism that is sweeping the nation?
PROS: Best villain in the series to date, nice buildup, Joe Ledger’s trademark wit, phenomenal finale, big potential changes in store for the future.
CONS: Pacing issues due to interludes.
BOTTOM LINE: The series is still going strong and Code Zero is one of the best entries yet.
Another year, another Joe Ledger Novel — the sixth in the series to be precise. It’s a series I’ve been following since the beginning, a series that has had its fair share of high and low points. Joe Ledger’s dry wit and Jonathan Maberry’s twisted imagination keep me coming back repeatedly. The Joe Ledger novels are like 24 meets X-Files; it’s like Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series rooted in science rather than mysticism. The bio-terror threats that Captain Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences face are chilling and creative. Code Zero is, in many ways, a culmination of the past five novels as well as a more direct sequel to Patient Zero (book one). Code Zero is also among the better novels in the series, ranking just below Assassin’s Code (my favorite) and Extinction Machine.
Code Zero is a slow-burner in comparison to the rest of the series, though I consider this a good thing. Maberry takes his time setting up the dominoes before he goes about blowing them to splinters. As Joe states early on in the novel, “This one started weird and stayed weird, and for most of it felt like we were swinging punches at shadows.” Thus far in the series, Joe Ledger and Echo Team have tackled zombies, genetically altered super soldiers, vampires, and (maybe) alien technology. Code Zero sees our heroes fighting threats from the nightmares of their past, with an emphasis on the Seif al Din pathogen that kills and then reanimates, turning its victims into zombies.
A lot of Joe Ledger fans will consider this reason to celebrate — I tend to find zombies boring and groan-inducing and yet I can admit that Maberry has a real knack for writing them. Still, I was a little disappointed that Seif al Din would be making a return. I’m more interested in Maberry trying new things, after all this is the man that made vampires terrifying again in Assassin’s Code. The combined threat keeps things spicy however, and Code Zero’s big baddie is the best villain Joe has faced yet.
The following may be considered a minor spoiler. I figured out the identity of Mother Night rather early on in the novel, but if you’d prefer not to chance anything go ahead and skip the next paragraph (in italics).
Maberry develops Mother Night, the “anarchist” mastermind, over the course of the novel. Readers get to follow Mother on her descent into evil. Often the baddies of the Joe Ledger novels come across as cartoony Bond villains. Mother, though over-the-top in true Maberry fashion, is fully developed. There are true motivations behind her actions and her story is, if not tragic, then at least unfortunate. She is the most devious enemy the DMS has ever faced and it makes for compelling reading. The development is expressed via interludes that progress the story but break up the action and pacing due to the frequency. It’s a double-edge sword.
Okay, it’s safe to read again! Everyone’s favorite characters return, from Captain Joe Ledger (gold medalist of the Sarcasm Olympics) to his dog Ghost. Church, Aunt Sallie, Top Sims, Bunny, Doctor Rudy Sanchez, Doctor Hu, Bug, Violin, and Junie all make appearances. Being spread thin, DMS recruits some new shooters though I wouldn’t bother getting attached to any of them — by now any operators that aren’t Ledger, Top, or Bunny can probably be considered red shirts). Ghost is as cute as ever and Rudy isn’t nearly as annoying as I’ve come to expect (dios mio!) and I’ve even come around to liking Junie. I feel as though I judged her relationship with Joe unfairly in my review of Extinction Machine, book five. The fit between Joe and Junie is actually quite convincing and adds an unexpected layer of complication to affairs. Junie is a much-needed calm-in-the-storm for Joe, a man whose fractured psyche is barely held together, a man who is growing more weary and cynical with each case.
Mother Night’s reign of terror is…well, terrifying. The chaos that she and her minions unleash on America during Labor Day weekend is extensive. There were moments while reading Code Zero when I was forced to put down the book and fight cold chills. This is bio-terrorism at its worst and the body count reflects it. The action of Code Zero is somewhat understated, reflecting the slow-burner nature of the book, but it’s as grisly and high-octane as ever. Given the nature of the threats that Joe Ledger faces and his training you would suspect that he’d carry along something more potent than a puny little 9mm, but aside from that the rest of the action reads right. The finale is spectacular! It’s the sort of finale that begs to be played out on the big screen. The rest of the book’s end, the epilogue, left a bit to be desired. After 400+ pages of buildup and an action sequence to put the rest of the series to shame, the book ends too quickly.
Minor complaints aside, Code Zero is a great addition to the Joe Ledger novels. Joe Ledger fans are bound to love it, it’s a game changer. I fully expect to see some big changes by the time Predator One, book seven, comes out next year. And with a title like Predator One, how can it not be awesome?