Pandemic: Patient Zero
A Pandemic Novel
by Amanda Bridgeman
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 28 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 27 Aug 2021
Aconyte Books, Aconyte
Bodhi Patel is the brand new Lead Epidemiologist for the world’s top epidemic specialists, Global Health Agency, but there’s no time to settle in: his new boss, Helen Taylor, deploys GHA to contain a mysterious new killer virus spreading from Peru into Brazil. On the ground they learn that the virus is loose in a region controlled by a heavily armed drug warlord, and the race against time to discover a cure just got a whole lot tougher. Meanwhile, Bodhi finds himself with a newly reshuffled team still smarting from the changes, including his ex – the last person he expected to be working with.
A Note From the Publisher
“A compelling seat-of-the-pants murder mystery and a fascinating inquiry into good and evil and the possibility of redemption.”
“Convincing near-future forecasting with great characters and a police-procedural murder mystery achieves full page-turner status – all without sacrificing intelligence for thrills.”
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To include COVID-19 as a case study in world-wide pandemics
– The first title in a new range from the multiple award-winning game, Pandemic, in which players race to save the world from epidemic outbreaks, selling over 2.2 million games since 2007.
– Tense, page-turning thriller with a diverse ensemble cast who will grow as a team across the series – the pace of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, with the teamwork and characters of NCIS.
– A timely message of hope and humanity, showing how co-operation and expertise can combine to defeat the worst that nature throws at mankind.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
As a fan of the hit board game I'd been eagerly anticipating this novel since it was first announced and was so glad to see it finally see daylight after a year-plus of delays (caused, I imagine, by the need to add Covid references to keep the novel up to date and relevant). Amanda Bridgeman and the team of helpers she mentions in her acknowledgments have fleshed out a bunch of characters initially no more complex than simple plastic tokens. I've seen this sort of thing done before, such as with Rebecca Gable's novelisation of the Settlers of Catan board game but never with a game so tied to the modern world that we live in and recognise. Some of the characters are completely original and some are clearly inspired by the tiny hints of characterisation given to characters in the game's official artwork. Many of the characters are given hints at a backstory that no doubt will be elaborated on in later instalments of this series. The story focuses on the team working to contain an outbreak in South America when their investigations hit a wall of silence as they run up against a local narcotics operation. Whilst obviously drawn from real life tales of Columbian drug lords the plot also feels very similar to any number of action/thriller movies that use South American drug rings as their backdrop. It's not wholly original as plots go but a good way to introduce a recognisable human & geopolitical conflict into what could otherwise be a story entirely contained within a dull lab. As a modern day thriller with human interest drama at its heart (and science on the more, shall we say, CSI/NCIS side of realistic) I enjoyed this a great deal and devoured it in one sitting the day it came out. I look forward to future instalments.
I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Pandemic book Pandemic: Patient Zero by Amanda Bridgeman, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book. So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher. I am going to try my best to not let this cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might. What Is Pandemic Pandemic is a cooperative board game designed by Matt Leacock, in the game you work together to discover the cure for several diseases rampaging though the world. Players take on various roles, such as medic, dispatcher, scientist, quarantine expert etc and though the combined efforts, collect enough data and information to find the cures to save the world. The game is incredibly successful and has three expansions for itself as well as numerous spin off games and variations. As well as the extremely popular Legacy versions of the game. My personal current favourite is Pandemic: Hot Zone North America. The Story The story starts with a nun falling ill in Peru, and quickly the disease she later dies from starts popping up in Brazil and Columbia too. It’s a new disease to which humanity has no immunity and it rapidly kills those it infects. The Global Health Agency dispatches a team from its base in Lyon to discover the cause of this disease and hopefully find a cure. We have a cast who roughly represent many of the possible roles within the Pandemic board game, and a nice mixture of nationalities and genders. There is also an interesting little bit of minor subplot about one of the field team finding it more difficult to traverse the world due to her being from Nigeria rather than the US, UK or Australia. The story takes us on a hunt for the source of the disease, from Lima, into the jungle and down the Amazon river and then deep into a drug lords village as the team desperately search for patient zero and understand how this disease came into existence. Conclusion Look I need to be straight up here, I got Covid early on in the pandemic, it took a third of my lungs from me and has ruined my lungs to the point where I can’t climb stairs without an inhaler. This book was extremely difficult to read because it quite often referred to Covid in the past tense, when Covid is still very much with us and killing people. The book itself is well written, it’s a by the numbers virus outbreak kind of story, nowt ground breaking but well done and brilliantly written with relatable characters. But it feels far too soon for a book to talk about Covid as being in the past, had I known this book would have done this, I would never have read it. So it comes down to this, if you can handle many references to Covid and a new respiratory disease, then it’s a good book to read, but if like me you basically have PTSD when it comes to Covid, I would strongly advise giving this book a miss for now. Just for now though, because it is a good book, but frankly it needs a trigger warning, I donMt know why I pushed myself to keep reading, I really shouldn’t have. I don’t know how to score this book so I am going to ignore my instincts which are to refuse to score it because of how much it triggered my PTSD and made my chest feel incredibly tight. It’s a well written book with a good story so I will give it a 4 out of 5 stars, but as I said, it desperately needs a proper trigger warning.
Having played the Pandemic board game, I was excited to see a that a novelization was being released. Bridgeman is the author of a science fiction series, and I think the right author to take on the challenge of adapting the game. She was able to introduce a large cast of characters with enough backstory to be believable and to make the reader care about them, but not loo much to weigh the story down with unnecessary details. True to the spirit of the game, which requires cooperation to win, the book is about a new team coming together to face an emerging disease. This is the first in a series, and I look forward to reading more! Thank you to Netgalley and Aconyte for the digital copy in exchange for review.
Thank you to the publisher for giving me an arc of this book! I am a massive fan of Pandemic the game, so I was very excited to get my hands on an arc of this book. At points, especially in the beginning, I was getting the vibes of how it feels to play the game. The travelling from city to city in the beginning is what you do in the game. That stopped midway through the book, but it made sense why they weren't travelling. Realistically there isn't that much travelling as you do in the game. Characters- The characters were great. I enjoyed the diversity of the characters and the different rolls that every single one of the them played in the story. I think we had a good mix of people. My only thing is with the characters is that none of them really go through a character arc. Everyone is pretty much the same by the end of the book. Atmosphere- I really felt like we were in the Amazon forest when Hellen and Bodhi were out getting blood samples, but atmosphere was lacking in the other parts. Writing- The writing was good. I don't have any complaints about the writing. Plot- The Plot was one of the strong points of the novel. Everything that was happening felt cohesive and well put together. I enjoyed the journey of the novel. The ending is very neat and a little rushed, but it didn't ruin the novel for me. Intrigue- This book had me hooked on where it was going. I wanted to know how they were going to solve this problem. I wanted to know what caused the sickness. Everything was well paced out to keep me intrigued the entire novel. Logic- I felt this was very logical and very poignant as to what's happening right now in the world. This book seems well researched on both what real scientist do in a pandemic situation but also the research into how to include the game the book is based on. Enjoyment- All in all I really enjoyed this book. I'm curious to see where the series goes from here and how the author will continue including the game into the books.
I love the board game Pandemic, so I was really excited to review this book! Team leader Helen and new kid on the block Bodhi lead a team of epidemiologists into South America to track a deadly new flu and contain it to prevent another COVID-scale pandemic. On the way, they encounter transportation difficulties, under-resourced hospitals, and a drug lord. I enjoyed the fast pace of this novel - Bridgeman did a good job of showing the dangers of a new disease without being too overdramatic (there is no "melting into goo" as in The Hot Zone). I appreciated the attention drawn to how quickly disease can spread, as well as how human action has made zoonotic diseases more like to cross over into the human population. I also enjoyed that there is an element of hope - although this subject matter feels a little dark given the COVID pandemic, I liked seeing the team fight for human health - they put their lives on the line for the greater good. If you like medical thrillers, this is a good one to add to your TBR! Thank you to Aconyte Books for providing an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.