by Jeff Carlson
Cover Artist: Adam Jones (Photo)
Review by Gayle Dixon
Ace Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441015146
Date: 31 July 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Plague Year is a masterful debut novel that has me putting Jeff Carlson on my must-read list without a second thought. Survivors of a human-created epidemic must live above 10,000 feet elevation, creating islands of safety and sometimes starvation on Californian mountaintops. Colorado becomes the refuge of organized and well-equipped government and wealthy refugees. The idea that ski resorts could be the last bastion of civilization is amusing, but the author did his homework and the details on chair lifts, skiing, and ski resorts are right on the money. I trust his research on the science behind the epidemic and the politics of science are similarly sound.
Carlson's character development is meticulous, with believable characters alert to all the nuances of human behavior whether solo or social. His recounting of the details of the disastrous epidemic is woven seamlessly into the story which commences a year after the start of the plague. I was so taken with the book that I will forgive the scene where two battling factions have a fire fight with the technology and scientists that have the capacity to save the world right in the middle of the flying bullets.
Please sir, send more!