Book Review: Contagion

It’s been two years since terrorists attacked London, except it wasn’t terrorists but a cover story made up by the government to hide what really happened. England’s general population believes London is a dead zone, its inhabitants destroyed with the bombs when in reality, an army known as the Choppers because of what they do to survivors, maintain tight security around the city. Thanks to a contagion, the survivors within the Toxic City are evolving physically and mentally while at the same time, they face an unknown but fatal disease process. Jack, one of a handful of teenagers who infiltrated the city in order to locate family members, has been touched by an enigmatic woman known as Nomad. With that touch, Jack developed powers that continue to evolve and increase dramatically as he and his friends attempt to disable the nuclear bomb initiated by the Choppers to insure no one escapes the Toxic City.

With the remaining hours counting down it seems everyone, no matter how mutated, feels the urgency to escape. Reunited with the band of friends, Lucy-Anne begins to realize the potential of her gift of dreaming and none too soon. Jack struggles to come to terms with the killing he done to protect his friends and himself, worrying he may be turning into his father, the dreaded Reaper. Jack also knows the time is coming for the two of them to meet in combat but worse, there is a presence within himself that begs for release though to do so will unleash more horror. With time literally running out, Jack makes an all or nothing gamble that has the potential to change what the world knows about the Toxic City and maybe save some people in the process.

Book three of the Toxic City series packs a serious punch as it brings the series to close with plenty of taut action and a few unexpected twists. It is interesting watching Lucy-Anne and Jack’s abilities blossom while Nomad continues to decline, yet maintain a personal interest in her protégés. Different from the usual run of post apocalyptic novels, Lebbon delivers a nice tale that while written for the younger set, will appeal to adults as well.

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