Monday, October 29, 2012

Marvelous Michigan Month: Guest review of Infected

Welcome, readers, to my first ever guest review!  Today's guest reviewer is my boyfriend.  He has a blog that reviews comic books, games, and movies.  Please visit him.  :)

Hello, Internet.  I'm IX_of_Swords, and today I'm going to offer up something different from what you normally find on Moonlit Librarian's blog.  The book I'm going to review is most certainly not for kids, but it does fit in nicely with the Michigan month she has going, so without further ado, I'm happy to recommend Infected, by Scott Sigler.

While Scott Sigler currently resides in California, he was born in Cheboygan, Michigan, and most of his novels take place somewhere in the state.  Infected is set mainly in Ann Arbor, where signs of a strange plague have been showing up.  People who end up infected quickly develop violent psychotic, and paranoid tendencies, frequently killing themselves and those around them before they can be taken in for treatment or questioning.  To make matters even more disturbing, their bodies decay to nothing but skeletons, black sludge, and a strange green mold in a matter of days, if not hours after death.  The handful of victims that have been observed before they've rotted away have all exhibited strange, blue, triangular growths on their bodies--the only known symptom before they turn violent.

Something is obviously going terribly, terribly wrong, and while the government has been able to cover up the disease so far, time is clearly running out.  Infected is the story of a race against time to diagnose and combat an unnatural parasite, as well as the tale of one poor bastard named Perry Dawsey who's found himself afflicted with the Triangles.

This book falls solidly into the genre known as "body horror."  If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's when a story centers around not monsters, serial killers, or any external threat, but on something going wrong with (and often inside) your own body.  While you can run from a savage beast out to kill you, that isn't an option when there's something horrible growing inside you, feeding off your very flesh.  It's that lack of an escape option that makes this genre particularly terrifying, and Sigler takes it to a whole new level in Infected (and its sequel, Contagious).  As the Triangles slowly start to take over not only Perry's body, but also his mind, you will likely find yourself by turns cheering for him as he struggles against them, and hating him at the times when he gives in to their influence.  Sigler weaves a story that is tense, suspenseful, and that will definitely have you squirming at points (who would have thought the words "chicken scissors" could hold such a sense of foreboding?).  If you have a strong stomach, and you like your horror on the visceral side, I can't recommend Infected highly enough.

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