Thursday 20 September 2018

Review of Pathogen: Outbreak by Kai Kiriyama

It's not often I get an opportunity to read books written by local authors. There's something so wonderful about being able to actually see them on the street and thank them for their contribution to the English language. They are not these far off beings you can only interact with online; writers are living, breathing artists working in the community and I love that I get to read their words and soak in the local talent in my own backyard.

That said, lets talk about this gruesome zombie book.

A lot can happen in 24 hours.

A virus can kill a patient.

A doctor can end up in quarantine.

An outbreak can occur.

And all hell can break loose.

Still reeling from the loss of the patient who he had affectionately referred to as "Zero," Doctor Liam Alexander wakes up in  quarantine, only to discover he'd been abandoned. With no explanation, he wanders into the hospital, only to discover a nightmare hell scape he'd never imagined.
Battling his own grief, he teams up with a nurse who hadn't escaped the hospital when the dead began to rise. Together, they must escape the outbreak that has spread beyond the hospital walls, or else become victims of the illness they'd fought to prevent. 


The prequel to Calgary-based writer Kai Kiriyama's 2015 novel Pathogen: Patient Zero, Outbreak picks up where the first story ended, with the death of Zero and the subsequent rising of the zombie apocalypse - spoilers? Admittedly I'm quite behind the times as the second book in the series was released in 2015 and the third book (Pathogen: Revolution) has been out since 2016. While I may have missed out, I want to introduce to you, my dear readers, this engaging series. You can find my review of Patient Zero (which also came out in 2015) here.

In the sequel to Kiriyama's tragic first person zombie tale, we now follow lead doctor Liam as he awakes to find Patient Zero has spread her zombie-like disease across the city (at least). He now has to get a nurse he may or may not have feelings for, two bad ass brothers, and a walking corpse to the CDC in the hopes that someone can cure this plague before it takes over everyone.

This book is perfect for the 28 Days Later, World War Z zombie lovers, with a medical perspective to ground the drama and a sincere main character who hasn't entirely become desensitized the violence and destruction around him. I actually really enjoyed that Liam wasn't a big strong hero-type. He made bad choices and hated killing people - an instinct I like in my medical professionals. I trusted him to act with good intentions and tell us a coherent, only slightly biased, story. 

Of course, I made some Random Notes While Reading, chronicling my adventure with Dr. Liam. 
  • Oh no!
  • His thoughts are very clinical. Interesting
  • Smart boy
  • Repeating yourself...
  • Right to the doomsday. You've thought about this before
  • I mean...those are words
  • Yes you are, Doctor McDreamy
  • Glad you can control it
  • Of course
  • Don't leave her in the car!
  • *Insert Evil Dead pun here*
  • Priorities, boys
  • It's been a day
  • Aww...yeah :(
  • Aww...yeah :(
  • Epic cliffhanger!
Not only do I want you to support local artists, I want you to support writers who tell unique stories in interesting ways and the Pathogen series is a perfect example of that: a first person zombie apocalypse told from the perspective of the doctor who was on the front lines of the outbreak - more gore than horror.

I really enjoyed Kai Kiriyama's storytelling, leading us on this emotional journey with clear cut goals and intentions. I never felt lost or bored and  might have fallen for Liam - just a little bit. Trust me when I tell you, if you like zombies, you'll like Pathogen.

You can find Pathogen: Outbreak (as well as all Kiriyama's books) here

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