*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Author: Erin Bowman
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.
Reflecting back on the long weekend, it was awesome to have a book to sit down with and read over the course of a day. Contagion is a fast paced sci-fi horror fic featuring an interstellar mission gone wrong. The book takes on a variety of perspectives, creating a sense of chaos throughout the novel. It can be a bit confusing at times as it jumps around, but I think the reader is meant to feel the same sense of anxiety and disorientation that the characters are experiencing as their worlds fall apart.
I found this book to be similar to the first book in The Illuminae Files. The contagion, the interstellar fight for survival, the effects of the pathogen on the affected. If you’ve read this other series, then you’ll probably like Contagion. It differs in a few ways, through the varying perspectives and the rescue team’s group dynamic. The ending also hints at a story to come that is vastly different. I wasn’t sure how the story was going to unfold when I first began, but by the end, I was hooked on this series.
This story builds and builds, gaining strength as it moves along. The beginning was a bit slow, but once the story really picked up, I couldn’t get enough. I would have given this story 5 stars, but I had some frustrations with the captain, Dylan. At first I could understand her power-hungry nature and her recklessness. The other characters identify her vices and call her out on them. Yet she stubbornly refuses to listen to reason and that ultimately leads to the demise of her team. I know the story would have been a bit less intense had she seen reason earlier, but as a team captain of her station, I couldn’t find her totally believable in this world.
The other characters, however, are interesting and each has a distinct and unique voice. Bowman does a great job differentiating the voices in each POV and creating well-rounded backgrounds for each of her characters. This detail makes her world that much more robust and adds a certain level of relatability to each character.
Overall, I’d say if you’re looking for a new sci-fi series, check out Contagion. I, for one, am looking forward to reading book 2!