From Publishers Weekly
This tiresome sci-fi thriller debut, set in postapocalyptic California, has an ingenious kickoff that unfortunately goes nowhere fast. Following the accidental release of a deadly nanotechnology (designed to fight cancer), much of the world's population is dead; in the California Sierras, above the plague's high-water mark (10,000 feet), Cameron Najarro, Albert Sawyers and their small group of survivors eke out a desperate living, turning to cannibalism for survival. Meanwhile, in the International Space Station Dr. Ruth Ann Goldman and her team are making progress on a vaccine. Things go bad quickly when Goldman and her team return to Earth to test a hypothesis: first, they crash land in the middle of a civil war, then they find that the military has its own plans for the vaccine. When the astronauts and mountain survivors finally meet up, Goldman is surprised to find valuable allies in Sawyers and Najarro, and the three set off with a few others to find a lost lab that may hold the key to stopping the nano menace. The timely idea may hold readers' interest, but only so far as their patience allows; though well-written, the heroes' lengthy journeys slow the story to a pace almost as tormenting as organ-liquefying micro-machines. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Carlson has crafted an exceptional, gripping debut that exposes the worst and best of humanity while maintaining a constant tension level that will keep the pages turning to the very end. The personal and political machinations are credible, the characters are well developed and the climax satisfying. This apocalyptic view of nanotechnology provides plenty to think about."
"An epic of apocalyptic fiction: harrowing, heartfelt and rock-hard realistic. A cautionary tale. Not to be missed."
-James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Judas Strain
"Part Michael Crichton, part George Romero, Jeff Carlson's Plague Year is deft and compelling, full of high-altitude chills."
-E. E. Knight, national bestselling author of Valentine's Exile
"Frightening, plausible and action-packed, Plague Year is one of the best debut novels in years...Jeff Carlson packs riveting storytelling with a lot of fresh ideas."
-David Brin, New York Times bestselling author of Kiln People
"A grim and fascinating new twist on the post-holocaust story, unlike anything I've read before."
-Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling co-author of Hunters of Dune
"Jeff Carlson is a terrific writer and Plague Year is a marvelous book, full of memorable characters, white-knuckle scenes, and big ideas. Get in on the ground floor with this exciting new author."
-Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Rollback
"Plague Year proposes a frightening new nanotech catastrophe, and uses it as a crucible to explore the best and worst of human nature. Tightly written and well-told."
-Robert Charles Wilson, Hugo and Aurora Award-winning author of Axis and Spin