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The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger) Paperback – March 2, 2010

Book 2 of 7 in the Joe Ledger Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Ledger (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312382499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312382490
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Stoker-winner Maberry's wild second Joe Ledger novel (after Patient Zero), Joe and his comrades from the Department of Military Science (DMS) take on enough villains and their world-threatening plots to fill half a dozen ordinary thrillers. The dangers Joe and his Echo Team warriors confront include evil boy-girl albino twins born on Christmas, each child marked with a star like the Star of Bethlehem; weaponized genetic diseases; the Cabal, whose goal is worldwide ethnic cleansing; Nazi clones; a race of slaves called New Men; a wide array of mythical beasts (unicorns, centaurs, dragons, elves, etc.); and morphogenetic monsters such as tiger/dogs and insect/humans. Joe battles these horrors with his usual ferocity, but by the end, even this superhero is reduced to despair by the toll the job exacts. While Joe has announced his retirement, eager readers can look forward to one more volume in this humorous, over-the-top cross-genre trilogy. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Maberry’s follow-up to Patient Zero (2009) brings Joe Ledger and his team back with an even more intense story. A scientist with visions of changing the world begins genetic experiments on both animals and humans with the hope of finishing the work started by Josef Mengele during World War II. He uses connections in various world governments to try to destroy the DMS and Ledger. With no backup available, Ledger must try to eliminate the threat while staying one step ahead of his pursuers. This is like a video game on steroids mixed with The Island of Dr. Moreau. Maberry has done an excellent job of ratcheting up the action while downplaying the ick factor that sometimes runs through his earlier books. Expect this straight-ahead thriller to hook action-crazed readers and inspire them both to seek out the first Ledger book and eagerly anticipate the next installment. --Jeff Ayers

Customer Reviews

Fun, fast paced, and surprisingly intense.
ben onstott
I likes that it was a stand alone novel with very little mention to the events that took place in the first novel.
Dennis Parks
I am looking foward to the next installment of the Joe Ledger series...
William Barritt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MyBookishWays on January 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You can read my review here: [...]

The second novel in Maberry's Joe Ledger series starts very soon after Patient Zero left off, with Joe visiting the gravesite of one of his oldest and dearest friends. The problem is, he's a wanted man, and the man that wants him is none other than the Vice President of the United States. He's sent his goon squad to pick up Joe, but Joe has other plans...

Taking off like lightning and never letting up, The Dragon Factory is a cross-genre, gritty, fun, roller coaster of a ride! I loved Patient Zero, and The Dragon Factory doesn't disappoint, in fact, I think I loved it more! Told in first person POV of Joe Ledger, my favorite tough, snarky ex-cop, (with frequent forays into third person with one of the book's star psychos, Cyrus Jacoby) it grabs you by the throat, and doesn't let you go until the last page! What's not to love? Joe and Echo Team have to deal with everything from psychotic Nazi clones, to an organization called the Cabal, which is out to achieve ethnic cleansing on a worldwide scale. Add to that DNA manipulated beasts, a race of slaves called the New Men, bio-terror on an epic scale, a pair of the creepiest, ickiest (yes, icky), twisted (had to throw that in there), albino (yes, albino) twins, and a boy hero that will break your heart and reaffirm your belief in the power of the human spirit.

Maberry throws all of this at you with his usual perfect pacing and style, and the depth of detail and research put into this book is, as always, impeccable. One thing that Maberry does in his novels is something that you don't see a lot of in books that are this action oriented.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Adam Bailey on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
I really enjoy living vicariously through Joe Ledger. Mayberry creates characters that are not only flawed, but somehow accessible.

The intensity was high and had me completely on the edge of my seat throughout. I kind of felt what was coming towards the end of the book and when it happened it was a soul crusher. I'm sure it was a way for the author to endear Ledger to the reader even more - I was thinking this the whole time until it happened. Well, it worked.

Couldn't put this one down and I really loved this story, even though I have an emotional hangover. Well done Mr. Mayberry!!! Thank you for Joe Ledger. I need a nap.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Kearns on January 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first discovered Jonathan Maberry in Patient Zero, the first in the Joe Ledger series. I grabbed that book because I love the zombie genre. I soon discovered this series would go far far beyond just zombies. I was hooked, if you want an unbiased review, stop reading now... In my opinion Dragon Factory is the best of the series. Madmen, genetics, nazis, monsters, mutants everything bad rolled up into one book! I hate to say it because book to movies are always terrible, but all I kept thinking while reading Dragon Factory was, why is this not a movie or HBO series? Take 24 and mix in X-Files.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AScrimm on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Having read Patient Zero, I knew I just had to read The Dragon Factory and it was even better! I can't wait to see what Jonathan Maberry has in store next for Joe Ledger.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rainy Day Reader on September 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
What can I say about a book where a troop of good, virtuous, moral, righteous and upstanding Americans battle a gang of evil Nazis and their evil albino twin clones? What if the albino twins were also incestuous and the Nazis, in addition to conducting human experimentation, were also responsible for AIDS? What if the Nazis also recruited Darth Vader, sorry, -Conrad- Vader?

Maberry tosses every other cliche he can think of in the hopes of finding something to stick. We have not one evil scientist with a James Bond-esque lair but TWO groups of evil scientists, each with their own evil lairs. And the baddies aren't just releasing horrible plagues but they've also infiltrated the government and have the NSA working against our heroes. Everything looks dark until Gandalf shows up to cleanse the world of evil (Gandalf is played by our hero Joe Ledger, armed with a magical computer subtly called "Mindreader" and a troop of do-gooders with the cartoonish ethics of Smurfs.)

It all works out to be a cheesy potpouri of evil plots, any one of which might make an interesting novel but together it feels more like a parody. It's almost impossible to suspend disbelief when every chapter we meet yet another cliched eeeeeeevil plot device.

The first Joe Ledger book had the same Johnny Upstanding vs Zack Eeeevil but it was saved by having a fun spin on the zombie theme. There's really no need to read this very disappointing sequel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Dragon Factory" is Jonathan Maberry's second Joe Ledger novel after last year's excellent debut of "Patient Zero". As usual with Maberry's action thrillers it is a mishmash of component parts that come together synergistically as much more than the sum of its parts. This almost 500 page novel contains a plot that encompasses global ethnic genocide, crazed scientists devoted to finishing the master race program of the Nazis, human and animal cloning, transgenic mercenaries, genetic experimentation with both incredible and tragic results, and a list of diabolical villains that would fill many nightmares for the reader.

Joe Ledger and his Echo team, along with the entire resources of the Department of Science (DMS), are again under the direction of the mysterious Mr. Church as they move to preserve our world from crazed scientists who have utilized eugenics and genetic technology to create race specific diseases that can be spread worldwide as an "Extinction Wave" to cement the work of the Nazi architects of the master race program. Joe, Top, Bunny, Grace and the DMS warriors must infiltrate and destroy the labs and end the threat before the destruction of 80% of the human life on Earth.

As was the case in "Patient Zero", the action, the fighting, and the confrontations are brutal, grab-the-armchair, hold-your- breath scenes that will have the reader rapidly turning pages or setting the book down to take a breath. The pacing was a little more uneven in "The Dragon Factory" due to the huge backstory and the wealth of villains and bad guys who needed fleshing out.

All in all, this is a fine addition to Maberry's action/suspense/thrillers built around Joe Ledger and the enigmatic Mr. Church. If you are able to suspend your sense of disbelief and just sit back and enjoy rollicking, slam-bam action thrillers without analyzing too much between the lines, you will have fun with this series.
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More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; nominee for several state Teen Book Awards; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (September 11, 2012; and FIRE & ASH (2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; THE DRAGON FACTORY, 2010; HE KING OF PLAGUES, 2011; ASSASSIN'S CODE, 2011; EXTINCTION MACHINE, 2013; CODE ZER0, 2014, and JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. And the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation.

He is also editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW.

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and the upcoming MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Recent short stories include "A Footnote in the Black Budget" (MADNESS OF CTHULHU, 2013), "Pegleg and Paddy Save the World" (HISTORY IS DEAD, Permuted Press 2007), "Doctor Nine" (KILLERS, Swimming Kangaroo Press, 2008; and reprinted in THE STORIES (in) BETWEEN Edited by Greg Schauer, Jeanne B. Benzel, and W.H. Horner. Fantasist Enterprises, 2009), "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Greenbrier Ghost" (LEGENDS OF THE MOUNTAIN STATE 2, Bloodletting Books, 2008), "Clean Sweeps" (AND SO IT BEGINS, Dark Quest Books, 2008), "Family Business" (THE NEW DEAD, St. Martin's Press, 2010), "Like Part of the Family" (NEW BLOOD edited by Patrick Thomas and Diane Raetz, Padwolf Press, 2010), "Zero Tolerance" (THE LIVING DEAD 2, Night Shade Books), "Flint and Steel" (GI JOE: COBRA WARS, 2011), "Saint John" (THE MONSTER'S CORNER, 2011, St. Martin's), "Spellcaster 2.0" (An Apple for the Creature, Ace Books, 2012), "Jack and Jill" (21st Century Dead, St. Martin's Griffin,2012), "The Death Song of Dwar Guntha" (Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, 2012, Simon & Schuster), "The Wind Through the Fence" (an original e-story available for all e-readers), "Property Condemned" (scheduled for the premier issue of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE), "Chokepoint" (included in THE UNINVITED, Vol 2), and many others. His essay, "Take Me To Your Leader" is included in the nonfiction book, TRIUMPH OF THE WALKING DEAD: Robert Kirkman's Zombie Epic on Page and Screen edited by James Lowder (BenBella Books/Smart Pop, 2011).

In 2012 Blackstone Audio released two collections of Jonathan's short stories: Tales from the Fire Zone and Hungry Tales.

All of Jonathan's novels are available on audio, including the audio-only collection, JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES (Blackstone), which includes the short stories "Countdown", "Zero Tolerance", "Deep Dark", "Material Witness" and "Dog Days". Another Joe Ledger short, "Mad Science", will appear in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club.

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's Big Scary Blog ( focuses on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including KeyCon, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's The Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone. He is developing a psychological thriller novel based on that play.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar and Stoker Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Sara Shepard, William Lashner, and Laura Schrock. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill. The event is held at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove Pennsylvania. The Liars Club has begun launching additional Writers Coffeehouses throughout the region.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field.

Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie. His stepson, Sam West-Mensch, serves a general manager of Jonathan's writing business.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at,

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The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger)
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