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Extinction Machine: A Joe Ledger Novel Paperback – March 26, 2013
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Preloaded Digital Audio Player, Audiobook, Unabridged
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*Starred Review* Get ready to have your mind boggled. In the fifth Joe Ledger novel, Maberry provides explanations—plausible, logically consistent, tantalizing explanations—for alien abductions, UFO sightings, the 1947 “flying saucer” crash at Roswell, and those pesky rumors of secret technologies reverse-engineered from extraterrestrial devices. When Ledger and his Department of Military Sciences team—they defend the U.S. from science-based terrorism—are tasked to investigate a wave of cyberattacks, they wind up in a race against time to stop a brilliant and powerful megalomaniac. From the first Ledger novel, 2009’s Patient Zero, the author has tackled such subjects as zombies and bioengineered mythical creatures, but he never lets the fantastic elements get out of hand. The Ledger novels are exciting sf thrillers that just happen to involve stuff that’s a little out there (and Joe himself is a realistically portrayed soldier who, from time to time, has a hard time dealing with the weirdnesses that surround him). Readers familiar with the series will need no prodding to check this new one out, and newcomers, immediately upon finishing the book, will want to hunt down the earlier installments. --David Pitt
“The Ledger novels are exciting sf thrillers that just happen to involve stuff that's a little out there (and Joe himself is a realistically portrayed soldier who, from time to time, has a hard time dealing with the weirdnesses that surround him). Readers familiar with the series will need no prodding to check this new one out, and newcomers, immediately upon finishing the book, will want to hunt down the earlier installments.” ―Booklist, starred review
“Maberry delivers plenty of action and intrigue.” ―Publishers Weekly on Assassin's Code
“A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel. The hottest thriller of the New Year! In The King of Plagues, Jonathan Maberry reigns supreme.” ―Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Athena Project, on The King of Plagues
“While Joe has announced his retirement, eager readers can look forward to one more volume in this humorous, over-the-top cross-genre trilogy.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Dragon Factory
“Like a video game on steroids mixed with The Island of Dr. Moreau.” ―Booklist on The Dragon Factory
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This one starts with the Captain Joe Ledger and Echo squad of the DMS in Wolf Trap, Virginia. They are at Shelton Aeoronatics. They are doing legwork, tracking down cyberterrorists since there have been many cyber attacks directed at the defense industry in the last few months.
They find those working there in pieces. Pieces on the floor, the walls and the ceiling.
They also find two men who say they are Federal Agents. Two men who turn out to be way more than they appear to be. Two men who have a gun no one has ever seen before and silk thin Kevlar and muscle enhancers to boot.
So begins another fine read.
This one has Joe, Joe's Military War Dog Ghost, Church, Rudy, a POTUS kidnapped from the WH, the Majestic 3, a man named Tull, another man named Aldo, a man named Bones, another man named Shelton, murder, attempted murder, a plot by the Majestic 3, a woman named Junie Flynn, a Joe Leger who has been framed, a Black Book, VP Collins who becomes the acting POTUS, a Collins who does his best to dismantle the DMS, the destruction of the Warehouse, dead friends, the Chinese, a flying T craft, the owners of the intel for that craft, threats, a knock down drag out fight, enemies, friends and Joe Ledger and the DMS in a fight for their lives.
At its core this is "good guy vs bad guy" stuff. The good guys will win, but they'll go through hell in the process. By the time they come through, Joe, "Bunny" and "Top" will feel like friends. And Mr. Church, for all his mystery and ambiguity, is someone you'd definitely like on your side.
I call on "Echo Team" whenever I'm in danger of overdosing on too much serious, heavy, overwrought, dark and/or head-scratching, "important" "literature" (see: "Olive Kitteridge", anything by Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood or Cormac McCarthy (esp Cormac McCarthy) "The Goldfinch", most "memoirs" (see "Wild") and a lot of contemporary fiction). Joe and the guys are the perfect antidote to all of that.
As long as Maberry keeps writing them, I'll keep buying them.
Ledger has fought vampires, zombies, genetic mutants, you name it. So what's next for Joe Ledger and the Echo Team you ask? Aliens, of course! Maberry cleverly blends Area 51, Roswell, and numerous other UFO crashes which I for one had never heard of. I didn't take the time to check if those particular crashes existed since I was too engrossed to interrupt my reading. It starts with the President being kidnapped and escalates to a demonstration of the latest in aircraft...a race to duplicate an alien craft by countries and/or agencies who have been picking up pieces from all of the crash sites over the years. Junie is an expert on UFOs and claims to know the location of the Black Book which has information on the UFOs. EXTINCTION MACHINE pits Mister Church against Howard Shelton, a guy with ultra-deep pockets. He has been hacking into Church's Mind Reader computer. To add to Church's problem, Vice President Collins has assumed the presidency with the disappearance of the President. Collin's wants Church's organization dismantled and Joe arrested. As with previous books in the series, Maberry puts Ledger in continuous peril. Ledger makes Jack Bauer look like Little Bo Beep. As usual, Ledger and what's left of his Echo Team have to dust themselves off and get ready for the next villain. A great read. Maberry rarely disappoints.
As usual, pacing is relentless and breathtaking at times. Joe continues to defend his country and the DMS with his myriad physical and mental skills but this time he is up against multiple foes who have access to incredible weaponry heretofore unknown to modern man. Joe continues doing what he does best, out-thinking his opponents and using his uber warrior skills to terminate with prejudice, often and creatively. Joe encounters a new love interest in someone who may hold the key to the mystery but must protect her and himself from "closers", men-in-black who are highly trained assassins of the secret cabal.
Ledger is one of the most deadly assassins known yet he still is conflicted by what he has chosen to do in life, often philosophizing about the worth of violence and the seemingly endless opponents who rise up as threats to his country and his friends. Can he figure a way to get his hands on the "Black Book" and neutralize the cabal before the President is terminated? Can he protect the woman who holds so much knowledge of the mystery, while protecting himself, Church, and Echo team? Longtime fans of Maberry's Ledger series know to never doubt Joe Ledger. "Extinction Machine" continues Maberry's excellent Joe Ledger series with an effort that will grab readers on page one and only let go when it has been completed and reluctantly put down.
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It's hard to categorize which genre they belong to. They cross such boundaries with impunity.