Discovering sequels or a follow-up to a book is always exciting. You get to visit the characters you liked from the first book again and hope the author does a good job with the second (or subsequent) book. I had read Patent Zero, the first book in the Joe Ledger series by Johnathan Maberry and made a mental note to add the Joe Ledger series to my “I’ll buy those one day” list. One day I was checking out Mayberry’s website and found a follow-up to Patient Zero had come out: Code Zero. I was excited about this went to the bookstore that weekend to buy a copy. Unfortunately, the follow-up wasn’t the best.
Code Zero deals with the DMS’s (Department of Military Services) cache of genetically modified viruses and the zombie virus encountered in Patient Zero and how those get infiltrated. The viruses are unleashed to the public with the potential to cause massive panic and death.
Let’s start with the good: More of Joe Ledger. Joe is an ex-cop, ex-military guy. A bit macho for my usual taste but Maberry keeps the machoness to an acceptable amount and peppers in a bit of a level-headed guy traits as well; The DMS . The DMS is the super secret government agency that combats all the genetic freaks mad scientists and bad people come up with. If you read my blog, you know I love my secret government agencies; Smart chicks that rock. Gotta love that and support my fellow chicks (even if they aren’t real).
And now the not so good: The main villain, Mother Night, is supposed to be this super smart girl. I found her to be an egomaniac that didn’t have the nerve to stand up for herself; The flash back scenes. In Code Zero, the flash back scenes come too often. One character is portrayed as a fairly high up and integral person within the DMS but this character was never mentioned in the first novel (at least that I can recall). This caused the book to have a lot of flash back chapters that, although short and did provide a good background, chopped up the main story too much. Would have made more sense if this character would have been at least mentioned in the first book; Too much detail. The fight scenes got a bit long for me and were told in too much detail. It’s not necessary for Joe to describe what’s happening during a fight each and every time; The naivety of the DMS. I found the villain connection to be blatantly obvious. A department that is supposed to be super smart taking so long to figure things out was in line with the FBI of the t.v. show The Following. Very disappointing and almost frustrating.
Overall, Code Zero was an Okay book. I was hoping for a better story but just didn’t get one. This book is the follow-up to Patient Zero and it does mention events that happened in other Joe Ledger stories. It didn’t take anything away from the book, but made me kind of wish I would have read the other J.L. books before this one.