Blood Virus by L A Hollis

Blood Virus: A Pandemic by Design by L A Hollis
Published by iUniverse on April 13th 2016
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 200
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Thousands are dying and many more sickened as an unknown virus runs rampant through Western Africa. Its victims experience a violent death within a few days of exposure, so the CDC jumps in before the virus can become a global pandemic. They send their best man, Dr. Lennox Richards of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, to ground zero in Benin. Lennox heads up an international team of top specialists with the intent of identifying and possibly developing a vaccine to halt the virus's progress. However, there's a problematic variable: the virus is ethno-specific, killing only blacks and leaving others with nothing more than a common cold. As an African American, the stakes have suddenly changed for Dr. Lennox Richards.
The good doctor has yet to realize a more sinister plot is being waged, with Benin as the initial test site for the bioengineered killer. A lethal plan is in effect to expose the world's ethnic groups to a virus specific to their particular race-in other words, the implementation of an ethnic bomb.
With time running out and no cure in sight, will Dr. Lennox Richards be able to stay alive and halt the doomsday scenario that looms close at hand?

The blurb of this book interested me, in that it was a thriller involving a genetically engineered virus designed to target specific racial groups, which I thought was an interesting discussion in the current political climate. I was quite surprised to see how short the book was, given the subject matter.

A husband and wife team travel to Benin to investigate the origins of a virus which is wiping out large numbers of people, but doesn’t seem to be affecting – for the most part – white people.

Full disclosure – I did not finish this book, even as short as it was – I had only made about 70% progress through the book after almost a week, and it wasn’t showing signs of improvement. I felt the pacing of the story was really off, and I wasn’t really sure where the story was going. The main characters weren’t particularly interesting, and the side characters – particularly the Beninese – felt stereotypical, or bordering on the vaguely offensive.

I am not sure what the author’s publishing history is, but they seemed to make a lot of basic mistakes, truncating action to the point where we were being told about things, rather than showing them. This is particularly true in relation to what happens to the main female character over the course of the novel, and her rather blaise response to it. Looking at the author’s bio, she is a scientist, and perhaps in retrospect this novel is written in a particularly analytical, almost perfunctory style.

I was quite disappointed by what I did read of this novel in the end, and am glad that I did not subject myself to the rest. If life is too short for bad coffee, it’s way too short to spend time and energy on reading half-baked novels like this.

I received a review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating Report
Overall: two-stars

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