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Contagion

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It got in us After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. Most are dead. But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies. Don't set foot here again. As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decim It got in us After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. Most are dead. But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies. Don't set foot here again. As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.


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It got in us After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. Most are dead. But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies. Don't set foot here again. As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decim It got in us After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. Most are dead. But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies. Don't set foot here again. As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

30 review for Contagion

  1. 3 out of 5

    joanna ☽ the little brown fairy

    Firstly: I can’t wait for 2019. The sequel for this is going to be amazing. I can already feel it. This was honestly such a fantastic, gripping story; it kept me up reading all night, even though I knew what the consequences would be in the morning. (They were not pretty consequences.) It’s one of those rare books that steals your breath and holds you so tightly that you’re afraid to tear your eyes away from the pages even for a second. You can read my full review here on starburnt reads! “IT GOT Firstly: I can’t wait for 2019. The sequel for this is going to be amazing. I can already feel it. This was honestly such a fantastic, gripping story; it kept me up reading all night, even though I knew what the consequences would be in the morning. (They were not pretty consequences.) It’s one of those rare books that steals your breath and holds you so tightly that you’re afraid to tear your eyes away from the pages even for a second. You can read my full review here on starburnt reads! “IT GOT IN US” What drew me to this book was the synopsis: the promise of mystery and disease and death, and all the juicy stuff that’s horrifying in real life and therefore a wonderful story to read. And it absolutely delivered. This book is eerie, terrifying, heartbreaking, and almost everything I could want from a sci-fi novel. “Was he still human if he could do inhuman things? Was he a monster wearing familiar skin?” It starts a little rough, with a heavy info-dump that (while necessary) didn’t do much to interest me in the story, although the map and graphics in the front were beautiful. Then we start the actual prologue, and it’s haunting and creepy enough to interest you. After that, things get a little more confusing. Initially I found the sudden switches in POV to be disorienting, and it took about half the novel for me to adjust to the way it’s laid out. The changes in POV are much easier later on, when we know the characters well enough, and actually help to add to the suspense. The vast majority of Contagion is incredibly difficult to put down. The tension running through every one of the scenes had me on edge — which is something that’s hard to achieve with me most of the time, having read maybe one too many “action” books to feel properly terrified anymore. But the pacing is done so well, and the chapters from “him” (a mysterious survivor of a mass disaster) leave you with so many questions, that I just couldn’t tear myself away. The prose was a little difficult to swallow at times. It makes sense and flows smoothly for the most part, and fits the genre pretty well – but occasionally there would be an odd turn of phrase, a misspelled word, or missing punctuation. I’m assuming that these slip-ups will probably be ironed out before publication (I read an ARC), and they didn’t really impact my understanding of the story or my enjoyment, but it’s worth a mention. There is also some LGBT rep in this book, which is wonderful, and at several confirmed PoC. I find that I don’t really have a clear picture in my head of many of the characters, and they were mostly ambiguous. I enjoyed the personality characterisation and how we were always given reasons and motives when characters acted, even if they felt a little flat in some cases. Thea’s development in particular was something that I found incredibly interesting; her character overall is probably the strongest, followed shortly by Nova and Dylan. I loved the emphasis on strong female leads, especially in the STEM field. The worldbuilding is also fairly strong. We are introduced to the politics and culture of the Trios and the Cradle with ease, and at the end, our knowledge really does pay off, rather than being unnecessary filler. There is no bad romance or insta-love anywhere near this story. The relationships develop realistically, and this is something that’s so refreshing to see in a genre oversaturated with cheesy, unbelievable love tales. The conclusion is wonderful. It was perfect – just the right amount of tragedy, anger, and hope. Also, I’m dying to know what happens next! Cliffhangers kill me everyyy time. I have high hopes for the sequel (haha, how many times have I said that?) and would definitely recommend this book to others, especially since you don’t need to be an avid fan of science fiction to enjoy this thoroughly. Thank you to HarperCollins for a free e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and fair review! - initial thoughts: help it’s 1:16am and I just finished reading this and I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep now. SO GOOD. SO MURDERY. 4.25 stars - ▌Instagram ▌Tumblr ▌Wordpress Blog ▌

  2. 3 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    I am quite sure this will work perfectly for a certain kind of reader. Contagion is a very, very fast-paced sci-fi horror novel about a plague and several deaths. As such, this might be good for fans of fast-paced scifi like Heart of Iron, or maybe more suspenseful scifi like The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. But it didn’t give me the same punch I wanted, and that cliffhanger ending on what is essentially a thriller just does not work for me. I’m tired and behind on reviews, so here’s a quick I am quite sure this will work perfectly for a certain kind of reader. Contagion is a very, very fast-paced sci-fi horror novel about a plague and several deaths. As such, this might be good for fans of fast-paced scifi like Heart of Iron, or maybe more suspenseful scifi like The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. But it didn’t give me the same punch I wanted, and that cliffhanger ending on what is essentially a thriller just does not work for me. I’m tired and behind on reviews, so here’s a quick rundown of stuff I liked and didn't like: ✔the writing is really quite good ✔the world is generic as all shit because of course it is ✔ya scifi just really be like that ✔it is scary as fuck ✔none of the plot twists were really wild and i guess i tend to like those in my scary books ✔the plot structure is a little lacking and it just feels sort of random ✔strong creep factor, again ✔but why are they also so goddamn dumb? plot reasons that's why ✔OVERALL the plot just isn’t substantial enough to hold up a series opener ✔the two leads are Thea, a Korean-Turkish intern, and Nova, a black & sapphic pilot with visual impairment. ✔they’re both fairly developed i guess? ✔I also totally would’ve forgotten their names if I had not written them down ✔the point of view switches come way too fucking fast you do NOT need to switch every two pages ✔the only possible love interest for Nova, although never confirmed as being queer, is killed off, because of course she was ✔to be clear, basically everyone dies ✔this bugged me as well I don’t like everyone-dies books ✔they lack any type of compelling relationship building and this was no exception ✔there are no major thematic threads ✔i really just don’t even know how to make this sound memorable. it is scary as fuck but i will forget about it quite soon Anyway, hope you all enjoy this more, did you miss me reviewing because I sure did Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    I am a huge fan of sci-fi/horror mash-up stories, whether they’re in books, film, whatever, and after how much I enjoyed Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road duology last year, I knew I had to check this out! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I was also a little bit nervous because I wasn’t 100% sure whether Erin’s writing would translate as well to this setting. It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid. Thankfully, it absolutely did, and I was h I am a huge fan of sci-fi/horror mash-up stories, whether they’re in books, film, whatever, and after how much I enjoyed Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road duology last year, I knew I had to check this out! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I was also a little bit nervous because I wasn’t 100% sure whether Erin’s writing would translate as well to this setting. It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid. Thankfully, it absolutely did, and I was hooked from the very first page. This story was fast-paced, creepy, and full of intrigue and back-stabbing. There are so many different catalysts coming together to create this perfect storm of dread and suspense, whether it’s the infection itself, the people who already are infected, the storms on the planet they’re trapped on, malfunctioning equipment, or even just the fear that comes with not knowing who on their team they can or can’t trust—the distress rolling off of these characters is downright tangible, and you can’t help but fall right into that fear alongside them. “Trust me when I say the last thing you want to test is the power of nature.” Not only is the fear factor there, but the atmosphere in the storytelling is fantastic. Part of why I struggle with sci-fi sometimes is that it can be hard to fully immerse myself, but with Contagion, I felt like I was right there on Achlys with the crew. Something unique to this story, among other “infection” stories, is that everything feels perfectly plausible and imaginable, which lends another layer to the terror—there’s no major suspension of disbelief required to get sucked in to this one. Every lie he’d told—every half truth he’d yet to utter—was purposeful. If the Odyssey crew didn’t fight him, he could potentially save them all. On top of everything else, the story switches perspectives (all in third person, so it flows very smoothly), constantly giving you just pieces here and there of a character’s motives. Right to the end, even the reader can’t ever be entirely certain of who to trust, and it’s such a fantastic touch! There are several characters, each of them genuinely important, though some feel more three-dimensional than others, of course, such as the teen girls who serve as our two primary “narrators”: Thea, a Korean-Turkish biomedical intern, and Nova, a queer black pilot with a sight impairment (and the representation is executed well, in my opinion). “Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said.” All in all, Contagion was a delightful read from start to finish. I never once found myself bored, and honestly, now all I can think about is how long I’m going to have to wait on the sequel, which I desperately need right now! So, if you’re a fan of sci-fi or horror (but especially both), I strongly recommend this one. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review! You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin Bowman

    Contagion will be my next book after Retribution Rails and it couldn't be more different. This tends to be a trend of mine; I write in one genre and then follow it up with something polar opposite. I'm currently in the middle of a major revision, but let me get a few frequently asked questions out of the way: The current description is really vague. Who are these two teens? Thea Sadik, an ambitious seventeen-year-old with a love for science, and Nova Singh, a high-school dropout with piloting expe Contagion will be my next book after Retribution Rails and it couldn't be more different. This tends to be a trend of mine; I write in one genre and then follow it up with something polar opposite. I'm currently in the middle of a major revision, but let me get a few frequently asked questions out of the way: The current description is really vague. Who are these two teens? Thea Sadik, an ambitious seventeen-year-old with a love for science, and Nova Singh, a high-school dropout with piloting experience who’s looking to snag permanent work. While temporarily employed by drilling conglomerate Hevetz Industries, things go awry (naturally), and both girls find themselves on a rescue mission neither is qualified for. Who’s the sole survivor? I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Ahem. What I mean is, this is one of those stories where the less you know going in, the better, so I’m going to be a withholding jerk and tell you to read the book when it comes out. So when does it come out? July 24th, 2018! Can I pre-order it? Yes! The book is up for pre-order on most retail sites. You can also stalk the pinterest board until you wait for your copy, because July is a ways off still. This sounds so different than your westerns! Where the heck did the idea come from? I’ve actually been working on this story for ages. The idea first came to me back in 2012, from a dream, no less—my first novel inspired by a dream! Actually, it was more of a nightmare. At the time, I was busy writing other contracted projects, but I’ve been continually returning to this story whenever I have downtime and now it will finally be a book! If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll know this story was once titled Achlys, after the destination planet “lightyears away” in the above pitch. Why did you retitle it from Achlys to Contagion? Achlys, as a title, is tricky—hard to know how to pronounce (if you read it) and hard to know how to spell (if you hear about the book via word of mouth). Contagion doesn’t have that problem, plus it packs a punch. It’s mysterious, dangerous, dark—everything we needed the title to be. I’m really happy with it, and it speaks so well to the whole of the story. Does this mean you’re done with westerns? Why do you keep jumping between genres? Well, I have Retribution Rails, the companion to Vengeance Road, coming out in November 2017. And then, who knows! I love writing westerns, but I also love sci-fi. Just as I love dystopian. And I have the start of contemporary projects on my hard drive, as well as speculative fiction and fantasy. I read across genres and I especially love to write across genres. It keeps me on my toes, provides new challenges, and helps me grow as a writer. So, no, this doesn’t mean I’m done with westerns. It simply means nothing is off limits for me. Wait, don’t go! You haven’t answered my question. Leave it in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer it. I’ll also continue to answer questions and reveal teasers via my monthly newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if that sounds like your thing!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I’m not sure why I didn’t realize this when I started the novel, but this is the first of a duology. After I finished this and realize there would be a sequel, I was bummed. There is just something about a solid standalone YA sci-fi/horror novel that sounded like exactly what I needed, but clearly I was wrong about the standalone part. Anyway, now you know there’s a sequel, so no disappointment for you. Set in the future, where humans have colonized on planets out in space and the discovery of a I’m not sure why I didn’t realize this when I started the novel, but this is the first of a duology. After I finished this and realize there would be a sequel, I was bummed. There is just something about a solid standalone YA sci-fi/horror novel that sounded like exactly what I needed, but clearly I was wrong about the standalone part. Anyway, now you know there’s a sequel, so no disappointment for you. Set in the future, where humans have colonized on planets out in space and the discovery of a sustainable energy source, corrarium, results in tensions among the planets. Hevetz Industries is the largest supplier of corrarium and is constantly in search of new locations where corrarium could be present leading to the events of this book.. A crew of individuals including a scientist with a mysterious past (Lisbeth) and her intern (Thea), an unqualified captain due to nepotism (Dylan), a temp pilot (Nova), mechanic (Sullivan), and a couple tech guys (Toby & Cleaver) all stationed at a research facility are being sent on a rescue mission to a planet deemed uninhabitable after Hevetz received an SOS and decided this group was the closest to answer the distress call. No one is excited about this mission. Except for maybe Dylan who is concerned about her father who is among the team that sent out the SOS. Hearing where they are headed only freaks everyone out more. How is it even possible that they are drilling for corrarium there? The last time anyone was on Achyls, everyone died except for the child of two scientists. No one ever figured out what happened. Oh, and that child is now the scientist with the mysterious past. What happened back then? And why is Lisbeth so scared to return? This one definitely has creepy vibes throughout. I was on the edge of my seat with suspense trying to figure out what was happening. In ways, I got 172 Hours on the Moon vibes. Although, that one spooked me way more. There are some things that still need explaining, but being that there is a sequel, I can’t speak on how much it all makes sense quite yet. I will say that Erin Bowman has proved she has genre range. The last book I read from her was Vengeance Road which is very, very different from this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    "Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said." Quite a lot apparently. 😂 4.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 Favorite Quotes: "Numbers and data made sense, but people were impossible." "Impossible is just an excuse not to try," Nova said. "You break it down into little steps, and then it becomes a bunch of things you can tackle. Possible things." Pros: ❇Normally when I see "recommended for fans of-" blurbed, or mentioned while describing a new release I find that to be a huge turnoff, bec "Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said." Quite a lot apparently. 😂 4.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 Favorite Quotes: "Numbers and data made sense, but people were impossible." "Impossible is just an excuse not to try," Nova said. "You break it down into little steps, and then it becomes a bunch of things you can tackle. Possible things." Pros: ❇️Normally when I see "recommended for fans of-" blurbed, or mentioned while describing a new release I find that to be a huge turnoff, because half of the time my expectations are way too high, and I end up being disappointed, but this book is recommended for fans of Alien, and The Illuminae Files, and this time- I couldn't agree more! ❇️This was my first reading experience with Erin Bowman's work, and I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed! I loved her writing style, the characters, and the pacing of the overall story-line (which is just as important to me as the rest). ♡ Cons: ❇️I can honestly say that I had no real issues with this book, however, as I am trying to be a more critical reader/reviewer, and this book didn't absolutely blow my mind, I'm giving it a 4 star rating instead of a 5 (which I normally would have, because I do see that there's room for improvement, this being the first book in the series). Final Thoughts/Comments: ❇️The only downside to reading this book so quickly after it being released is that I have to wait god only knows how long for the sequel! After reading Contagion, I am definitely interested in picking up more of this authors work, and I cannot wait to see where she takes this story, and what happens to the characters I've come to love! ♡

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Meadows

    CONTAGION perfectly toes the line between science fiction thriller and horror. I couldn't stop reading.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    I loved every moment of Contagion. I'm sure book 2 will be as great as book 1

  9. 5 out of 5

    Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)

    3.5 stars... I loved Bowan's other series so I was expecting to really like this one too. I tried several times though to listen to the audiobook and couldn't get into the narrator so I ended up just reading it. It was fairly entertaining once I finally got into it which actually happened when Coen came into the picture. He was definitely my favorite character of the bunch. Even though this book didn't produce any overwhelming emotions or anything from me, I'm dying to read the next book just to 3.5 stars... I loved Bowan's other series so I was expecting to really like this one too. I tried several times though to listen to the audiobook and couldn't get into the narrator so I ended up just reading it. It was fairly entertaining once I finally got into it which actually happened when Coen came into the picture. He was definitely my favorite character of the bunch. Even though this book didn't produce any overwhelming emotions or anything from me, I'm dying to read the next book just to find out what's going to happen with the survivors.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I was insane with excitement when I read this synopsis as it has everything I love: mass infection and possible zombies. Sadly I was disappointed. My main complaint about this book is the multiple POVs. There are several — more than what is necessary, in my opinion — and because of that, I didn’t get to know any of the characters. Everyone felt shallow. The minor details we did get wasn’t enough to make me root for anyone. Plot wise it was okay. The first 40% or so of the story is dry and boring I was insane with excitement when I read this synopsis as it has everything I love: mass infection and possible zombies. Sadly I was disappointed. My main complaint about this book is the multiple POVs. There are several — more than what is necessary, in my opinion — and because of that, I didn’t get to know any of the characters. Everyone felt shallow. The minor details we did get wasn’t enough to make me root for anyone. Plot wise it was okay. The first 40% or so of the story is dry and boring. It wasn’t until people started dying off that I was interested, and even then it was sort of a struggle. Eventually the action happens and there’s a few interesting reveals, but I was never captivated. Overall, it was a set up I loved; however, it lacked the tension a story like this needs. I just found out it’s a series and I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the next one. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    I was so so excited to dive into CONTAGION because I enjoyed Bowman's Vengeance Road series, so I was familiar with her writing, and I am so here for more good YA sci-fi. Throw in some horror and creep factor of a virus that has taken over a space station and the rescue crew hired to investigate? I'm trash for it. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Why? Because half the characters are either dumb or unlikeable. I was more or less fine with the plot, it was at turns thrilling and eeri I was so so excited to dive into CONTAGION because I enjoyed Bowman's Vengeance Road series, so I was familiar with her writing, and I am so here for more good YA sci-fi. Throw in some horror and creep factor of a virus that has taken over a space station and the rescue crew hired to investigate? I'm trash for it. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Why? Because half the characters are either dumb or unlikeable. I was more or less fine with the plot, it was at turns thrilling and eerie and full of action, but with maybe two exceptions I wanted to throw every character out of an airlock. And the problem is a few of them, for sure, are supposed to be unlikeable; stubborn, irresponsible, annoying, and, worse, unable to accept fault or admit error. And yet they still really dragged this experience down for me. Also, I was surprised to discover this was not a standalone! I feel like when I added it to my tbr it didn't yet have a series indicator, though maybe it did and that's on me, but I was very taken aback when this ended so abruptly. Don't get me wrong it's a good, if a tiny bit predictable, ending (in the sense of where the characters are at, not what's happened to the characters themselves) and I will definitely read on because the part that makes this spooky has some totally awesome elements at play and I loved how visual Bowman's descriptions could be. You could totally picture this in your head. If you liked the spooky factor that was present in GEMINA, but liked the sorta-evil corporation politics of the Starbound trilogy, I think you'll like CONTAGION. 3.25 "follow the bloody footprints, they said. what could go wrong, they said" stars ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  12. 3 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Contagion by Erin Bowman is an audible book I picked up from the library. I fell in love with this intriguing take right away. I like a good mystery mixed with my science fiction, throw in a deadly unknown killing factor, people who may not be what or who they say they are, crooked business or governments, and lots of suspense and that is my mind of book! This is all that and more! The narration complements the book perfectly too! Really made the book that much better! Tremendous job one voices, Contagion by Erin Bowman is an audible book I picked up from the library. I fell in love with this intriguing take right away. I like a good mystery mixed with my science fiction, throw in a deadly unknown killing factor, people who may not be what or who they say they are, crooked business or governments, and lots of suspense and that is my mind of book! This is all that and more! The narration complements the book perfectly too! Really made the book that much better! Tremendous job one voices, emotions, timing, well..everything! Can't wait for the next book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/04/... Contagion by Erin Bowman stars the ragtag crew of the Odyssey, a mining ship that responds to an SOS at a seemingly deserted base on a remote planet. Led by their determined by green captain Dylan Lowe, the team immediately begins searching for survivors but instead find a pile of dead bodies. The ship’s doctor, microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow appears baffled at the cause of all the death and carnage, but her seventeen-y 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/04/... Contagion by Erin Bowman stars the ragtag crew of the Odyssey, a mining ship that responds to an SOS at a seemingly deserted base on a remote planet. Led by their determined by green captain Dylan Lowe, the team immediately begins searching for survivors but instead find a pile of dead bodies. The ship’s doctor, microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow appears baffled at the cause of all the death and carnage, but her seventeen-year-old intern Thea Sadik suspects her mentor may know more than she lets on. Meanwhile, the Odyssey’s pilot Nova Singh struggles with her developing feelings for Dylan, even as the headstrong captain makes increasingly impulsive decisions that endanger her people. On the planet, the crew also finds a disturbing message along with a chilling video made by one of the personnel before he died. Not long afterwards, the group is separated and Thea’s life is saved by a mysterious young man who claims to be the only survivor. But who is he and where did he come from? How did he stay alive when no one else was spared by whatever killed them? Finding the answers becomes imperative as one of the Odyssey’s crew suddenly becomes infected with an unknown contagion, putting all of their lives at risk unless the outbreak can be contained. As someone who has seen my fair share of sci-fi/horror movies, books, games, comics etc. featuring some variation of the space zombie, I have to say Contagion was pretty mediocre and only mildly entertaining. To be fair, it’s tough to write a book like this, precisely because it’s been done before…so many times before. Some authors attempt to spin the story a different way, or offer something unique as a hook. Personally, I love that. It’s what keeps me coming back to this genre. The problem here though, was I just didn’t see anything too special. Bowman’s a great writer, and certainly I would put her prose at a level above the typical YA novel, but truth be told, her atmosphere and suspense building could have been better, and any fan of horror will tell you, those two things are kind of a biggie. That said, it’s clear the author wanted the strength of her novel to be in her characters. She’s populated Contagion with a diverse cast, who were for the most part interesting to read about. Where the story stumbles, however, is the narrative mode. Told in third-person omniscient, we are bounced between POVs to cover no less than half a dozen of the crew members when really there’s only a handful of characters readers are made to care about. The rest felt like distraction and served to weaken the character development as a whole. I want to say I liked the characters, but the reality is I didn’t feel like I got to know any of them too well, and no one really stood out as all that unique or special. Kind of like this book (even though it makes me feel crummy to say it). The action is what drove much of the entertainment. Even then, the suspense was a bit muted because I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to feel the full emotional impact even when terrible stuff happened to them, but at least the story wasn’t boring. The world was also intriguing, though I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface. The hints of political intrigue and corporate conspiracies given here don’t play much into the plot, though I wish they had. The ending also closes on a rather blunt “to be continued”, so I assume much of the set-up here will be elaborated upon in the sequel. Ultimately, I found Contagion to be a very middle-of-the-road read—entertaining enough, but nothing special to write home about. Still, despite my mixed feelings, I have not dismissed the possibility of continuing with the series, though I’ll probably wait to read a few reviews of the next book before making my decision. Audiobook Comments: I think Amy McFadden did a great job narrating, but some books just beg for multiple narrators. Given the number of characters in Contagion and their different personalities and voices, the addition of more narrators here probably would have benefited the flow of the story and increased my interest, but overall I still enjoyed the listen.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Riley

    dnf @ 50%

  15. 3 out of 5

    Erin

    From the very moment I laid eyes on the premise of this story, I knew it was going to be a good read! A mixture of horror and spacey sci-fi was just what I was looking for, and in return, I got a whole lot more than I initially anticipated. Contagion starts with a bang and keeps going with a quick and unrelenting pace right up until the finale! It is non-stop action from the get go, and even the slower moments are just a way to pause before building up the thrill and suspense again. Very easy to From the very moment I laid eyes on the premise of this story, I knew it was going to be a good read! A mixture of horror and spacey sci-fi was just what I was looking for, and in return, I got a whole lot more than I initially anticipated. Contagion starts with a bang and keeps going with a quick and unrelenting pace right up until the finale! It is non-stop action from the get go, and even the slower moments are just a way to pause before building up the thrill and suspense again. Very easy to read; great characters; practically consumed it in one sitting! And that ending! Literally cannot wait to read the sequel!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (pawingthroughpages)

    I will say the beginning was a little confusing and it was too many characters to keep tabs of. Progressively this did get easier to track what was going on and kept me engaged. I will continue with the concluding book next year!

  17. 3 out of 5

    Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)

    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek ****Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review**** Prepare for a 100% gushing review because this book was perfection! I was blown away by how amazing and addictive this story was, I literally could not put it down! I cannot wait for the sequel now and if you’re a fan of sci-fi horror I definitely recommend checking this one out. Also just a quick sort of side note here: this is very differen Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek ****Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review**** Prepare for a 100% gushing review because this book was perfection! I was blown away by how amazing and addictive this story was, I literally could not put it down! I cannot wait for the sequel now and if you’re a fan of sci-fi horror I definitely recommend checking this one out. Also just a quick sort of side note here: this is very different from Bowman’s other book “Vengeance Road” (I have yet to read “Retribution Rails so I can’t speak for it) so if you’re looking for something different, good news you found it! I enjoyed “Vengeance Road” but I’m much more pleased with “Contagion”! Plot The story revolves around a ragtag team being sent out to investigate a distress beacon on a distant planet and find it almost completely abandoned. I mean what could possibly go wrong, right? I won’t say anymore about it because all of the suspense and mystery is what made the book so flippin’ good! Just know that this is very much a horror book with lots of intense scenes and it involves infection/contagion, hence the title “Contagion”. I would compare it to the movie ‘Prometheus’ (the Alien prequel) easily, so I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that if you liked that movie you’ll enjoy this book! The pacing is super fast and there’s constant action and twists, there are definitely no dull moments in “Contagion”. There were times where I had to put the book down because things got so intense and I couldn’t handle it! Another thing I really liked was that the characters (minus one, because there’s always one) were all pretty smart about what was going on considering the space horror movie-esque setting. Of course someone had to mess it up for everyone though or we wouldn’t have had much of a book, still I can appreciate characters who have common sense! There were also multiple POVs that would jump around between about 8 different characters at random. Although there were two main characters the narrative followed more closely, I still thought it was a little confusing to jump around inside POVs without warning. However, I did like the insight each POV presented me with so it wasn’t too bad. As for the world building, there wasn’t much but for a horror book that didn’t surprise or disappoint me. There were some tidbits thrown in about the current state of the government ruling two different planetary systems and a brewing rebellion so I think this is going to come into play a lot more in the sequel. There’s no romance either! This book is all about the space horror and survival, nobody has time for romance! Although I could see a future romance perhaps developing between two of the characters, there wasn’t a discussion of feelings or crushes for those two in the book. However, one of the MCs, Nova, does have an unrequited crush on the captain that tends to cloud her judgement so that is mentioned the most. But still no romance! Also it’s a pretty cliffhanger ending that has me DEAD right now, can I have the sequel now please? Characters I actually thought the characters were done pretty well considering the genre of book they were in, we got quite a bit of backstory on the two main characters, Thea and Nova, which was nice since it helped explain their motives and actions throughout the story. I liked how brave and badass they were in their own ways and still had character flaws too. The other characters were pretty good too, they were decently developed for side characters and had their own personalities. Was I crazy about any of them? No, not really but they weren’t bad by any means. There’s also diversity! Thea is described as being of Turkish and Asian descent and Nova (as well as her cousin on the team, Sullivan) is described as having darker colored skin although her actual race/ancestry isn’t ever stated. Nova is also a lesbian BUT she could also be bisexual or pansexual since it’s never actually said by her in the book, she prefers women though. In Conclusion What I Loved: Everything! Super fast pacing and lots of action It’s scary intense sci-fi horror! No dull moments with plenty of suspense and plot twists No romance Interesting and diverse characters What I Didn’t Love: That cliffhanger, I need the sequel! Recommend? I’m probably going to spend the rest of my life recommending this book to anyone and everyone, I just loved it so freaking much! I would recommend “Contagion” especially though to those of you who: Love sci-fi and don’t mind some scares Love horror and like a space setting at the same time Love infection/contagion/plague type stories Want to read an amazing yet terrifying story! GO PRE-ORDER! GO! GO! GO!

  18. 3 out of 5

    Nara

    Contagion fits in that nice little YA scifi horror niche that I'm sure there are many fans of. I actually really love this type of story where the protagonists need to find the mystery of some sort of disease or a weird alien species and stop it before everyone in the crew dies. I thought Bowman did an excellent job of pacing out the story so that you are kept on the edge of your seat throughout the entire novel. It does start of quite slowly, building up to that point where you know something ho Contagion fits in that nice little YA scifi horror niche that I'm sure there are many fans of. I actually really love this type of story where the protagonists need to find the mystery of some sort of disease or a weird alien species and stop it before everyone in the crew dies. I thought Bowman did an excellent job of pacing out the story so that you are kept on the edge of your seat throughout the entire novel. It does start of quite slowly, building up to that point where you know something horrible goes wrong. If I had a criticism it would be that the characters are pretty bland. I broadly categorise novels as plot driven vs character driven, and this one is definitely a plot driven one. The characters are very typical science fiction stereotypes, and certainly not interesting enough to feel invested in- when certain characters died, I really didn't feel particularly strongly about what had happened. The book ends on quite the cliffhanger, although I wasn't too mad about this one because I could see the build up leading to it. It was clear that the story couldn't possibly be wrapped up as the pages kept turning, so I felt like I knew where it was going to end. In any case, I'm definitely looking forward to book two and seeing where the author takes us. Ratings Overall: 8/10 Plot: 4/5 Writing: 4/5 World Building: 3.5/5 Characters: 2.5/5 Cover: 3/5

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee » Library In The Country

    This book was so cool and is the sci-if thriller I hoped it would be! If you loved the Illuminae files (particularly Gemina), Alien, Life and Even Horizon I highly recommend this! RTC!

  20. 3 out of 5

    Inge

    3.5 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    Contagion is a stunning (and I mean STUNNING!) book, set in the future, on a mysterious planet. There are many things I loved (scratch that, adored!) about it. The first one would be cast of characters - both the ones I cared about and the one I hated from the bottom of the heartless part of my soul - the author let them all tell us their story and the switch between them gave the book a sense of urgency and an intensity one can usually find in movies. It’s hard to have a favorite when you know Contagion is a stunning (and I mean STUNNING!) book, set in the future, on a mysterious planet. There are many things I loved (scratch that, adored!) about it. The first one would be cast of characters - both the ones I cared about and the one I hated from the bottom of the heartless part of my soul - the author let them all tell us their story and the switch between them gave the book a sense of urgency and an intensity one can usually find in movies. It’s hard to have a favorite when you know they might all be doomed, but I had and I has happy with the outcome. Where’s the next book?! I want it now! This is a SF-triller of sorts. I wouldn’t call it horror, because the writing style does not set the mood that way. It’s intriguing, fast paced, disturbing at times, but it never felt like horror - I was glad, to be honest, but they are advertising it that way and I think some people might be disappointed if they go into with with this sort of expectations. Though it ends with a cliffhanger, it’s a soft one. It both sounds like a good place to stop and it makes the reader want to be able to grab the next book in a hurry. I am dying to read the sequel!!! The action is great! Seriously, it was an edge gripping kind of story that made me turn pages like a mad woman. I started reading it during daylight (because I thought it was a horror book, remember?) and came back to it at night after the kid was asleep (because I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted badly to know what comes next). It reminded me in a way of Mira Grant’s books, but with a faster pace - waaaay faster :)) Anyways, I loved it. I’ll do my best to have a full review soon, because this is one of my favorite reads this year! Loved, loved, loved it!!

  22. 3 out of 5

    Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

    It's been a while since I read this, so this will be a short review. But I really enjoyed it! This one was SUPER creepy, I loved that about it! It had a very strong Alien meets Pitch Black feel to it (which basically means it was awesome). It was incredibly fast paced and cinematic! I loved the mystery to it in the beginning - you don't know much about what's going on, and it keeps you interested. This would make such a great movie! The world building was fabulous - I loved the way Bowman set ev It's been a while since I read this, so this will be a short review. But I really enjoyed it! This one was SUPER creepy, I loved that about it! It had a very strong Alien meets Pitch Black feel to it (which basically means it was awesome). It was incredibly fast paced and cinematic! I loved the mystery to it in the beginning - you don't know much about what's going on, and it keeps you interested. This would make such a great movie! The world building was fabulous - I loved the way Bowman set everything up. It felt so realistic! And the contagion part of it was so cool! I don't want to say much else because I don't want to spoil anything. I went in knowing little to nothing about what was going on and that's part of the intrigue - figuring things out for yourself! I loved the little snippets we got of the boy in the beginning! It tied the story together nicely and kept it moving. The only real complaint I have about this one is that I didn't connect emotionally as well as I'd hoped. When things happened I didn't really feel much of anything. I don't have much else to say about this one other than I enjoyed it and you should definitely give it a go! This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Sabrina

    "don't trust the kid." For me, it was more like "don't trust the cover porn." Synopsis? - Great. Idea? - Great Cover? - Great. Book itself? - Not so much. I wanted so so much to like this, not only because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year but also because the synopsis and the overall idea of the book are amazing. But unfortunately, this book wasn't what I had hoped for. As soon as I started reading I could literally feel that this wouldn't be the story that would grip me and exci "don't trust the kid." For me, it was more like "don't trust the cover porn." Synopsis? - Great. Idea? - Great Cover? - Great. Book itself? - Not so much. I wanted so so much to like this, not only because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year but also because the synopsis and the overall idea of the book are amazing. But unfortunately, this book wasn't what I had hoped for. As soon as I started reading I could literally feel that this wouldn't be the story that would grip me and excite me and keep my on the edge of my seat. The book was good, don't get me wrong, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wouldn't have had such high expectations from the very beginning. Everything seemed quite predictable to me and I often already knew what would happen or what the characters would realise that I had already guessed 50 pages prior. But be it as it may I do want to know how the story unfolds in the second book and I hope that I will enjoy it more than the first book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Houck

    Eep! This is like zombies in space. There's a lot going on behind the scenes and it will become obvious by the end that there are some political machinations going on so if you're looking to get some resolution you're going to have a wait a bit. You might want to keep your helmet on while you read. You know...just in case.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Jess the faerie archive

    I can't. omg. this book was SO amazing and delightfully creepy, it was everything that I wanted it to be and more. I'll post a review closer to release date, but definitely put this on your TBR!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cori Reed

    Creepy and fast-paced, I enjoyed reading this novel. That said, two of the three POV characters sounded so similar to me I kept getting them mixed up and having to retrace my steps.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Sylvia Mercedes

    This was good! Very much what I was in the mood for at the time I read it. I'll probably pick up the sequel too, since it definitely ends on a cliffhanger. Not my usual reading choice, but super exciting and suspenseful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexis (TheSlothReader)

    4.5 This was pretty much everything I wanted it to be.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Meredith Mara

    All the stars :) Absolutely incredible! An explosive interstellar thrill-ride that will grip you and not let go.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sirius Scientist

    A distress call leads a small band of company employees to the far reaches of space in order to help, if that's even still an option, another mining operation. If help is out of the equation, they are to search for survivors. The crew has ties to the planet, though part of the intrigue is piecing together WHY they have ties, and what it will mean for this tiny band of would be rescuers. The pace is fast and the first half of the story keeps you guessing. It's a mix of murder mystery and space ho A distress call leads a small band of company employees to the far reaches of space in order to help, if that's even still an option, another mining operation. If help is out of the equation, they are to search for survivors. The crew has ties to the planet, though part of the intrigue is piecing together WHY they have ties, and what it will mean for this tiny band of would be rescuers. The pace is fast and the first half of the story keeps you guessing. It's a mix of murder mystery and space horror as we try to piece together what happened from the various scenes of carnage left behind, all through the eyes of the "rescue" crew of the Odyssey. We as readers aren't sure of the reliability of the narrators as we switch between perspectives of the crew, which also adds a level of suspense. The last third is where it took a bit of a dip in overall star rating for me. While still a good story, there were parts that were repetitive, like Nova, the Odyssey's pilot, recounting her backstory multiple times in internal dialog, and the ending itself, while still good, felt predicable and an obvious opening for another book in the series. Some of the actions by the characters, particularly the captain, Dylan, felt a little forced/unrealistic. While we get her motivation for those actions, it was hard for me to believe, even with the "down on their luck" background of most of the crew, that they would go along with some of her very poorly made decisions. Maybe it's because I'm a scientist, so it's the equivalent of herding cats to get us to do things that take "bad idea" to a whole new level, but it could also just be that I'm an adult in my 30's, and realizing if someone makes a decision that means everyone's life is in danger when a logical alternative is present, it's a big fat NOPE on my part. Most of the events unfold through Thea, the teenage science intern. I understand this is a YA novel, but the first half felt a little more like general adult scifi/horror, and the last few chapters launched it firmly into YA. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it did give the overall book a different feel, and left me a little disappointed. I'm glad I picked this book up, but doubt I'll continue the series (if there is another book, as many here predict).

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