The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin: A Review

Hey, guys, I am majorly excited here because I get to review a book that is actually a book!  It’s by Carrie Rubin who many of you may know from her blog.  If not, go to her blog.  Then buy her book because it is really great, and I’m not just saying that because she is a blogger friend.  If I didn’t like the book, I would say “Carrie Rubin’s book has a really nice personality.”

The Seneca Scourge is an edge-of-your-seat medical thriller with a science fiction edge.  For those who say they don’t like sci-fi, this is not typical Star Trek stuff.  In fact, the sci-fi does not actually make a definite appearance until quite a ways into the book, although there are hints dropped along the way.  But these are subtle hints, not giant hints the size of icebergs that some authors might leave.  She gives you just enough to wonder – who is this guy?

This guy is named Dr. Casper Jones, but he’s not the main character.  The main character is Dr. Sydney McKnight, a beautiful, intelligent doctor with a past that makes her isolate herself from almost everyone.  She quickly gets embroiled in a rapidly escalating epidemic at her hospital that spreads to the rest of the city, the country, the world.  An unknown virus is killing people at an alarming rate, and nothing they do is helping.  She is forced to work with virologist Dr. Jones.  He’s a dark, handsome stranger who also happens to be just plain strange and has some sort of secret he’s not telling anyone. 

There is a lot of research in this book.  The author has experience in the medical field, and this is quite apparent.  I’m not a doctor, but I have been to a lot of doctors, and I’ve watched a lot of doctor TV shows.  I recognized the names of antibiotics, and several of the treatments used, although fortunately I did not have experience with the respirators.  There is enough information given to present the realism of a hospital environment without overwhelming the reader with a bunch of technospeak.  The only inaccuracy I could find was that not once did Sydney ever make out with a colleague in the janitor’s closet.

I’m kidding about that last line, since that sort of thing only happens on television.  In reality, doctors work long shifts and suffer exhaustion, and poor Sydney fits that bill.  She is pushed to her limits in trying to combat this virus.  I really enjoyed her character.  She wasn’t a Mary-Sue.  She had weaknesses, like her lack of trust, but was someone who was willing to do whatever it took to help a patient, even if it meant bending the rules a little bit.  The author doesn’t tell us what her character is like, she shows us through her words and actions.  It doesn’t take long to find yourself identifying with the heroine.

There are so many questions that propel the reader through page after page.  Who is Casper?  Why is he so weird?  What is this virus?  How will they stop it?  Who else is going to get sick and die?  Will Sydney ever get to take a freaking nap?  And once she starts to answer these questions, the action only escalates, and the tension increases.  I read the last part of the book in a few hours, because I could not put it down.  I won’t give away the ending, but I found in highly satisfying.

This book isn’t just a medical thriller, nor is it a sci-fi book.  More than anything it is the story of a woman facing her deepest fears, and learning that it is possible to put your faith in other people.  Only when the pressure is on, do we learn what we are made of, and what is most important in life.

This book is offered as an e-book on and and will soon be out in paperback.  At a paltry five dollars, it is a steal.  I highly recommend The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin.  Five Stars.

22 responses

  1. I’m halfway through the book and if I wouldn’t have 27 million things to do I wouldn’t put it down. Nothing has made me more terrified of public transport than the intro not even “talks to his socks” guy who lives in my local underground station.

    1. Oh, I know! Like, dude, wash your hands, holy crap, no don’t touch the kid, what are you doing, cover your mouth OMGGGGGGGGGG!

  2. Here I am, laying in bed, not wanting to get up, but knowing I have to. I turn on my phone and think, “Hmm, I’ll read a couple blog posts to get me moving.” How lovely to find this! You have genuinely made my day. Thank you so much for that wonderful review. It’s given me the motivation I need to get up and get working. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad I made your day. You’re welcome. Thank you for showing me there are actual books out there that don’t make people vomit.

      1. Haha. Yes, I guess that’s a good thing. Oh, and the paperback is out. It’s just pricey. Dang those POD prices.

        1. Where are they selling it? Amazon?

          1. Yes. And on my publisher’s site–it’s a dollar cheaper there ( By the way, for your lovely review (which I’ve added to my “My Novel” page on my blog), I would like to thank you with a signed copy of the paperback if you’d like. Just email me at with an address to send it to and what name you’d like me to sign the book to. 🙂

      2. Okay, I sent you an email, just in case it goes to your junk file. Actually two, because I forgot part of it the first time.

  3. Yum Yum, love the possibility of a new book!! Update us when it’s on paper!

    1. You’ll have to check out Carrie’s website. I’m sure she can tell you. I’m hopin’ for a signed copy when it’s here. I nearly killed my Nook cause sometimes it would just flip a page backward right during the good part and I was like STOP THAT and then it’d flip a page after that. Which it never does during freaking 50 Shades.

    2. It is out on paperback now. Thanks for your interest!

  4. Isn’t it so nice to read a real book? I forgot what they were like after the 50 Shats experience. I am a huge science fiction fan. You sold me on this even if it does not include a make-out scene in a supply closet.

    1. We can’t have everything. Surely during all this plague and whatnot she could have found time to stick her tongue down the throat of every male doctor on the ward. You know, to make sure they didn’t have the virus in a very personal way.

  5. I think Carrie is such a great writer! Once I finish the book I’m in the middle of, I’ll be checking this out.

    1. She is, isn’t she? Speaking of writers, I will be waiting for Jen’s Book of Snark Poetry.

  6. Excellent- I need a new author fix……oh, by the way, I work in a hospital. The supply closets don’t lock JUST to keep you from stealing paper towels…..

    1. You are very, very brave. I wouldn’t want to serve icky patients like me.

  7. I like your review style, it seems almost breathless like you can’t put your ideas down fast enough. I would have a look at the book based on your style alone but now I have read the words I shall definitely do so.

    1. Thank you for your words (also that Shakespeare stuff rocked – if I was single – but I digress.) Carrie will appreciate it as well if you give a review. I like your style as well. 😀

      1. That whole comment makes me proud.

  8. […] The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin: A Review – There are still good books out there, you guys.  (12/11/02) […]

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