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 Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com 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.