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.
****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”!
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?
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.
What I Loved:
- 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!
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!