ARC Review: Contagion (Contagion #1) by Erin Bowman

a title here(26)


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.

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!


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!


Links: Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Amazon

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy


24 thoughts on “ARC Review: Contagion (Contagion #1) by Erin Bowman

  1. Amanda @ Literary Weaponry July 14, 2018 / 8:50 am

    I have been really in the mood for a good horror read and hadn’t come across anything that tickled my fancy. So glad I saw your post because this sounds right up my alley. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 24, 2018 / 3:52 pm

      I really hope you end up enjoying it, honestly one of the best horror books I’ve read and it was all around just a fun read! 🙂


  2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious July 15, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I am so glad you loved this book!!! It’s one of my top anticipated (I have it preordered and managed to snag an arc from Edelweiss!), but for some reason I haven’t been able to… read it. I think that may be because I read a bunch of duds in a row and I couldn’t mentally handle another book I was super excited for disappointing me… but that fear is mostly abated now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 25, 2018 / 8:03 am

      I know exactly what you mean, reading a bunch of “meh” or disappointing books in a row can take it’s toll especially for books you’re excited for! Hopefully you enjoy Contagion just as much as I did when you get the chance! I seriously found it to be perfection! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MetalPhantasmReads July 16, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    YAY! I’m so glad you loved it 🙂 my excitement is really high for this book. I hope to get it this month and read it very soon. Awesome review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 25, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Thanks Amanda! I really, really, really loved it, it was 10x more amazing than I expected it to be so I really hope you’ll enjoy it as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 17, 2018 / 10:59 am

    This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I’ve had the eARC for a WHILE and keep waiting until closer to its release (as we do… you know how it is), but last night I realized it’s coming out like, WAY sooner than I realized (do you ever do that? I mean, I have a spreadsheet with the release date RIGHT THERE and still…), and anyways, my point is that your review just made me so freaking pumped and I no longer have ANY concerns about whether or not I’ll be able to read this before its release!

    Plus, something about her writing that I noticed for myself in her western duology is that I feel like I fly through it. I didn’t love Retribution Rails, but Vengeance Road was the first western I ever read and I literally read the entire thing in one afternoon. I was like, “don’t talk to me, don’t touch me, I’m busy reading revenge stories k thanks.”

    Apparently my new MO in life is just leaving you rambling, gushing comments ♥ #sorrynotsorry haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 25, 2018 / 8:15 am

      I do the same thing, it isn’t just you! I’m always like “okay, I have all of these ARCs but they don’t come out for MONTHS so I’m good” and then suddenly it’s coming out the same month and I’m thinking CRAP!

      So glad you ended up enjoying it though and I’m perfectly ok with all of the rambling comments, I mean we are here to gush about books after all, haha! 🙂


      • Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 25, 2018 / 11:14 pm

        Hahaa yes, EXACTLY! It’s awful. It’s why I want to make a new habit of trying to read random unreleased ARCs whenever I’m not working on TBR titles, so that I can slowly chip away at the months before they arrive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 26, 2018 / 3:46 pm

        I think I need in on that new habit desperately! That’s a really good idea, I always procrastinate though because I want to review closer to the date and then I end up with this whole problem again, I should start doing up the reviews and just save them until then.


      • Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 30, 2018 / 3:11 pm

        Right, same! I have a few reviews to write right now for ARCs that don’t come out until later in the year but I know I should just do it now rather than later.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s