Infected, but Scott Sigler, is one of the many books I’ve picked up recently. I’m not sure why, but I always end up buying more books than average during the summer. This book is another one that I read about on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, in one of the Big Idea posts.
This story is told in several parts. One plot follows a man who has the infection, a mysterious and very scary type of parasitism. Another follows the doctor tries to figure out what’s going on. A third is told by a government agent (working of the CIA but not an official member of that organization) who is trying to keep the public at large from learning about this disease. The last plot thread is a third person narration of the progress of the disease.
As I read this book, I found Perry’s plot (the guy with the infection) and the thread about the disease the most engaging and the most horrifying. As the disease progresses, you get to see how far Perry is willing to go to eradicate the parasite. And things get pretty graphic. I think part of what got to me about this book–and a book hasn’t gotten to me since I read The Stand the first time–was that it was medically graphic. As an academic librarian, I’ve seen so many pictures in journals of surgeries and dermatologic conditions in medical journals that my imagination didn’t need a lot of help picturing what Sigler was describing. (*shiver*)
But I have to say that the ending pissed me off. I hate it when it turns out that it was aliens all along. It always feels like a cop out ending, especially when the author does so much research into epidemiology and microbiology. (I was impressed.) And in this case, I think there are so many scary diseases and parasites out there that you don’t need to bring in extraterrestrials. Up until it turned out it was aliens, I was hooked. And freaked out. Which is what you want from a horror novel.