Infected with a zombie virus, symptoms culminate in a dead body but thriving mind over a course of twelve weeks. Sent out to kidnap girls for food, toys, or whatever the boss wants, Paul nabs Heather McCain. Overcome by his cravings, Paul bites her delectable skin. Paul has a chance to endure his short zombie existence knowing his brother is safe.
Review: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. There is some violence in this book, but it is a zombie story. For a mature audience it's not that bad. I was a bit hesitant getting into this story. I'm usually not a big reader of zombie books or thrillers. I have a very active imagination and usually end up not being able to sleep after reading or seeing this kind of thing. I will say I was pleasantly surprised when I began and was immediately drawn into the story.
The author does an amazing job using suspense. Earlier, dozens of protestors with their dogs had gathered outside the court complex. This was a barbaric act which was premeditated and caused untold suffering to the dog Scamp. Handout photo issued by the Orangutan Foundation of Aan, a critically-endangered orangutan who was blinded after being shot more than times with an air rifle.
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Aan is to undergo an operation that could restore her sight. Holden ultimately agrees to take the job, partly because they'll be setting the template for everything that follows, and partly because the money is really good. The Roci heads through the Ring, but it will still take 73 days to get to New Terra.
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In the meantime, Holden gets continual demands from both sides demanding that he force the other to concede; the captain of the Barbapiccola insists that they be able to sell their ore, while the captain of the Edward Israel continues their blockade, insisting the independents are selling the lithium illegally.
Holden thinks his mission is intended to fail, that both sides are using him as a scapegoat. Miller continues to appear. Holden asks Miller how he manages to follow him around, and Miller tells him the protomolecule put a local node on his ship during the Ganymede incident , when the monster was in the cargo bay.
Baz's daughter, Felcia , wants to leave Ilus to attend University; she befriends Elvi and asks her to write a letter of recommendation. After a sandstorm, Elvi sees a light in the ruins and investigates; she discovers explosives and reports her findings to the RCE security force. Coop, the leader of the OPA resistance, tells Baz that the RCE found the explosives and they need to go set them off or they'll be traced back to them.
This is just a ruse to get Baz to come along, however. They all show up with weapons and have a shoot-out, killing all the RCE security there. Chief Adolphus Murtry , head of RCE security on the Edward Israel , takes a light shuttle down to extract the lone surviving security personnel and to stop the insurgents, leaving Havelock in charge of security on the ship. Holden and Amos land on the planet to absolutely no fanfare; Alex and Naomi , who can't withstand the gravity due to her Belter physiology, head back into orbit.
Both sides ask Holden to take their side, but he wants to be impartial. Coop threatens Murtry, who in turn shoots Coop right in the eye; he's declared Martial Law on the town.
Holden tells Murtry he fully intends to prosecute him for murder, later; Amos tells Holden he knows Murtry gets off on killing, and that he'll probably have to shoot him before long. At a meeting with other insurgents, Basia convinces them that they need Holden on their side, and that if they escalate things, it will make matters much worse.
The group recommends he talk to Holden, since Holden found his son on Ganymede. Elvi meets with Holden and is a bit smitten by him. She tells him that while humans have evolved for longer than the life on this planet, eventually something here will learn to exploit them, not like a virus, which evolved with humans, but it will learn to "mine" them unless they can build antibodies to fight them off.
It's already a problem, however, because they didn't set up a bio-sphere when they landed. Holden tells her they'll get to that as soon as the other crisis is resolved. Holden holds the first joint meeting between Murtry and Chiwewe in an effort to establish the laws on Ilus. While out walking, Miller appears to Holden and explains that the previous inhabitants of Ilus were powerful enough that they remodeled the whole planet, and had an orbital defense system that could've vaporized Ceres , but they were still extinguished by the protomolecule's parent race's killers.
Holden runs into Basia on his way back; Baz tells Holden who he is, and tells him they can't make him leave.
Holden can tell from his nervous demeanor that he's either in the resistance or knows who is. Naomi calls and warns him that there are massive energy spikes coming from his location. Havelock reports to Murtry that he's converted their light shuttle into, for all intents and purposes, a fusion bomb, flyable only by him or Murtry.
Murtry also wants Havelock to train the scientists to form a militia.
Later, Captain Marwick tells Havelock that what happens on the ground could have major consequences for him and his ship when they go back through the Ring with the OPA on the other side. The Roci picks up something large moving on the surface during the energy spikes; Holden, Elvi, Fayez, and Wei hop in a cart and check it out. They find a large, insect-like being that Holden recognizes as one of the security drones from the Ring Station that was so adept at killing things.
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It is consuming the grasses and fungus on the ground to repair itself. Holden says they need to retreat as soon as possible, but Wei opens fire on it, and kills it; they burn it to make sure it doesn't resurrect. Basia goes to another OPA meeting, and their new plan is to take out all of the security forces and Holden, in an effort to make it economically inviable to occupy them. Basia doesn't want any part of it and leaves.
At home, he tells his wife he's going to talk to Holden about it; she tells him that their daughter is leaving on a shuttle now to go to University and he runs to stop her. When he gets to the shuttle, he realizes she'll be much happier and safer if she goes, so he simply gives her a proper goodbye. He tracks down Holden and warns him about what's going to happen; Holden isn't all that surprised, but says it's irrelevant because they're all leaving the planet anyway, in lieu of the waking alien technology. Holden gets Murtry and Chiwewe together and tells them they're all leaving, but neither agrees to his plan.
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Holden ultimately has to threaten to shoot Murtry, but Murtry gets a call from his team, revealing that they all knew about the uprising because he's bugged the entire town, and he already has his people in position. He orders his strike team to attack; they kill everyone inside a nearby house that Murtry dubbed a "terrorist cell". Murtry orders Basia be taken as a prisoner for conspiring with the terrorist, but Holden declares custody of him on behalf of the UN, saying he will be kept as a prisoner on the Roci.
The Roci lands and picks up Basia. Naomi gives him free reign of the ship; she doesn't see him as a prisoner since he saved the captain's life. She and Alex have noticed that the RCE has turned its second shuttle into a bomb. They could shoot it with a gauss round, but Naomi opts for the non-violent route and EVAs over to attach a remote cut-off on the engine.
While doing EVA training exercises, someone on Havelock's squad notices Naomi welding on the shuttle. They thrust over to her and she flees, but they use their grapnels to ensnare her; they throw her in the brig. Holden gets a visit from Miller; Miller admits that the protomolecule has been activating the alien robots on the surface, but also that there's a big empty spot in the global network and he needs Holden to check it out; it may be a remnant of the thing that killed the Investigator 's creators. Holden says he'll check it out as soon as they free Naomi.
Up in the sky, one of the moons melts. Elvi goes to warn Holden about it, and also tells him that she thinks they've only encountered the alien organisms on the planet so far that are trying to wake up from hibernation and failing, but it's usually only a small percentage of organisms that fail when awaking, and there are probably plenty more that won't fail.
While in the field, Elvi analyses a butterfly-like animal; it turns out that it's not an animal at all, but another sort of alien machine. Basia's wife, Lucia, the town doctor, asks Elvi to stop by. In her office, she has a boy whose eye has turned green; she thinks it's possibly the organisms that live in the clouds, feeding off the moisture. She tells Lucia she'll talk to her people and Holden, and hopefully they can find a cure. Over the center of Ilus' largest island, on the opposite side of the planet from First Landing, an enormous eruption occurs, creating tidal waves hundreds of feet high, flattening half the planet, and lighting up the dark side of the planet like a second sun has appeared.