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Contagion (Contagion #1)

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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 decim 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.


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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 decim 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.

30 review for Contagion (Contagion #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    joanna ☽

    Firstly: I can’t wait for 2019. The sequel for this is going to be amazing. I can already feel it. This was honestly such a fantastic, gripping story; it kept me up reading all night, even though I knew what the consequences would be in the morning. (They were not pretty consequences.) It’s one of those rare books that steals your breath and holds you so tightly that you’re afraid to tear your eyes away from the pages even for a second. You can read my full review here on starburnt reads! “IT GOT Firstly: I can’t wait for 2019. The sequel for this is going to be amazing. I can already feel it. This was honestly such a fantastic, gripping story; it kept me up reading all night, even though I knew what the consequences would be in the morning. (They were not pretty consequences.) It’s one of those rare books that steals your breath and holds you so tightly that you’re afraid to tear your eyes away from the pages even for a second. You can read my full review here on starburnt reads! “IT GOT IN US” What drew me to this book was the synopsis: the promise of mystery and disease and death, and all the juicy stuff that’s horrifying in real life and therefore a wonderful story to read. And it absolutely delivered. This book is eerie, terrifying, heartbreaking, and almost everything I could want from a sci-fi novel. “Was he still human if he could do inhuman things? Was he a monster wearing familiar skin?” It starts a little rough, with a heavy info-dump that (while necessary) didn’t do much to interest me in the story, although the map and graphics in the front were beautiful. Then we start the actual prologue, and it’s haunting and creepy enough to interest you. After that, things get a little more confusing. Initially I found the sudden switches in POV to be disorienting, and it took about half the novel for me to adjust to the way it’s laid out. The changes in POV are much easier later on, when we know the characters well enough, and actually help to add to the suspense. The vast majority of Contagion is incredibly difficult to put down. The tension running through every one of the scenes had me on edge — which is something that’s hard to achieve with me most of the time, having read maybe one too many “action” books to feel properly terrified anymore. But the pacing is done so well, and the chapters from “him” (a mysterious survivor of a mass disaster) leave you with so many questions, that I just couldn’t tear myself away. The prose was a little difficult to swallow at times. It makes sense and flows smoothly for the most part, and fits the genre pretty well – but occasionally there would be an odd turn of phrase, a misspelled word, or missing punctuation. I’m assuming that these slip-ups will probably be ironed out before publication (I read an ARC), and they didn’t really impact my understanding of the story or my enjoyment, but it’s worth a mention. There is also some LGBT rep in this book, which is wonderful, and at several confirmed PoC. I find that I don’t really have a clear picture in my head of many of the characters, and they were mostly ambiguous. I enjoyed the personality characterisation and how we were always given reasons and motives when characters acted, even if they felt a little flat in some cases. Thea’s development in particular was something that I found incredibly interesting; her character overall is probably the strongest, followed shortly by Nova and Dylan. I loved the emphasis on strong female leads, especially in the STEM field. The worldbuilding is also fairly strong. We are introduced to the politics and culture of the Trios and the Cradle with ease, and at the end, our knowledge really does pay off, rather than being unnecessary filler. There is no bad romance or insta-love anywhere near this story. The relationships develop realistically, and this is something that’s so refreshing to see in a genre oversaturated with cheesy, unbelievable love tales. The conclusion is wonderful. It was perfect – just the right amount of tragedy, anger, and hope. Also, I’m dying to know what happens next! Cliffhangers kill me everyyy time. I have high hopes for the sequel (haha, how many times have I said that?) and would definitely recommend this book to others, especially since you don’t need to be an avid fan of science fiction to enjoy this thoroughly. Thank you to HarperCollins for a free e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and fair review! - initial thoughts: help it’s 1:16am and I just finished reading this and I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep now. SO GOOD. SO MURDERY. 4.25 stars - ▌Instagram ▌Tumblr ▌Wordpress Blog ▌

  2. 5 out of 5

    destiny ☠ howling libraries

    I am a huge fan of sci-fi/horror mash-up stories, whether they’re in books, film, whatever, and after how much I enjoyed Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road duology last year, I knew I had to check this out! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I was also a little bit nervous because I wasn’t 100% sure whether Erin’s writing would translate as well to this setting. It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid. Thankfully, it absolutely did, and I was h I am a huge fan of sci-fi/horror mash-up stories, whether they’re in books, film, whatever, and after how much I enjoyed Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road duology last year, I knew I had to check this out! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I was also a little bit nervous because I wasn’t 100% sure whether Erin’s writing would translate as well to this setting. It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid. Thankfully, it absolutely did, and I was hooked from the very first page. This story was fast-paced, creepy, and full of intrigue and back-stabbing. There are so many different catalysts coming together to create this perfect storm of dread and suspense, whether it’s the infection itself, the people who already are infected, the storms on the planet they’re trapped on, malfunctioning equipment, or even just the fear that comes with not knowing who on their team they can or can’t trust—the distress rolling off of these characters is downright tangible, and you can’t help but fall right into that fear alongside them. “Trust me when I say the last thing you want to test is the power of nature.” Not only is the fear factor there, but the atmosphere in the storytelling is fantastic. Part of why I struggle with sci-fi sometimes is that it can be hard to fully immerse myself, but with Contagion, I felt like I was right there on Achlys with the crew. Something unique to this story, among other “infection” stories, is that everything feels perfectly plausible and imaginable, which lends another layer to the terror—there’s no major suspension of disbelief required to get sucked in to this one. Every lie he’d told—every half truth he’d yet to utter—was purposeful. If the Odyssey crew didn’t fight him, he could potentially save them all. On top of everything else, the story switches perspectives (all in third person, so it flows very smoothly), constantly giving you just pieces here and there of a character’s motives. Right to the end, even the reader can’t ever be entirely certain of who to trust, and it’s such a fantastic touch! There are several characters, each of them genuinely important, though some feel more three-dimensional than others, of course, such as the teen girls who serve as our two primary “narrators”: Thea, a Korean-Turkish biomedical intern, and Nova, a queer black pilot with a sight impairment (and the representation is executed well, in my opinion). “Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said.” All in all, Contagion was a delightful read from start to finish. I never once found myself bored, and honestly, now all I can think about is how long I’m going to have to wait on the sequel, which I desperately need right now! So, if you’re a fan of sci-fi or horror (but especially both), I strongly recommend this one. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review! You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Bowman

    Contagion will be my next book after Retribution Rails and it couldn't be more different. This tends to be a trend of mine; I write in one genre and then follow it up with something polar opposite. I'm currently in the middle of a major revision, but let me get a few frequently asked questions out of the way: The current description is really vague. Who are these two teens? Thea Sadik, an ambitious seventeen-year-old with a love for science, and Nova Singh, a high-school dropout with piloting expe Contagion will be my next book after Retribution Rails and it couldn't be more different. This tends to be a trend of mine; I write in one genre and then follow it up with something polar opposite. I'm currently in the middle of a major revision, but let me get a few frequently asked questions out of the way: The current description is really vague. Who are these two teens? Thea Sadik, an ambitious seventeen-year-old with a love for science, and Nova Singh, a high-school dropout with piloting experience who’s looking to snag permanent work. While temporarily employed by drilling conglomerate Hevetz Industries, things go awry (naturally), and both girls find themselves on a rescue mission neither is qualified for. Who’s the sole survivor? I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Ahem. What I mean is, this is one of those stories where the less you know going in, the better, so I’m going to be a withholding jerk and tell you to read the book when it comes out. So when does it come out? July 24th, 2018! Can I pre-order it? Yes! The book is up for pre-order on most retail sites. You can also stalk the pinterest board until you wait for your copy, because July is a ways off still. This sounds so different than your westerns! Where the heck did the idea come from? I’ve actually been working on this story for ages. The idea first came to me back in 2012, from a dream, no less—my first novel inspired by a dream! Actually, it was more of a nightmare. At the time, I was busy writing other contracted projects, but I’ve been continually returning to this story whenever I have downtime and now it will finally be a book! If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll know this story was once titled Achlys, after the destination planet “lightyears away” in the above pitch. Why did you retitle it from Achlys to Contagion? Achlys, as a title, is tricky—hard to know how to pronounce (if you read it) and hard to know how to spell (if you hear about the book via word of mouth). Contagion doesn’t have that problem, plus it packs a punch. It’s mysterious, dangerous, dark—everything we needed the title to be. I’m really happy with it, and it speaks so well to the whole of the story. Does this mean you’re done with westerns? Why do you keep jumping between genres? Well, I have Retribution Rails, the companion to Vengeance Road, coming out in November 2017. And then, who knows! I love writing westerns, but I also love sci-fi. Just as I love dystopian. And I have the start of contemporary projects on my hard drive, as well as speculative fiction and fantasy. I read across genres and I especially love to write across genres. It keeps me on my toes, provides new challenges, and helps me grow as a writer. So, no, this doesn’t mean I’m done with westerns. It simply means nothing is off limits for me. Wait, don’t go! You haven’t answered my question. Leave it in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer it. I’ll also continue to answer questions and reveal teasers via my monthly newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if that sounds like your thing!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    a creepy, fast-paced sci-fi with some intriguing characters, but featuring too many POV switches, and an overall plot that just isn’t substantial enough to hold up a series opener. review to come!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ this sounds twisty and plague-ey and creepy and I love it. I don't tend to be one for scifi but I'm super excited! a creepy, fast-paced sci-fi with some intriguing characters, but featuring too many POV switches, and an overall plot that just isn’t substantial enough to hold up a series opener. review to come!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this sounds twisty and plague-ey and creepy and I love it. I don't tend to be one for scifi but I'm super excited!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’m not sure why I didn’t realize this when I started the novel, but this is the first of a duology. After I finished this and realize there would be a sequel, I was bummed. There is just something about a solid standalone YA sci-fi/horror novel that sounded like exactly what I needed, but clearly I was wrong about the standalone part. Anyway, now you know there’s a sequel, so no disappointment for you. Set in the future, where humans have colonized on planets out in space and the discovery of a I’m not sure why I didn’t realize this when I started the novel, but this is the first of a duology. After I finished this and realize there would be a sequel, I was bummed. There is just something about a solid standalone YA sci-fi/horror novel that sounded like exactly what I needed, but clearly I was wrong about the standalone part. Anyway, now you know there’s a sequel, so no disappointment for you. Set in the future, where humans have colonized on planets out in space and the discovery of a sustainable energy source, corrarium, results in tensions among the planets. Hevetz Industries is the largest supplier of corrarium and is constantly in search of new locations where corrarium could be present leading to the events of this book.. A crew of individuals including a scientist with a mysterious past (Lisbeth) and her intern (Thea), an unqualified captain due to nepotism (Dylan), a temp pilot (Nova), mechanic (Sullivan), and a couple tech guys (Toby & Cleaver) all stationed at a research facility are being sent on a rescue mission to a planet deemed uninhabitable after Hevetz received an SOS and decided this group was the closest to answer the distress call. No one is excited about this mission. Except for maybe Dylan who is concerned about her father who is among the team that sent out the SOS. Hearing where they are headed only freaks everyone out more. How is it even possible that they are drilling for corrarium there? The last time anyone was on Achyls, everyone died except for the child of two scientists. No one ever figured out what happened. Oh, and that child is now the scientist with the mysterious past. What happened back then? And why is Lisbeth so scared to return? This one definitely has creepy vibes throughout. I was on the edge of my seat with suspense trying to figure out what was happening. In ways, I got 172 Hours on the Moon vibes. Although, that one spooked me way more. There are some things that still need explaining, but being that there is a sequel, I can’t speak on how much it all makes sense quite yet. I will say that Erin Bowman has proved she has genre range. The last book I read from her was Vengeance Road which is very, very different from this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Meadows

    CONTAGION perfectly toes the line between science fiction thriller and horror. I couldn't stop reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie

    "Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said." Quite a lot apparently. 😂 4.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 Favorite Quotes: "Numbers and data made sense, but people were impossible." "Impossible is just an excuse not to try," Nova said. "You break it down into little steps, and then it becomes a bunch of things you can tackle. Possible things." Pros: ❇Normally when I see "recommended for fans of-" blurbed, or mentioned while describing a new release I find that to be a huge turnoff, bec "Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said." Quite a lot apparently. 😂 4.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 Favorite Quotes: "Numbers and data made sense, but people were impossible." "Impossible is just an excuse not to try," Nova said. "You break it down into little steps, and then it becomes a bunch of things you can tackle. Possible things." Pros: ❇️Normally when I see "recommended for fans of-" blurbed, or mentioned while describing a new release I find that to be a huge turnoff, because half of the time my expectations are way too high, and I end up being disappointed, but this book is recommended for fans of Alien, and The Illuminae Files, and this time- I couldn't agree more! ❇️This was my first reading experience with Erin Bowman's work, and I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed! I loved her writing style, the characters, and the pacing of the overall story-line (which is just as important to me as the rest). ♡ Cons: ❇️I can honestly say that I had no real issues with this book, however, as I am trying to be a more critical reader/reviewer, and this book didn't absolutely blow my mind, I'm giving it a 4 star rating instead of a 5 (which I normally would have, because I do see that there's room for improvement, this being the first book in the series). Final Thoughts/Comments: ❇️The only downside to reading this book so quickly after it being released is that I have to wait god only knows how long for the sequel! After reading Contagion, I am definitely interested in picking up more of this authors work, and I cannot wait to see where she takes this story, and what happens to the characters I've come to love! ♡

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    I loved every moment of Contagion. I'm sure book 2 will be as great as book 1

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I was insane with excitement when I read this synopsis as it has everything I love: mass infection and possible zombies. Sadly I was disappointed. My main complaint about this book is the multiple POVs. There are several — more than what is necessary, in my opinion — and because of that, I didn’t get to know any of the characters. Everyone felt shallow. The minor details we did get wasn’t enough to make me root for anyone. Plot wise it was okay. The first 40% or so of the story is dry and boring I was insane with excitement when I read this synopsis as it has everything I love: mass infection and possible zombies. Sadly I was disappointed. My main complaint about this book is the multiple POVs. There are several — more than what is necessary, in my opinion — and because of that, I didn’t get to know any of the characters. Everyone felt shallow. The minor details we did get wasn’t enough to make me root for anyone. Plot wise it was okay. The first 40% or so of the story is dry and boring. It wasn’t until people started dying off that I was interested, and even then it was sort of a struggle. Eventually the action happens and there’s a few interesting reveals, but I was never captivated. Overall, it was a set up I loved; however, it lacked the tension a story like this needs. I just found out it’s a series and I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the next one. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    I was so so excited to dive into CONTAGION because I enjoyed Bowman's Vengeance Road series, so I was familiar with her writing, and I am so here for more good YA sci-fi. Throw in some horror and creep factor of a virus that has taken over a space station and the rescue crew hired to investigate? I'm trash for it. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Why? Because half the characters are either dumb or unlikeable. I was more or less fine with the plot, it was at turns thrilling and eeri I was so so excited to dive into CONTAGION because I enjoyed Bowman's Vengeance Road series, so I was familiar with her writing, and I am so here for more good YA sci-fi. Throw in some horror and creep factor of a virus that has taken over a space station and the rescue crew hired to investigate? I'm trash for it. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Why? Because half the characters are either dumb or unlikeable. I was more or less fine with the plot, it was at turns thrilling and eerie and full of action, but with maybe two exceptions I wanted to throw every character out of an airlock. And the problem is a few of them, for sure, are supposed to be unlikeable; stubborn, irresponsible, annoying, and, worse, unable to accept fault or admit error. And yet they still really dragged this experience down for me. Also, I was surprised to discover this was not a standalone! I feel like when I added it to my tbr it didn't yet have a series indicator, though maybe it did and that's on me, but I was very taken aback when this ended so abruptly. Don't get me wrong it's a good, if a tiny bit predictable, ending (in the sense of where the characters are at, not what's happened to the characters themselves) and I will definitely read on because the part that makes this spooky has some totally awesome elements at play and I loved how visual Bowman's descriptions could be. You could totally picture this in your head. If you liked the spooky factor that was present in GEMINA, but liked the sorta-evil corporation politics of the Starbound trilogy, I think you'll like CONTAGION. 3.25 "follow the bloody footprints, they said. what could go wrong, they said" stars ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/04/... Contagion by Erin Bowman stars the ragtag crew of the Odyssey, a mining ship that responds to an SOS at a seemingly deserted base on a remote planet. Led by their determined by green captain Dylan Lowe, the team immediately begins searching for survivors but instead find a pile of dead bodies. The ship’s doctor, microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow appears baffled at the cause of all the death and carnage, but her seventeen-y 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/04/... Contagion by Erin Bowman stars the ragtag crew of the Odyssey, a mining ship that responds to an SOS at a seemingly deserted base on a remote planet. Led by their determined by green captain Dylan Lowe, the team immediately begins searching for survivors but instead find a pile of dead bodies. The ship’s doctor, microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow appears baffled at the cause of all the death and carnage, but her seventeen-year-old intern Thea Sadik suspects her mentor may know more than she lets on. Meanwhile, the Odyssey’s pilot Nova Singh struggles with her developing feelings for Dylan, even as the headstrong captain makes increasingly impulsive decisions that endanger her people. On the planet, the crew also finds a disturbing message along with a chilling video made by one of the personnel before he died. Not long afterwards, the group is separated and Thea’s life is saved by a mysterious young man who claims to be the only survivor. But who is he and where did he come from? How did he stay alive when no one else was spared by whatever killed them? Finding the answers becomes imperative as one of the Odyssey’s crew suddenly becomes infected with an unknown contagion, putting all of their lives at risk unless the outbreak can be contained. As someone who has seen my fair share of sci-fi/horror movies, books, games, comics etc. featuring some variation of the space zombie, I have to say Contagion was pretty mediocre and only mildly entertaining. To be fair, it’s tough to write a book like this, precisely because it’s been done before…so many times before. Some authors attempt to spin the story a different way, or offer something unique as a hook. Personally, I love that. It’s what keeps me coming back to this genre. The problem here though, was I just didn’t see anything too special. Bowman’s a great writer, and certainly I would put her prose at a level above the typical YA novel, but truth be told, her atmosphere and suspense building could have been better, and any fan of horror will tell you, those two things are kind of a biggie. That said, it’s clear the author wanted the strength of her novel to be in her characters. She’s populated Contagion with a diverse cast, who were for the most part interesting to read about. Where the story stumbles, however, is the narrative mode. Told in third-person omniscient, we are bounced between POVs to cover no less than half a dozen of the crew members when really there’s only a handful of characters readers are made to care about. The rest felt like distraction and served to weaken the character development as a whole. I want to say I liked the characters, but the reality is I didn’t feel like I got to know any of them too well, and no one really stood out as all that unique or special. Kind of like this book (even though it makes me feel crummy to say it). The action is what drove much of the entertainment. Even then, the suspense was a bit muted because I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to feel the full emotional impact even when terrible stuff happened to them, but at least the story wasn’t boring. The world was also intriguing, though I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface. The hints of political intrigue and corporate conspiracies given here don’t play much into the plot, though I wish they had. The ending also closes on a rather blunt “to be continued”, so I assume much of the set-up here will be elaborated upon in the sequel. Ultimately, I found Contagion to be a very middle-of-the-road read—entertaining enough, but nothing special to write home about. Still, despite my mixed feelings, I have not dismissed the possibility of continuing with the series, though I’ll probably wait to read a few reviews of the next book before making my decision. Audiobook Comments: I think Amy McFadden did a great job narrating, but some books just beg for multiple narrators. Given the number of characters in Contagion and their different personalities and voices, the addition of more narrators here probably would have benefited the flow of the story and increased my interest, but overall I still enjoyed the listen.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)

    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek ****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 differen Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek ****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”! Plot 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? Characters 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! Recommend? 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!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jess (◕‿◕✿)

    I can't. omg. this book was SO amazing and delightfully creepy, it was everything that I wanted it to be and more. I'll post a review closer to release date, but definitely put this on your TBR!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Contagion is a stunning (and I mean STUNNING!) book, set in the future, on a mysterious planet. There are many things I loved (scratch that, adored!) about it. The first one would be cast of characters - both the ones I cared about and the one I hated from the bottom of the heartless part of my soul - the author let them all tell us their story and the switch between them gave the book a sense of urgency and an intensity one can usually find in movies. It’s hard to have a favorite when you know Contagion is a stunning (and I mean STUNNING!) book, set in the future, on a mysterious planet. There are many things I loved (scratch that, adored!) about it. The first one would be cast of characters - both the ones I cared about and the one I hated from the bottom of the heartless part of my soul - the author let them all tell us their story and the switch between them gave the book a sense of urgency and an intensity one can usually find in movies. It’s hard to have a favorite when you know they might all be doomed, but I had and I has happy with the outcome. Where’s the next book?! I want it now! This is a SF-triller of sorts. I wouldn’t call it horror, because the writing style does not set the mood that way. It’s intriguing, fast paced, disturbing at times, but it never felt like horror - I was glad, to be honest, but they are advertising it that way and I think some people might be disappointed if they go into with with this sort of expectations. Though it ends with a cliffhanger, it’s a soft one. It both sounds like a good place to stop and it makes the reader want to be able to grab the next book in a hurry. I am dying to read the sequel!!! The action is great! Seriously, it was an edge gripping kind of story that made me turn pages like a mad woman. I started reading it during daylight (because I thought it was a horror book, remember?) and came back to it at night after the kid was asleep (because I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted badly to know what comes next). It reminded me in a way of Mira Grant’s books, but with a faster pace - waaaay faster :)) Anyways, I loved it. I’ll do my best to have a full review soon, because this is one of my favorite reads this year! Loved, loved, loved it!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    "don't trust the kid." For me, it was more like "don't trust the cover porn." Synopsis? - Great. Idea? - Great Cover? - Great. Book itself? - Not so much. I wanted so so much to like this, not only because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year but also because the synopsis and the overall idea of the book are amazing. But unfortunately, this book wasn't what I had hoped for. As soon as I started reading I could literally feel that this wouldn't be the story that would grip me and exci "don't trust the kid." For me, it was more like "don't trust the cover porn." Synopsis? - Great. Idea? - Great Cover? - Great. Book itself? - Not so much. I wanted so so much to like this, not only because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year but also because the synopsis and the overall idea of the book are amazing. But unfortunately, this book wasn't what I had hoped for. As soon as I started reading I could literally feel that this wouldn't be the story that would grip me and excite me and keep my on the edge of my seat. The book was good, don't get me wrong, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wouldn't have had such high expectations from the very beginning. Everything seemed quite predictable to me and I often already knew what would happen or what the characters would realise that I had already guessed 50 pages prior. But be it as it may I do want to know how the story unfolds in the second book and I hope that I will enjoy it more than the first book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cori Reed

    Creepy and fast-paced, I enjoyed reading this novel. That said, two of the three POV characters sounded so similar to me I kept getting them mixed up and having to retrace my steps.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clephiro

    So, going into the book, I was kinda expecting like Dead Space or something. What I got? Definitely the deadly outbreak, and despite the characters INSISTING there are no such thing as zombies, they were kind of zombie-like. So this crew consists of the dumbest commander ever - Dylan. Despite the fact that the planet is the site of a former massacre, and receiving an SOS, she insists that her incredibly unqualified crew investigate. Even though there are repeated warnings about the danger of the So, going into the book, I was kinda expecting like Dead Space or something. What I got? Definitely the deadly outbreak, and despite the characters INSISTING there are no such thing as zombies, they were kind of zombie-like. So this crew consists of the dumbest commander ever - Dylan. Despite the fact that the planet is the site of a former massacre, and receiving an SOS, she insists that her incredibly unqualified crew investigate. Even though there are repeated warnings about the danger of the planet, she doesn't back down and initiates a series of events that gets the majority of her crew killed. Nova - the temp flight pilot is one of the few characters that I could stand. She actually makes (mostly) reasonable decisions. Sullivan, Cleaver and Toby didn't live long enough or have enough page time to actually make an impression. The doctor, Thea and Coen are COMPLETELY fine starting a global pandemic because they want their selfish asses to get off the planet that they are currently on. It's totally just an acceptable risk. I just could not believe how dumb they acted with regards to the future of the HUMAN RACE. The writing was decent and it was nice seeing a horror/sci-fi book. But the characters make the DUMBEST choices, I couldn't even deal. I was worried that I would rage-quit with anger.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

    Ooohh this sounds very alien-esque?! The bar is high. PLEASE BE SCARY.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaleena ★ Reader Voracious

    📣 Happy book birthday to Contagion! You can read the first two chapters for free HERE! Friends, this book absolutely blew me away. Contagion was one of my most anticipated releases and one that surpassed my expectations completely. This is hands-down one of my favorite reads of 2018. Fun fact: when I was in the eighth grade I borrowed my grandmother's copy of The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus by Richard Preston and decided that I wanted to be a microbiologi 📣 Happy book birthday to Contagion! You can read the first two chapters for free HERE! Friends, this book absolutely blew me away. Contagion was one of my most anticipated releases and one that surpassed my expectations completely. This is hands-down one of my favorite reads of 2018. Fun fact: when I was in the eighth grade I borrowed my grandmother's copy of The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus by Richard Preston and decided that I wanted to be a microbiologist so I could work with contagious hot diseases for the CDC. That book sparked an intellectual curiosity in me for science that has never wavered (I almost got my Associate's Degree in Microbio before switching to Anthropology three-quarters of the way through). The science and infectious disease aspects of this book really spoke to me, beyond being an amazing piece of science fiction and horror. (Because yes, this book is terrifying and I am glad I didn't read it at night.) It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid. Fast-paced and instantly engaging, Contagion is one of the best examples of atmospheric writing that I have encountered in the horror and science fiction arena, which adds to the reading experience as I was fully immersed in the world that Bowman carefully crafted. Each of the characters are flawed and complex, with pasts that dictate their present behavior in understandable ways (if not frustrating... my reading experience was akin to screaming "behind you!" when watching horror movies). Each character experiences growth and development, even secondary characters, and while I would definitely characterize this as a plot-driven story the reader is just as invested in the characters and their plight. "Follow the bloody footprints, they said. What could go wrong, they said." The worldbuilding beyond the contained environment that the book is set within is done organically, bit by bit as it served to bring the larger narrative and framework for the series into focus but never felt like an info dump. Underlying the horror that the Odyssey's crew encounters while embarking on their response to a distress signal on Achlys is also a complex social and political structure. Unveiled slowly and organically within the narrative, we learn that there are rebels that want to secede from the United Planetary Coalition. Was this secret drilling endeavor part of a plan to leave the union? Or a way to strengthen it? The character's discussions and varying opinions about this sounded very similar to Brexit debates. An inky blackness that swam and twisted and curled like ribbons. This book is incredibly well written and beautiful in its horror; the atmospheric writing having me on the edge of my seat for about five hours straight as I devoured the words in search of what would happen next. Mistrust and fear permeate off of the characters and carried off of the page onto me and I cared for each of their well-being. (Even Dylan, whose actions frustrated me.) I cannot wait for the second book in this series and for the rest of the world to be able to read this book! I never found myself bored and essentially read this entire book in one sitting. If you like horror and science fiction, I cannot recommend this book enough. Pre-order campaign get a signed bookplate, bookmark, stickers, and a poster & be entered to win a grand prize (annotated ARC!) by submitting your receipt by 23:59 EDT July 23rd. (INTL) Many thanks to HarperCollins for providing me an electronic ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Quotations were taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication. This was my first read in my 24in48 Readathon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    JJ || This Dark Material

    BLOG // BLOGLOVIN' // TWITTER More than the cliffhanger ending gives away Contagion as the first entry in a new series. With a sprawling interstellar alliance that doesn't always inspire contentment in its citizens, there's quite a lot of world-building to get through in the opening chapters. One half of the alliance—a planetary system called the Trios—supplies corrarium, an essential energy source. The other half, called the Cradle, essentially functions as an upper-class consumer society depend BLOG // BLOGLOVIN' // TWITTER More than the cliffhanger ending gives away Contagion as the first entry in a new series. With a sprawling interstellar alliance that doesn't always inspire contentment in its citizens, there's quite a lot of world-building to get through in the opening chapters. One half of the alliance—a planetary system called the Trios—supplies corrarium, an essential energy source. The other half, called the Cradle, essentially functions as an upper-class consumer society dependent on corrarium for their comfortable lifestyle. This imbalance has fed an underground sentiment towards rebellion in the Trios, yet the only explanation comes in the form of a lecture from one of the members of the rescue crew. Speaking of the rescue crew, most are very thinly developed. Given the horror aspect it's inevitable that several won't survive the first book, although it would be nice if we were given more of a reason to care when they die. There is also a reasonable amount of setting up to get through before the plot's survival aspect kicks into gear, which leaves readers stranded in the first section of the novel with unknowable or unlikable characters and very little tension. Bowman does write scares and thrills quite well, so once the mysterious infection is unleashed issues with development and pacing fade into the background. Contagion delivers on some key sci-fi/horror elements while neglecting some important storytelling basics. Your enjoyment will likely depend on how essential you find certain aspects like these: CREEPY ATMOSPHERE One of Contagion's strongest assets is its setting. An abandoned base with bloody footprints, red smears on the walls, and no sign of any bodies makes for a veritable haunted house in outer space. Frigid temperatures and toxic air keep everyone isolated in their environmental suits, dwarfed by the machinery and engineering required to help humans survive on an alien planet. While inserting jump scares into a written story can be difficult, Bowman plays with the threat of them around every corner and down every darkened stairwell. This macabre sensibility is an enticing precursor to the impending terror. THREATENING 'VILLAIN' That the titular contagion exists is frightening enough. Stranded far from home, with no backup, and battling a foe you don't understand sounds perfectly scary to me. But the infection that beset Black Quarry and now threatens those sent to rescue its staff takes a turn into something more sinister than death. While no one is immune from infection, the organism does affect hosts in different ways. Crew members discover these symptoms as they present in a terrifying cascade of "show not tell" storytelling. While the descriptions fall short of truly brutal, there's enough blood and viscera smeared around to earn Contagion a genuine horror designation. BREAKNECK PACING The first quarter or so of the book moves slowly. Bowman is trying to introduce several POV characters and multiple layers of backstory, predominantly through rote exposition. Once this narrative housekeeping wraps up and the threat of infection presents itself, Contagion finally starts to feel like the story I expected. The inhospitable environment on Achlys prevents characters from pausing to evaluate any wounds or setbacks; symptoms with rapid onset force hasty decisions and often back the rescue crew into corners with no easy escape. They cover a lot of ground in the twelve hours spent on the distant planet: their own transport, the Black Quarry base of operations, a drilling site, and an abandoned bunker serve as major set pieces for the action with no small amount of running between them. It's a sharp contrast to the beginning of the novel as revelations come on the heels of one another, even if you do see some of them coming. SOME CHARACTERS ARE VEHICLES, NOT PEOPLE Whether it's background on the tensions between the Cradle and the Trios, an impetus to move from one area of the base to another, or foreshadowing future calamities, several of the rescue crew members lack depth beyond their role as a cog in the larger plot. After filling the others in on an underground resistance movement or dragging them from one threat to another, they recede into the background with their singular defining trait until called upon as the next victim. This was a major sticking point for me and, had the action not ratcheted up considerably in the second half of the book, might have kept me from finishing. Contagion definitely commits some of my personal no-no's in storytelling. It has a limited cast of characters and several of them don't get more than the barest outline of a personality. The beginning chapters are a veritable flood of information; coupled with the use of multiple POVs for under-developed characters, it takes a while to get oriented. However, once they arrive on Achlys and all of the set dressing gets put aside for a non-stop struggle for survival, I forgot how annoyed I was in those first pages. The few characters remaining at the end of Contagion should have plenty of room to grow and develop in its sequel, which I intend on reading. There's an interesting conflict brewing throughout the novel; I only wish it had been presented a little more elegantly.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren ✨ (YABookers)

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Contagion is one of those books that are really hard to review. Not because it's a mediocre book (because it's definitely not), but because there's only so much I can say without spoiling it. After receiving an urgent distress call from a secret drilling station on a distant, mysterious planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to respond. When they arrive, they find an abandoned site littered with bodies. What should Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Contagion is one of those books that are really hard to review. Not because it's a mediocre book (because it's definitely not), but because there's only so much I can say without spoiling it. After receiving an urgent distress call from a secret drilling station on a distant, mysterious planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to respond. When they arrive, they find an abandoned site littered with bodies. What should have been a routine search-and-rescue and has turned into a nightmare. And the team must figure out who – or what – has happened and make it off the planet alive. I'm a sucker for intense and eerie sci-fi thrillers, especially ones involving abandoned space-stations and deadly contagions. And Contagion is so perfectly creepy. It's not often I find myself so immersed in a story and characters, but Erin Bowman captured my attention throughout. It has edge-of-your-seat thrills, a gripping mystery, intense storytelling, fantastic characters and interactions, and such unique and flawed personalities. I especially enjoyed the group dynamics, even if some of the characters were kind of unbearable. Overall, I found that Contagion was soooo amazing! Tense, on the edge of your seat thrills, AMAZING characters (seriously, I ADORED Thea), and a super creepy vibe. If you're a fan of Illuminae, I 100% think you would love this too. I am excited (and totally impatient) to get my hands on the next book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I could have read this in one sitting but I’ve been so busy lately that I didn’t have a chance. Super fast paced sci-fi thriller that had me hooked from the start. Very creepy in some parts, it had me freaking out while I was reading late at night. And now I need book 2 please!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    There was a lot to like about this, but I've just read too many great science fiction novels lately, and this one was good, but it didn't measure up. Why? 1. The characters had no chemistry with each other. Lots of characters die, but that's not why. They just read very cardboard to me, and it's a problem when the potential (view spoiler)[ F/F relationship is cut off before it even gets started. (hide spoiler)] 2. The pacing was a bit off. The book is slow to get started, which would have been fin There was a lot to like about this, but I've just read too many great science fiction novels lately, and this one was good, but it didn't measure up. Why? 1. The characters had no chemistry with each other. Lots of characters die, but that's not why. They just read very cardboard to me, and it's a problem when the potential (view spoiler)[ F/F relationship is cut off before it even gets started. (hide spoiler)] 2. The pacing was a bit off. The book is slow to get started, which would have been fine if the author was creating a tone of foreboding, but it just read very flat. I want lots of atmosphere when I'm reading books about contagious viruses that make people attack each other. Once the killing started, it got better. But it wasn't enough for me. So you're probably wondering which science fiction books I loved so much that this didn't measure up to. You're in luck! I've got recs. Sanctuary by Caryn Lix (July 2018) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... The Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach- This one is an oldie (2014) but a goodie. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine - I love everything Rachel Caine writes. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... All of these were better than Contagion for me. And look, Contagion was an acceptable book, but if you're like me, you can only read so many books in a lifetime, and you want to read the really good ones.

  24. 5 out of 5

    nick

    3.5/5 I've been slowly getting back into YA lately and Contagion was a book I was very excited to check out. I'm not usually one for science-fiction books, but the summary for Contagion sounded so intriguing. Plus, it's written by Erin Bowman, whose books I've very much enjoyed in the past. Dark, atmospheric and eerie, Contagion had me on the edge of my seat. I was drawn into this creepy and mysterious world almost instantly. When a drilling operation on a mysterious planet goes awry, a team from 3.5/5 I've been slowly getting back into YA lately and Contagion was a book I was very excited to check out. I'm not usually one for science-fiction books, but the summary for Contagion sounded so intriguing. Plus, it's written by Erin Bowman, whose books I've very much enjoyed in the past. Dark, atmospheric and eerie, Contagion had me on the edge of my seat. I was drawn into this creepy and mysterious world almost instantly. When a drilling operation on a mysterious planet goes awry, a team from a nearby planet is sent to investigate the matter. On arrival, they discover dead bodies upon dead bodies that seem to hold sinister secrets. Now, does that not make you want to read the book ASAP? Contagion was a fast-paced book that never really slowed down. There were so many revelations made about Black Quarry that had me freaking out. Then, the space zombies showed up and I was shaken to the core. Erin Bowman didn't hold back when it came to the body count in Contagion and that had me nervous and at the edge of my seat all throughout. The world building in this book was also stellar. Besides the zombies and the creepy disease, there were also nefarious corporate politics at play here. She truly amped up the creepy atmosphere here. It was all very fascinating and with the book ended, I have no doubts that Bowman has even more for readers. The biggest downfall of Contagion, however, was its number of POVs. I'm personally not a fan of multiple-POVs as I often find it hard to connect to any of the characters, and after some time the characters all start to blend together for me. I faced a bit of that here with Contagion. Though I thought each and every one of the main cast was interesting, I didn't feel like we had the chance to get to know them all that well. In my opinion, had Bowman chosen to focus on Thea and Nova, two of the teen characters, this would have been a stronger story. That being said, I thought each of the crew brought something to the story and though they were not all very likable - seriously, there were some stubborn and arrogant mules in this book - I was invested in what happened to them. While not without its flaws, I thought Contagion was a good start to a new series. I'm eager to learn more about this world and the revelations made about some of the characters only have me more interested in the sequel. I can't wait!

  25. 5 out of 5

    ALEXA

    3.5 stars. While I’m not generally a big sci-fi reader, I was intrigued enough by the premise of Contagion to want to give it a shot. This is a story that reminds me of a Doctor Who episode, part sci-if and part thriller, and I was on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of it. There are two reasons I couldn’t quite give it a higher rating — I didn’t really develop strong connections with any of the characters, and the pacing is a little slower at the start. Still enjoyable for what it is though 3.5 stars. While I’m not generally a big sci-fi reader, I was intrigued enough by the premise of Contagion to want to give it a shot. This is a story that reminds me of a Doctor Who episode, part sci-if and part thriller, and I was on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of it. There are two reasons I couldn’t quite give it a higher rating — I didn’t really develop strong connections with any of the characters, and the pacing is a little slower at the start. Still enjoyable for what it is though, and I’m curious about how the story continues.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Genna

    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. An internship as the assistant to renowned scientist Lisbeth Tarlow is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ambitious Thea has been working towards. But when an urgent distress call comes from a drilling operation on a mysterious and distant planet, Thea and a skeleton crew are dispatched to respond to the SOS. However, upon arrival, what should be a routine search-and-rescue quickly escalates into something far more sinister wh I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. An internship as the assistant to renowned scientist Lisbeth Tarlow is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ambitious Thea has been working towards. But when an urgent distress call comes from a drilling operation on a mysterious and distant planet, Thea and a skeleton crew are dispatched to respond to the SOS. However, upon arrival, what should be a routine search-and-rescue quickly escalates into something far more sinister when the crew finds the site in a serious state of disarray and littered with bodies. But in their ill-advised and sloppy quest for answers, Thea and the others will quickly discover that monsters lie in wait in the shadows and nothing could prepare them for the nightmare they are about to unleash. Horrific, thrilling, and utterly immersive. Contagion is the perfect creepy blend of science-fiction and horror, but with a plot that is driven by suspense and character experience, as opposed to depending on gore and the scare-factor. I would not say that the ending was overly surprising in regards to the final circumstances of the primary characters, but this did not detract from the overall reading experience. I have seen complaints of a slow start, but I appreciated the opportunity to build connections with the characters and become familiarized with the world, while I felt that the pacing added to the building suspense. The alternating perspectives worked for me because all of the characters are experiencing the same set of circumstances, which makes for a more nuanced plot, as opposed to just confusing readers with jarring leaps between story lines. My gut rating for Contagion is five stars because, despite a few flaws, I could not put this book down. A thrilling space survival story with monsters lurking around every corner. The sequel of Contagion is going to be one of my most anticipated reads of (hopefully) 2019. _____________________________ YES. Everything I wanted, Bowman delivered. Review to come.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tracy (Cornerfolds)

    Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com! It's no secret around my blog that I LOVE horror! Horror books, horror movies, horror shows - I love them all. So when I saw this compared to 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, but set in space, I knew it was going to be the book for me! Contagion begins by introducing us to the crew who is dragged into this rescue mission that they aren't at all qualified for. The main characters are Thea, a microbiology intern who's assisting a renowned scientist, and No Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com! It's no secret around my blog that I LOVE horror! Horror books, horror movies, horror shows - I love them all. So when I saw this compared to 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, but set in space, I knew it was going to be the book for me! Contagion begins by introducing us to the crew who is dragged into this rescue mission that they aren't at all qualified for. The main characters are Thea, a microbiology intern who's assisting a renowned scientist, and Nova, a pilot who really isn't ready for a mission this intense. Both girls were interesting characters with well developed backstories and I ended up really enjoying both of them. The side characters were equally well written, although there is of course one that I utterly despise. Dylan, the captain of the crew, is a complete moron without a single redeeming quality. She's set up as a romantic interest, but I honestly couldn't have cared less if she'd been eaten in the second chapter. She had no qualms about risking every single other person under her command to serve her own interests. I did understand her initial reasoning, but it came to a point where I just couldn't believe that anyone in a military command position would be that stupid. But I digress. Contagion starts slowly, but the action quickly picks up once the rescue crew makes it to the planet that issued the distress signal. Things go south quickly when they realize that they're too late. The crew they've come to help is dead or missing and they have no idea why, and no idea whether they should stay to find out. Like I said earlier, the main selling point of this book was the horror aspect. It's in the FIRST sentence of the synopsis! And, while this was an interesting book with an undeniable creep factor, it really wasn't terrifying. I love the idea of having to unravel what happened to wipe out an entire crew, but the way that they got there and the repetitiveness of some of the horror left me wanting more. That isn't to say that it was bad, by any means! I think a lot of people who are less eager to be kept up at night with the lights on will probably love this. Personally, I expect more scares from a good horror book. Still, the story was a good one. There isn't much I can say without spoilers, but the whodunnit aspect of Contagion was fantastically done and there were multiple twists that surprised me. This book is fast paced with a creepy atmosphere! It does end on a cliffhanger, but not a terribly frustrating one, and there is a tiny hint of romance. If you're looking for a good, creepy science fiction thriller, this is probably a book you'll love! Just don't come looking for anything as terrifying as 28 Days Later. Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Contagion is the first book in a YA science fiction duology. This book does not have chapters, but rather it is divided into 10 parts with many 3rd person narrators. The main characters/narrators are Thea (17) and Nova (18). Thea is an intern and a science nerd working for microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow. Nova is a pilot. The basic story is that Thea, Nova, Dr. Tarlow and a few others are sent to a dangerous planet to look for a missing crew. I did like Thea and Nova, but I sort of wish that they Contagion is the first book in a YA science fiction duology. This book does not have chapters, but rather it is divided into 10 parts with many 3rd person narrators. The main characters/narrators are Thea (17) and Nova (18). Thea is an intern and a science nerd working for microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow. Nova is a pilot. The basic story is that Thea, Nova, Dr. Tarlow and a few others are sent to a dangerous planet to look for a missing crew. I did like Thea and Nova, but I sort of wish that they were the only narrators. There were definitely way too many POVs. Also this book is being called a science fiction/horror combination. I think that this is mainly because so many people in this book die, which isn't really my thing. This book has no romance, which I found a bit disappointing. Although there is the potential perhaps for some romance in the next book. There is an interesting aspect to this book with a boy narrating parts. I was definitely intrigued with his story. The end has some surprising revelations. And the book leaves off in an interesting place for the next book. Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ainslee || Jest and Hearts

    Contagion is a dark horror/suspense/thriller scfi-fi with space zombies(kind of), mysterious characters and a danger that could threaten the human race. The story follows a mismatched crew of eight unqualified people who are sent on a rescue mission to another planet after a distress call comes in. The crew sets out to a drill set up on the planet where they are supposed to be mining a substance. When they arrive on planet to complete their mission they are in for a real shock, everyone is dead. Contagion is a dark horror/suspense/thriller scfi-fi with space zombies(kind of), mysterious characters and a danger that could threaten the human race. The story follows a mismatched crew of eight unqualified people who are sent on a rescue mission to another planet after a distress call comes in. The crew sets out to a drill set up on the planet where they are supposed to be mining a substance. When they arrive on planet to complete their mission they are in for a real shock, everyone is dead. The story is told from multiple POVs including two main characters; Thea and Nova and several side characters, all POVs were essential to the story. The beginning of the book was rather slow, I found it pretty difficult to get into the story. It wasn't until the 140 page mark that it started to get interesting for me. Once things got interesting I couldn't put the book down! The book got increasingly darker as the story went on and it will keep you flipping the pages. Most of the characters were well done I especially liked Thea who is a seventeen year old intern to a Microbiologist. Thea hasn't had an easy life she grew up as a foster child and was told 'don't strive for too much because you cant do it'. Well Thea will prove those people wrong, shes smart, brave, strong cunning and incredibly quick thinking. There are a few characters that will make you want to pull your hair out such as Dylan. She's in charge of the missions and shes trying to impress the company she works for and impress her dad. She is incredibly big headed and will not listen to her crew members. Its her word or nothing. She willingly puts her crew in danger for no other reason than her being too proud. While most of the characters were okay they all seemed to have poor decision making skills which seems to be the case in most books. There were a few instances were they just made HORRIBLE choices and put themselves into unnecessary situations. While the story wasn't incredibly original it was enough to keep me interested. Anyone who likes sci-fi, horror/suspense and dark stories should give this a shot. Fans of The Illuminae Files and Nyxia will enjoy this. This is the only book I have read by Erin Bowman and I really enjoyed her writing style. I liked that she wasn't afraid to hurt her characters and make things dark. Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me an advanced copy for review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* It's time for space zombies, y'all! Need I say more? I do? Okayyy. The Stuff I liked: It's quite action packed! Honestly this would make an amazing movie or show, because it almost read like one? But yeah, there was pretty much always something exciting happening, so that's a plus. Um, space zombies are always a plus. I've never been like "nah, space zombies, pass", and I doubt I You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* It's time for space zombies, y'all! Need I say more? I do? Okayyy. The Stuff I liked: It's quite action packed! Honestly this would make an amazing movie or show, because it almost read like one? But yeah, there was pretty much always something exciting happening, so that's a plus. Um, space zombies are always a plus. I've never been like "nah, space zombies, pass", and I doubt I ever will be. It's just a cool concept, and I think that the author handled it in a way that really worked. Because it was well-thought out, they made much more sense than say, The Walking Dead zombies. It was quite dark (space pun not intended, but accepted), and the atmosphere was awesome. Seriously, you could feel how dire this situation was, no question. Like space itself was cool, but this planet was a mess, and you could feel it throughout the book. The stakes were very high, and they felt it. It's super readable. I finished almost the entire book on one very short plane ride, so... that should tell you something. I actually didn't even nap, like I'd planned, because I wanted to keep going. The Stuff I Didn't: The POV switches threw me off a little. They were frequent, which I didn't even mind, but sometimes they didn't feel necessary? Like it could have just continued being someone else's turn, you know? Since it is so action-packed, I didn't get as strong of a connection to the characters as I'd have liked. What I knew of them I did enjoy, and I liked finding out bits and pieces, but I do think going a bit deeper into the characterization would have made it stronger. Plus, it would have been easier to handle the POV switches really. Will I Read the Sequel? I mean, it's more likely that I will than I won't! Bottom Line: Felt different than the average space book, in a good way! A little light on characterization, but heavy on action.

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