Publication date: Feb. 23, 2015
Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment in order to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. Only a few resilient scientists have remained, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine against the deadly virus.
When the disease starts spreading among the military corps guarding the premises, the laboratory turns into a bloody carnage at the hands of the infected soldiers. Determined to succeed where her mother has failed, immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of the Apocalypse Weird.
About the Author
E.E. Giorgi grew up in Tuscany, in a house on a hill that she shared with two dogs, two cats, 5 chickens, and the occasional batches of stick insects, newts and toads her dad would bring home from the lab. Today, E.E. Giorgi is a scientist and an award winning author and photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she's somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories. Her debut novel CHIMERAS, a medical mystery, is a 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award winner.
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[Note: I received an advanced reader's copy from the author for review.]
Author E.E. Giorgi delves into the Apocalypse Weird world with Immunity. Set in New Mexico, the story focuses on two scientists, Anu and David, who are working to find a cure to the H7N7 flu virus that has devastated Los Angeles (see Nick Cole's The Red King for the scoop on that) and kicked off a zombie plague.
The writing is crisp and straight-forward, and Giorgi kept me hooked all the way through. After reading Cole and Bunker's efforts, it was a bit refreshing to discover how tonally different Immunity was, despite being part of a shared universe. The first half of the book is a quieter effort than the other Apocalypse Weird books I've read, but certainly no less engaging. Giorgi is focused on the characters first and foremost, along with the science behind the bio-engineered autoimmune flu, and it makes for nifty reading, giving a bit more depth to the interrelated works without making the shared events feel repetitive.
Giorgi draws in several of what are quickly shaping up to be Apocalypse Weird staples: there's the radio rantings of Dr. Midnight, and although the central villain, General Wick (perhaps short for Wicked?) Naga is not explicitly defined as one of the 88, the text makes it apparent that he is, and he brings his Black Hand subordinates in tow.
The inciting incident here is the day of darkness, when the whole world went blind for a day, as mentioned in Texocalypse Now, and it drives the back half of the book into all-out action as the plot's various elements are drawn together in a fiery, adrenaline-fueled climax.
There's a dash of science, a good bit of conspiracy, and plenty of apocalyptic dread casting a large shadow over the work. Giorgi brings a subtle bit of welcome flavoring to the Apocalypse Weird smorgasbord by taking a techno-thriller approach to the End Times, while fleshing out the AW world in sensible fashion. Immunity is a solid addition to the apocalyptic tapestry taking shape so far.