The Virus   Leave a comment

Maggie Rider’s self-deprecating humor and sharp intelligence as narrator of The Virus by Janelle Diller elevate this sky-is-falling novel about the increasing threat of diminishing privacy.

Maggie works for a tech company that requires a lot of travel. Her husband, Eddy, is a freelance web designer. He’s actually more tech savvy than his wife, which evolves as a significant characteristic.

The novel begins with a smallpox outbreak in Colorado. Maggie and Eddy live in Colorado Springs; the story settings also include the Bay Area and Nebraska. At first, vaccinations are scarce. The rush to meet demand is fueled by government regulations requiring all who travel, work in the health industry and /or attend school to receive inoculations. Thanks to her job, Maggie is among the first to be vaccinated; something she willingly, almost gratefully, accepts. Suddenly, the immunizations are plentiful. Meanwhile, Eddy isn’t buying. His skeptical nature makes him leery of the outbreak in general and the vaccination itself.

Thus begins a race-against-time as more deadlines surface requiring all U.S. residents to be inoculated within a short time span.

Part thriller, part subtle love story (Maggie and Eddy are happily married) and a lot of intrigue make Diller’s story engaging. There’s an element of Big Brother along with the vulnerability that comes from being active on social media.

In general, the novel maintains a fast-paced tempo. Although not necessarily new, Diller raises important issues for consideration regarding the government and the ease with which we all share information about ourselves.

The Virus
Four Bookmarks
WorldTrek Publishing, 2015
359 pages


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