Leon and his sister, Grace, have moved to London with their mother after their father has an affair.
Leon catches glimpses of a virus on the news that is described as “worse than Ebola.” Fast-moving, the virus kills scores of people in minutes, literally melting them into a grayish soup. After fleeing for weeks, Grace and Leon arrive at a health-spa-turned-survival-center where the darker sides of human nature are revealed.
Plague Land is interesting, but some of the writing is amateurish and in need of refinement. Author Alex Scarrow has some good ideas, but he’s not very good at the “show-don’t-tell” aspect of writing. He concludes one of the early chapters with a, “Soon, very soon, it was all going to start falling apart.” A little more subtlety would have added a developed layer of tension and mystery to the story, on top of the basic survivalist thriller narrative. Hamfisted foreshadowing indicates little regard for his readers’ intelligence.
Alex Scarrow’s Plague Land is a bizarre science-fiction thriller that revels in the grotesque but ultimately doesn’t add anything deeper than that.