A GREAT virus story
5 out of 5 stars
A quick look inside my brain: I LOVE Bio-Thrillers. Some of the best books I’ve ever read were by the amazing author Richard Preston. They are hard science books and most of them are non-fiction that reads like fiction (which is even scarier). The reason I’m prefacing my review is because I absolutely loved this book because it felt like it got the science right. And the parts where it didn’t Esmahan openly admits it in the epilogue of the book.
This book has been on my radar for quite some time. It’s probably been recommended to me by Amazon more times than any other book. (Amazon knows all!) Well, I’m really glad that Tantor picked up the rights to this book in audio because I finally got a chance to give it the listen that it deserved.
Yes, this book is a lot of hard science fiction — but so was The Martian and that book absolutely took off. Just because it contains actual science doesn’t mean you should steer clear of it. I feel the complete opposite. The Laptev Virus drew me deeper and deeper because Esmahan kept sprinkling in more and more fact-based fiction (which feels like an oxymoron).
I’ve been looking for a Bio-Thriller that took the science seriously. Crichton got it right in Andromeda Strain, Preston in The Cobra Event, and I can gladly add Esmahan in The Laptev Virus.
The story is about a mega-virus that is found in the arctic that looks to have been laying dormant for thousands of years. Sarah is a researcher who is working hard to try and find a cure for AIDS when she is pulled off that project to figure out what this virus is and potentially find a vaccine for it. The story follows Sarah in her lab with her co-workers and assistants as they try and find out what this virus is and why it does what it does.
The other thing that really helped this book as the narration provided by Vikas Adam. The main character is a strong and vivacious female. Sometimes this can be rough when a male provides the voice. Adam absolutely crushes it. He is able to give Sarah a voice without it sounding fake or over-acted. Adam narration was perfect for this book.
Overall, if you can’t tell already I loved The Laptev Virus. The only complaint that I have is that it didn’t give a proper ending. Sure all the characters had most of their problems solved, but at the same time… I won’t say since it will ruin the ending of the book. I had a brief chat on twitter with Esmahan and she mentioned that Sarah’s adventures continue in The Cobra Effect.
Once thought to be pure academic legend, scientists recently found proof of the existence of viruses thousands of times larger than ordinary viruses. So far all have been innocuous, but what if one was a human pathogen? While drilling for oil in the desolate reaches of the Arctic, an unsuspecting company extracts a permafrost ice core that has been frozen for 30,000 years, accidentally releasing a “megavirus”. Top investigator Sarah Spallanzani and her team must race against the ticking clock of the short Arctic summer to discover a way to protect workers from the virus before competitors drain the basin of its rich resources…and before anyone else succumbs to the deadly fever of the Laptev virus.
The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan
Narrator: Vikas Adam
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
Published by Tantor Audio on February 28, 2017
Buy From Amazon
Buy from Audible