Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Review: The K2 Virus by Scott Rhine

A new variant of the human coronavirus, K2, sweeps through North Korea. An unsuspecting biochemist delivers a routine batch of flu vaccines to Seoul. When he agrees to play translator for an attractive reporter, he stumbles into a perfect storm of political and biological forces. If he’s going to survive, he’ll need all the principles of Taekwondo he’s been taught since childhood: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, a fast kick, and even faster footwork.


This is the first book I've read by Scott Rhine and the first medical thriller that I've read in forever. I used to read a lot of books by Michael Palmer but it's been a good while since I've picked one up. Anyway, this one is along the same lines as that. 

The first thing that I noticed was that the author wrote this book almost as if the virus was a character. It was VERY interesting to experience the book this way. I'm not entirely sure why I feel like this ... it's probably just the way it was written. Anyway, I liked it. It gave the book a different spin. Now, I have absolutely no clue if this is what Rhine intended ... it could be completely in my own head but either way, it was a good thing. Even if I just imagined it. 

I enjoyed how intricately this book was written. I completely believed that everything was absolutely how things in the pharmaceutical industry works. Again, no idea if this is true but the author made it so believable that it brought a scary realness to the plot. Little side note: I really got a kick out of seeing an electron microscope within the story ... my dad is a retired forensic criminalist and I remember when his office got their first electron microscope and our weekends were filled with collecting "samples" of everything known to man so he could scan it. Anyway ... it was just neat seeing that in there for some reason. 

Like I said, the story is very intricate. It's a smart read, very detailed and not one that you can just blow through in an afternoon. And you're not intended to. The K2 Virus is very thought provoking because of the details that the author has put onto the pages. But because of this, I found that it reads very dry and detached. That's not necessarily a bad thing for all readers ... I personally didn't enjoy it because I had a hard time really getting to know the characters. I didn't feel any connection to them. Just too far removed from the characters for my taste. You know how you love some books where the plot is lacking but the characters are great? Well, on the other side of the spectrum, there are books that put the plot first and the characters take a back seat. Nothing wrong with that, just a different writing style. 

I like my books to have the characters be the star of the show. That's the only reason this book received only three stars from me. Otherwise, it's beautifully written and something I know a lot of people are going to really enjoy read this. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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