Review: “The Becoming,” Jessica Meigs

Pros: An enjoyable outbreak/not-quite-zombie tale
Cons: One or two rough spots
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Becoming (The Becoming Series Book 1) isn’t quite a zombie tale. But let’s back up for a moment. A plague has gotten loose in Atlanta, and Brandt, a marine, is fleeing the area. He meets up with Ethan (a police officer) and Cade (she’s former IDF). Both Ethan and Cade have already lost people to this plague by the time Brandt finds them. While this plague does resemble the stereotypical zombie plague (people die and come back after being bitten), it shows some significant differences–differences that will make our heroes fight like hell to stay alive. They’re even lucky enough to join up with an EMT.

The biggest difference in Jessica Meigs’s ‘zombies’ is that they are not the brain-dead creatures we’re accustomed to. They strategize. They can feel pain. They have volition and awareness, not just a basic need to feed. “Becoming,” the first book in the Becoming series, introduces us to an interesting group of people and an unusual plague that isn’t behaving in any expected way. There are definitely some exciting and tense moments–I was glued to the page early on in the book. The group of people working together aren’t all fond of each other, so there are multiple directions from which the danger staggers.

Since this volume is largely setup, I look forward to reading the next book. I found the characters interesting, although occasionally it seemed as though they were being overly dramatic, at least for the types of professionals involved (all of which have to learn to hold it together under fire). The only real thing that bugged me though, was an instance in which the inevitable “you’ll know what to shoot at once you see it” was used in a case where the speaker gained nothing whatsoever from not explaining himself, and could have screwed them all over by not explaining. Totally unnecessary and illogical, presumably meant to jack up the tension just a little further.

Next up: Volume two, Ground Zero. I look forward to reading more!

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