by - July 24, 2019

Immunity (Contagion, #2)

Immunity is the sequel to Contagion, one of my favorite recent science fiction reads, and this story was just as compelling and gripping as the first one. Well, maybe not quite as gripping- after all, the first one had an alien contagion turning people into ravening zombie- like creatures, whereas this one is a little more sedate. We left off with Thea and Coen being rescued (or is it captured) after their hair raising experiences on Achlys, and from there the story in this one goes off in an entirely different direction. 

Just to recap (and this is spoiler light)- Thea and her crew went to Achlys to answer a distress call, and that's how they ran into the contagion (and Coen, who was a sole survivor). The bug itself is a nasty piece of work, and after what happened at the end of Contagion Thea and Coen have reason to be concerned about it getting out into the galaxy. The results would be disastrous. Their challenges this time have more to do with human monsters than alien ones, however, as they get swept into a Radical plot to achieve independence for the Trios wing of the galactic Union. 

To be honest this one was just as well written as the first book- I give Erin Bowman huge props for her storytelling- but I enjoyed this one a little less than the first book, mainly I think because the first book had that horror element, that looming sense of doom. I mean, you're stranded on a planet in the middle of nowhere with a horrifying space contagion- that's my kind of story! The contagion still plays a big role in this one, but the sequel just felt more like a generic science fiction thriller. That's not to say that's a bad thing, but it didn't have that creepiness factor that kept me glued to my seat. This is still very readable, though, and gripping in its own right. 

If anything, things might have wrapped up just a little too conveniently for me- kind of how I felt after reading the last book of the Illuminae series. Good stuff, well done, but... in a galactic setting this vast, would all these things just fall into place quite this neatly? I tend to think not. Still, I don't want to give the impression that things went easily. Thea and Coen suffer a lot in this one, and there were times when I was like- how are you going to get out of this? 

So on balance this was a solid follow up and a good read. Not as creepy and thrilling as Contagion, but a solid sequel. You obviously need to read the first book to get this, but it's a great duology. I can't recommend these enough if you want science fiction with an edge, and while things may have fallen into place a little too easy for my liking at times, I had a great time with this. 

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