Patient Zero by Terry Tyler #BookReview

Title: Patient Zero | Series: Project Renova 2.5 | Author: Terry Tyler | Pub. Date: 2017-11-10 | Pages: 120 | ASIN: B077BCSHMB | Genre: Science Fiction Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased


Patient Zero

The year is 2024.

A mysterious virus rages around the UK.

Within days, ‘bat fever’ is out of control.

Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring minor characters from the post apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely ‘stand alone’.

1. Jared: The Spare Vial
Jared has two vaccinations against the deadly virus: one for him, one for a friend…

2. Flora: Princess Snowflake
The girl with the perfect life, who believes in her father, the government, Christian charity and happy endings.

3. Jeff: The Prepper
What does a doomsday ‘prepper’ do when there is nothing left to prepare for?

4. Karen: Atonement
She ruined her sister’s last day on earth, and for this she must do penance.

5. Aaron: #NewWorldProblems
Aaron can’t believe his luck; he appears to be immune. But his problems are far from over.

6. Meg: The Prison Guard’s Wife
Meg waits for her husband to arrive home from work. And waits…

7. Ruby: Money To Burn
Eager to escape from her drug dealer boyfriend’s lifestyle, Ruby sets off with a bag filled with cash.

8. Evie: Patient Zero
Boyfriend Nick neglects her. This Sunday will be the last time she puts up with it. The very last time.

9. Martin: This Life
Life after life has taught the sixty year old journalist to see the bigger picture.

Tipping Point and Lindisfarne are the first two full length novels in the Project Renova series. A third will be available around late spring/early summer 2018.

Book cover for Patient Zeroi

Patient Zero Review

I have not read any books from the Project Renova series. I do have the first book, Tipping Point, but have not had a chance to read it yet. So, I went into this short story series basically completely blind. This is also the first book I’ve ever read by Terry Tyler.

There are nine shorts in Patient Zero. My favorite stories were Jared: The Spare Vial, Flora: Princess Snowflake, and Aaron: #NewWorldProblems. My least favorite was Meg: The Prison Guard’s Wife. Oddly, I have mixed feelings over the one that involved Patient Zero. While it made me want to pick up Tipping Point and find out how he got the virus, I didn’t particularly care for him or the other character.

While I didn’t care for some of the stories included in Patient Zero, it was never because of the writing itself. The author’s writing remains consistently strong in each story. She writes about the people you’d know at the end of the world. We all know someone who fulfills the various character roles in these stories. And, I think that’s where her strength lies. The virus sounds horrible, is horrible, but Patient Zero isn’t about the virus. It’s about your family, friends, and neighbors.

I definitely learned a few new words while reading Patient Zero, and had a laugh in the process. Slapper did not mean nearly what I thought it meant. Faffing just made me giggle.

Patient Zero was an interesting read, and goes on ‘the shelf’ as one of the few collections of short stories that I can truly say I liked as a whole. I don’t mind individual short stories, but I rarely even go in for collections. Experience has proven that there’s almost always stinkers paired with greats, to the point that my overall feeling is generally a resounding ‘meh’. Not the case with Patient Zero.

Overall, Patient Zero is worth picking up, and you can read it without having read any of the Project Renova series. It comes in at about 120 pages, and you could easily spread them out as lunch reads. Or, do as I did and sit down and read it all in one go.

Click here to read my interview with Terry Tyler.

Disclaimer: Though I purchased the book of my own choice, I am on Rosie’s Book Review Team with the author. I was not asked to review this book. I chose to because it looked interesting and ended up being a good read.

Interview with Terry Tyler, author of ‘Tipping Point’

Interview with Terry Tyler Tipping Point banner

Author Pic: Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler has published fourteen books on Amazon, ranging from family dramas and a novella about three writers, to a serial killer thriller and her current post apocalyptic series; what they have in common is that they are character driven and based around her interest in all things psychological.  She is an avid reader and book reviewer, loves The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and is a newly converted vegan who is still trying to work out what she can actually eat, apart from hummus and vegetables.  She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

Terry reviews books on her blog  http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

and writes for a popular TWD fansite http://twdfansite.com/author/terry-tyler/

 

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

Talking with Terry Tyler, Author of Tipping Point

Sci-Fi & Scary: How much has your writing style changed between the first book you wrote and your newest release?

Terry Tyler: My actual style has scarcely altered; I don’t think I could change it if I tried.  My subject matter and the way in which I approach the process has evolved, but the style itself is the same in the first novel I wrote in 1993 as it is now.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What’s your support system like?

Terry Tyler: Writing is a solitary occupation, and I certainly don’t need any help to get motivated; what I really need is more time and two pairs of hands.  My husband is hugely supportive of everything I do, and my sister (who is also my proofreader) is a great help, too.  As for the bad days, when you’re convinced everything you write is rubbish—well, they’re just something you have to work through!  I don’t talk much about my books while I’m writing them but I have lots of lovely writer, book blogger and regular reader friends who are a great help once they’re published.  I hope I give back in equal measure.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What’s your writing routine? (If you have one.)

Terry Tyler: Open laptop, open document, get on with it.  I give myself deadlines.  Sometimes other commitments mean I can’t meet them, but I like schedules.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Why writing? What made you want to be a writer?

Terry Tyler: I just wrote stuff, from quite an early age, and the natural progression was to move on to novels. I don’t know; it’s like anything creative.  Playing music, painting, writing – you just do it because you feel the need to.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What is the biggest influence in your life when it comes to your writing?

Terry Tyler: I thought a lot about this question and still don’t have much of an answer!  I think it’s a cross between whatever’s going through my head that I want to write about, and my readers, who let me know what they like about my books (and what they don’t).

Sci-Fi & Scary: How did you come up with the premise for Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I’ve been wanting to write about a virus causing the collapse of civilisation as we know it, for ages.  I love reading books and watching films and TV series on this subject; if I see the words ‘global pandemic’, I’m there!  But I wanted it to be about more than a random disease.  I find theories about targeted depopulation most interesting (though some are ludicrous), so started constructing a plot by which I could combine the two.

Sci-Fi & Scary: I know from reading the Goodreads page on the book that you have a trilogy planned, with Tipping Point being the first book. Did you have everything for the trilogy sketched out before you even wrote book one or did things develop as this story did?

Terry Tyler: I’ve already written the sequel, Lindisfarne, and I’m getting the plot for Book 3 sorted in my head.  Before I began, I decided that the first book would be the build-up and the immediate aftermath of the outbreak, and the second would be about the psychological effects of the disaster, how my characters would change, grow or fall apart—and the reality of living in a lawless society.  As for Book 3, I knew how it would end, but I hadn’t got a clue how I would get there.  Then I decided to include a storyline from the other side, ie, the people who were behind the pandemic.  That was when it all started to come together, as the two converge. If it works out, and people do want to read it, it might carry on to other books.

Sci-Fi & Scary: I know from your website that you play Plague, Inc. (I love that game!) Did it have anything to do with your decision to try to wipe out the world with a virus in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: Ha ha!  No, the book idea came first; my love for the game is just part of my interest in the subject.  The game is actually mentioned in Tipping Point!  (btw,  isn’t it awesome?  I love starting Nano Virus in somewhere like Korea or Iceland, to make it really hard!)

Sci-Fi & Scary: Social media is obviously a big part of most people’s lives, but what made you decide to make it a key point (pardon the pun) in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: Part of the plot concerns government intelligence agencies’ analysis of personal information provided online by the population, and, nowdays, much of this comes via social media sites.  Watch the film Snowden!  It’s more a case of the plot requiring it, than me deciding to make it a key point.  The shiny new social media site is all part of the dastardly plan!  Later, my main characters follow the progression of the virus via uploaded videos (and video diaries) on YouTube.  It’s important, when you’re writing about characters born later than, say, 1980, to understand that social media sites are a part of their everyday life, much more so than for people my age.  It’s about plot and character feasibility; my books often feature use of these sites, simply because you can’t write realistic characters without it.  I don’t think ‘ooh, I think I’ll put Facebook in my novel’ ~ in ‘You Wish’, for instance, I had a girl stalking an uninterested lover.  In 2010, she would do this via FB, not by letter or phone.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What research did you have to do to write Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I’ve been doing it for years, with all the films, TV series and books!  I also read books about people living in dedicated pre-industrial age communities, and found out how diseases spread.  And read truth seeker websites.

Sci-Fi & Scary: How long did it take you to actually write Tipping Point from first words on the paper to final draft?

Terry Tyler: Three months for the first draft, another three for the subsequent ones.  I did six drafts.  I made notes andthought about the plot a lot before I actually started writing it, though.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Any of you in your main characters in Tipping Point?

Terry Tyler: I should think so, but it’s not something I think about, or do consciously.  Vicky, the main character, isn’t ‘me’.  She’s much nicer!

Sci-Fi & Scary: Was there any scene that was particularly hard to write? What made it hard?

Terry Tyler:  I find it hard to write any scene in which someone witnesses a murder, or discovers one.  It’s ‘out of my comfort zone’, a bit; until the last two books, I’d mostly just written about relationships.  I got a bit ‘darker’ in The House of York, and then my serial killer drama, The Devil You Know.  It’s taking me a while to feel confident about writing such horrors; I’m getting there, but it’s still difficult.  The psychopaths, on the other hand, I find easy to write.  Should I be worried?!

Sci-Fi & Scary: What about the characters?  Is Tipping Point a plot driven or character driven novel?

Terry Tyler:  My novels are always all about the characters.  I have an endless fascination for human relationships, and the way we react, what motivates us to make the decisions we make.  There’s a fair bit of relationship stuff in Book 2, because people carry on loving and cheating on each other, even when the world’s gone to hell….

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Lilyn, and I hope this has been of interest to your readers!


 Tipping Point Excerpt:

This excerpt takes place around 10 days after the first outbreak of the virus, in a small seaside town  in Norfolk, England.

 

Bob Newnham no longer stood in his garden having a rant to anyone who would listen; all the curtains in his house were closed.

I hadn’t seen Linda Thomas since Wednesday, either.  Linda, who’d been so worried about getting her roots done in time for her friend’s wedding.

I knocked on her door, but no one answered.  I’m guessing the wedding never happened, either.

The dead wagon took body bags out of number three, next.  That was where the Hanns lived; Brett, Susannah, and their daughter Celia.  I wondered who’d called the number to report the deaths.  Perhaps they rang themselves, when they knew there was no hope.

I went back inside to YouTube.

It had become the only site I looked at, and I did so constantly.

The latest Bat Fever video made me gasp in horror.

A shaky film, only thirty seconds long, had been taken on a phone in a large outbuilding outside a hospital in North London.  One huge room, piled high with bodies wrapped in black polythene or sheets.  I played it over and over, freeze-framing; it appeared that at first the bodies been laid out on the floor in body bags with space around each one, and name tags, but then the space had run out and they’d just been piled in like rolls of carpet, wrapped in bin liners or sheets, one on top of another.  Twenty-five seconds into the film, a voice shouted, “Get out of there.  You!  Out!”  Then the screen jumped all over the place and went black.

The video had over six million views.


Tipping Point Cover

 

Tipping Point Synopsis

‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.

A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.

Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.

In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…

This is the first book in the Project Renova series; the second, Lindisfarne, is due to be published in September 2017, with the final instalment in the middle of 2018. A collection of outtake short stories, Patient Zero, is in progress, and should be available around December 2017.

 

 

Please support an Indie Author and consider purchasing Tipping Point now on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074LSCX5M

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074LSCX5M