Robert Liparulo’s second novel, Germ, is the story of a disease, similar to Ebola, let loose upon the U.S. by bioterrorists. However, with flat characters, dialogue like that of a soap opera, too much scientific jargon, and a storyline that doesn’t kick into gear until half way through the book, Germ leaves much to be desired.
In Liparulo’s defense, the characters get a little better as the story goes along, but they still remain, for the most part, uninteresting. An assassin chases Julia, an agent in the CDC (Center for Disease Control). A doctor and his pastor brother join her, and together they run from a man who is apparently indestructible.
While that is going on, there are a few hints of the true storyline. Two men, who formerly worked together, are current rivals. One of the men has let loose a deadly virus, while the other is trying to make everyone aware of this disaster. Until almost three hundred pages into this novel, though, there isn’t much else to be said about that.
Throughout the beginning of the book, Liparulo introduces characters who are seemingly important, but then takes them in a completely distant direction. The dialogue is sloppy, adding weakness to the already cardboard characters.
Germ is a book that tries to be dramatic, intriguing, and thrilling. The only thing it accomplishes, though, is to keep a potentially wonderful story hidden among unnecessary wordage. The premise is contemporary, the plot tension is believable, and the influence of the character who is a pastor is biblically sound, but I cannot recommend Germ because it truly is too slow, too cumbersome, and too disorganized. The author could have benefited greatly from the guidance of a good editor. – James Holstein, Christian Book Previews.com
The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen--but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.
The germ--an advanced form of the Ebola virus--has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Those whose DNA is not a match simply catch a cold. But those who are a match experience a far worse fate. Within days, their internal organs liquify.
Death is the only escape.
The release of the virus will usher in a new era of power where countries are left without defense. Where a single person--or millions--could be killed with perfect accuracy and zero collateral damage. Where your own DNA works against you.
The time isn't coming. It is now. Pray the assassins get you first.