Thursday, 17 March 2016
The K2 Virus - Scott Rhine
Title: The K2 Virus
Author: Scott Rhine
“The K2 Virus” is the latest Science-Fiction novel to be written by Scott Rhine. The story revolves around a young researcher, Daniel Mann who is working with a company who are assisting the US Army in inoculating their troops in South Korea against future illness. Whilst Daniel is out in Korea helping to administer the inoculation and monitor for side effects, a new virus named “K2” appears in North Korea and soon spreads into the South. Before long, Daniel finds himself slap bang in the middle of a major outbreak that threatens to spill out across the world.
The novel was sold to me under the Hard Science-Fiction sub-genre and I feel that this label does fit adequately. It offers quite a detailed explanation of how a potent disease can spread from patient zero to the rest of the population and covers some of the attempts by Scientists to combat it. This doesn’t mean the plot is overly dry or bogged down in jargon however as there are still twists, thrills and some elements of action included in the story. If I had one major complaint with the plot, then it is probably in regards to the ending which I found rather rushed and unsatisfying. The tension which Rhine has tried to build up just doesn’t seem to go anywhere and this was rather disappointing. My disappointment with the ending was probably compounded by the fact that whilst the novel was entertaining and interesting enough, it just wasn’t that exciting compared to some of Rhine’s other novels.
In regards to the characters, they were all well-defined and had a level of complexity that impressed me. I enjoyed finding myself being surprised by some of their actions and the various hidden motivations that were ultimately driving them. I also found the various reactions on show to be quite believable with each character showing various levels of panic, fear and denial as events unfolded.
Overall, “The K2 Virus” was an enjoyable enough story with some interesting science based around the inoculation programme and the spread of the virus itself. I also appreciated the way in which the various characters were portrayed. However, there was just something lacking on the excitement front which was further driven home by the rather rushed ending.