“The Dragon Factory”
by Jonathan Maberry
Read by Ray Porter
Produced by Blackstone Audio
16 hours and 11 minutes

I love it when an author creates a character that is so strong that it constitutes a revisit or even a series based on the character.  But only when it is a Strong Character.  Jonathan Maberry has created a Strong Character in Joe Ledger.  In the first book, “Patient Zero,” Ledger is a Detective wanting to get into the FBI, what happens is Ledger is recruited to join a new branch of law enforcement called the DMS (Department of Military Science) in which he leads a team to fight off terrorists who have devised a disease that creates zombies.  The DMS is the branch that keeps the country and the world safe from evil that is beyond the scope of reality.

The second novel in Maberry’s Joe Ledger series starts very soon after “Patient Zero” left off, with Joe visiting the gravesite of one of his oldest and dearest friends. The problem is, the DMS has suddenly been targeted by all the other alphabet soup agencies with the search and seizure order issued by the Vice President of the United States. All the DMS offices and teams soon find themselves under attack from their own government.  Forced to fend off NSA and CIA agents alone, ledger escapes and eventually regroups with the DMS to find that while the President is getting open heart surgery the Vice President is officially in charge and has taken this time to shut down the DMS.  The V.P. as it turns is really a puppet and a mysterious group pulling the strings wants 2 things, 1.) The DMS shut down long enough to institute their plan to destroy the world, and 2.) Mindreader, the DMS computer system that can find anything anywhere.

The DMS soon learns that the evil afoot is 2 groups of genetic scientists that have genetically created mythical creatures, Dragons, unicorns, centaurs and more.  One of the 2 groups creations are a fighting force which are called Berserkers due to their complete loss of control and destructive chaos the creatures go into when a battle begins.  The Berserkers are super strong, and have a very unique body armor that just cannot be real.  The real threat runs throughout the book in the form of a countdown clock known as the Extinction clock which counts down to when a group of genetic diseases which are prevailent in certain races have been turned into viruses which when released will destroy 6/7ths of the world population leaving most of the Earth’s inhabitants to be whites only.

From the first word spoken in this book the action begins and never lets up creating a super action story mixed with some horror and some psychological horror.  For the most part the book is told in First person and Ray Porter owns the role of Joe Ledger.  He also creates the voices of the other characters that not only keeps it clear who is talking but he is able to create through superb voice acting a complete persona for each person capturing perfectly their personality and history.  Porter rocks this book, as he did in the first book, “Patient Zero.”  I don’t think I could listen to these books read by anyone else.

Maberry writes the perfect action/horror novel.  Really! with Nazi clones, genetically created mythical beasts, the perfect evil mad scientist and his 2 mad scientist children (albino twins) (who are pretty creepy in their own right), ethnic cleansing and a race against time this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout every second of the book.  On the good side a team of soldiers that are too cool for words and a young boy hero that shows what pure goodness is all about.

Now let’s see if I can find the next book in the series “The King of Plagues.”

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