The Dragon Factory
by Jonathan Maberry
Jakob’s Goodreads Rating: (4) of 5 Stars – “Really liked it”
Recommended for: Action/Thriller Readers
Release Date: March 2nd, 2010 – Reviewing Advanced Reader Copy
Joe Ledger and the DMS (Department of Military Sciences) go up against two competing groups of geneticists. One side is creating exotic transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenary armies; the other is using 21st century technology to continue the Nazi Master Race program begun by Josef Mengele. Both sides want to see the DMS destroyed, and they’ve drawn first blood. Neither side is prepared for Joe Ledger as he leads Echo Team to war under a black flag.
This book was a fun read that kept me interested the whole time. The Dragon Factory isn’t in my regular genres, but that was part of the fun in this case. I received this book through a Goodreads “First Reads” contest, so wanted to bump it up on my reading priority list. I came into both the story and author cold, meaning I hadn’t read any other reviews and Maberry was a totally new author to me. (He was kind enough to stop by this site and point out some links to free fiction on his own website and wished me well with the book.)
The book took me a little to get into as I didn’t know the characters and didn’t really get how Maberry was doing his scene changes. Without giving too much away, I will simply say between scenes he would have an additional scene taking place elsewhere and at a different time. I initially found this a bit jarring and couldn’t follow, but as the story unfolded those scenes started to make sense and by the end reflecting on them they were critical to the plot.
The second half of the novel was jam-packed with action. The story was really smooth sailing from there on out and I just kept reading one more chapter till I finished it. Maberry does an excellent job of keeping the story interesting and the plot moving the whole time. A reason I don’t often read the genre is I find a lot of it too predictable. We can generally guess about halfway through the rest of the book what needs to happen. This book quite often had a part of what I would guess, but certainly not in the way I would guess and contained plenty of moments that surprised me.
Jonathan also left a note on Goodreads mentioning that he will shortly be finishing the third book in the series (The King of Plagues) and that the series is in development for TV. Pretty exciting actually. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves action/thriller/covert-ops sort of stories. For this genra to get a 4-star from me and keep my attention that well, that says its good. I am looking forward to reading more of Jonathan’s work and keeping my eye out for that TV series!
Here are the links to Jonathan’s free fiction:
There are also two free Joe Ledger short stories available online (and they won’t add to the clutter in your room): COUNTDOWN takes is a prequel to PATIENT ZERO (http://us.macmillan.com/CMS400/uploadedFiles/COUNTDOWN_free.pdf) . And DEEP, DARK (just posted yesterday), takes place just before the second book, THE DRAGON FACTORY. Here’s the link: http://jonathanmaberry.com/download-the-free-joe-ledger-story-deep-dar