This was an interesting, if somewhat quiet book about the effects of a naturally mutated virus that swept a small Canadian maritime island. The island is quarantined as soon as hey realize what is happening, and the story is one of grief, sacrifice, good and bad people, and how they cope with mounting losses, lack of supplies, and no cure in sight. It is a human interest and behavior study for the teen sector. Nicely done, although as it was told in journal form, it had the effect of removing you from the direct action, as she was merely relating what had already happened earlier that day. Good, but just average for me, for the above reasons. If a devastating illness is sweeping my community, I want more outpouring of grief, more action, more anger, other than a few misguided teens, and I want serious consequences. She said she read a number of books on plagues and infectious diseases, including Preston’s The Hot Zone,and in some ways it comes off as semi-documentary. But really, where is the government in all this? The mainland seems to have had a small but contained outbreak, so why isn’t the Canadian equivalent of the CDC swooping down to work on this, since it has a high mortality rate, very high. All they get are some drops of supplies from helicopters. Some WHO type doctors were there at the beginning, but they left on the last ferry out as they were scared, and some caught the virus. But still, if it’s that contagious, everything should be done in the hospital to contain it – heavily quarantined populations, bio-suits with air supply, etc. Here, the heroine, daughter of a microbiologist, is allowed to walk into the hospital, with only a small face mask. Not practical in a real setting as I know from my own readings of such NF books on the subject. There would be labs set up to test it, although there is a lab on the island that her dad goes to, but no luck on the virus, (and we never “see” the lab) even though they know a common thread that the ones who survived have, and they have their blood. Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, was similar (although TheAS was alien), and was much more a heavy breather type. And then it just sort of ends – not knowing what happened to some people, and still no cure, although it is winding down, as there are fewer people to infect.
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