Contagion by Teri Terry (first published in 2017 by Orchard Books)

Ever had one of those books that made you believe you’re reading one thing, only for it to be something a lot more different than you anticipated? 

Teri Terry’s Contagion is that book for me. It’s definitely different in a good way because it offered a refreshing take on a concept that I’ve previously seen in TV, movies and other books. 

The story revolves around Callie, a missing girl, a killer strain of flu that’s evolved into a nationwide pandemic and Shay and Kai two teens – Kai being Callie’s older brother -  who not only want to find Callie, but want answers to a situation that’s quickly spiraled out of control. 

Read more: 5 ways to get reluctant readers to pick up a book

But answers are proving hard to find when the government is doing its level best to downplay and hide the unfolding events that are forcing residents to evacuate from their homes, or restricting them from leaving by imposing quarantine lockdowns on affected areas.

Forced to go on the run and avoid the military - who may be looking for survivors for all the wrong reasons - Kai and Shay have to rely on their wits and on each other to survive, not realising that the direction their hunt is taking them in is only putting them in more danger.

Contagion is a fascinating read, particularly because it delves into an area of science that I confess to knowing very little about. I won’t go in-depth with regards to this aspect of it because that would be giving away a good focus point of the book, but what I can say is that it sets itself up for an intriguing start to a new trilogy.

Admittedly, I would have like to have seen the introduction to this concept earlier in the novel, but I was kept intrigued enough that it isn’t actually a big issue for now. 

There’s a supernatural element in the book that requires you to suspend your disbelief in many places, but I do think it’s one that created an eerie atmosphere and provided a nice red herring that hid what was really going on.

The characters were intriguing enough for me to want to continue this series and the mystery surrounding Shay’s father is a storyline I’d love to see explored more in the next installment. 

Read more: Book review: The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa

All in all, Contagion is a book steeped in mystery and one that sets itself up nicely for a follow up that will no doubt be a high octane rollercoaster ride featuring more thrills and answers to the science explored in book one.
Bring on book two. 

Purchase a copy from Raru.co.za.

Read more of Tammy’s reviews on her book blog.

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