Title: Patient Zero: Post-Apocalyptic Short Stories (Project Renova #0.5)
Author: Terry Tyler
Publication Date: 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Length: 120 pages
Source: I received a free copy from Terry
Rating: 4 Stars
The year is 2024.
A mysterious virus rages around the UK.
Within days, ‘bat fever’ is out of control.
Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring characters from the post apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely ‘stand alone’.
1. Jared: The Spare Vial
Jared has two vaccinations against the deadly virus: one for him, one for a friend…
2. Flora: Princess Snowflake
The girl with the perfect life, who believes in her father, the government, Christian charity and happy endings.
3. Jeff: The Prepper
What does a doomsday ‘prepper’ do when there is nothing left to prepare for?
4. Karen: Atonement
She ruined her sister’s last day on earth, and for this she must do penance.
5. Aaron: #NewWorldProblems
Aaron can’t believe his luck; he appears to be immune. But his problems are far from over.
6. Ruby: Money To Burn
Eager to escape from her drug dealer boyfriend’s lifestyle, Ruby sets off with a bag filled with cash.
7. Meg: The Prison Guard’s Wife
Meg waits for her husband to arrive home from work. And waits…
8. Evie: Patient Zero
Boyfriend Nick neglects her. This Sunday will be the last time she puts up with it. The very last time.
9. Martin: This Life
Life after life has taught the sixty year old journalist to see the bigger picture.
Content warning: death. This will otherwise be a spoiler-free post.
It’s impossible to get away from an invisible foe that has spread everywhere.
Normally, I pick about three short stories in an anthology and do mini-review for all of them. This time I decided to shake things up since everything in this collection has the same setting. The characters change, but the effects of the Kerivoula Lanosa (bat fever) virus are felt by everyone in this world.
The character development was well done across the board. Each character had a limited amount of time to show the audience who he or she was due to how everything was formatted, so I was impressed by how well I got to know everyone. Their unique personalities shone through no matter how many or how few pages they had to share their experiences. While I can’t say that I’d necessarily want to be buddies with everyone in this universe, I did want to learn more about all of them. They were all genuinely interesting folks, and that’s something I always love discovering in a book.
While I didn’t expect to have every question of mine answered neatly, especially since I haven’t read the rest of this series yet, I would have liked to see a little more attention paid to the final story. Martin: This Life had a tone that was nothing like anything else I’d read earlier. It also introduced a plot twist that had not been so much as hinted at in any of the other stories. In fact, it seemed to change the genre classification entirely. I was intrigued by this surprise, but I also wish it had been explained a little better.
With that being said, I still enjoyed this collection and would recommend it to new and longterm fans of Ms. Tyler’s work alike. It left me with so many questions about what happened next in this universe that I can’t wait to read everything else about these characters and the plague they tried to survive.
This anthology is part of the Project Renova series, but it can be read as a standalone work.