CONTAGION BY TERI TERRY

You don’t understand my excitement when at the most recent YALC I received a signed proof copy of Teri Terry’s newest book Contagion. Not out until February 2017, the excitement of being able to read this proof six months before its release was almost too much for me to handle. On the train home from the Olympia, I whacked it out of my YALC tote bag and started it there and then. Over the next week, it became my trusted commute companion as I devoured it. Trying not to read it too fast; so that the experience wouldn’t be over, but reading quickly because I was in love with it, I finished the final page with a smug satisfaction with a hint of annoyance. It contained Teri Terry’s magnificent writing, with an increasingly exciting plot with twists and turns that I was not expecting, or did not want to happen, and wonderful characters – but ended open, meaning I have to wait even longer before the next installment.

Shay moved to Scotland with her mum a couple of years ago. She loves the sciences and exploring Scotland. Last year, the day before her and her mum went away for the summer, Shay saw young Callie get into a car with a man she presumed was her father. A year later, she spots a missing poster for her. Calling the number on the poster, Callie’s older brother, Kai, replies and travels to Shay in search of any more answers. Meanwhile, a devasting fire in the Shetland Islands is followed by an epidemic deemed the Aberdeen flu. Spreading south quickly, Kai and Shay are caught up in the epidemic, resulting in being key to helping Kai’s mum find a cure. And Callie may be able to help with the answer, if they can find her.

I loved Shay – I admired that she was smart and spunky (if that’s the right word to use). I instantly took a liking to her, which is always a good sign when you get along with the main character. I was a bit taken back by the age of Callie, but this was portrayed in the way she spoke and reacted which I really appreciated. It would have thrown me if she talked and reacted like Kai and Shay. Similarly, Kai was interesting. Usually with a male counterpart they can come across as dull and only one dimensional. I was pleased that he didn’t. His determination to find his sister was admirable. Kai’s fiery relationship with his step father was great, and I loved the scene in the university. I can’t wait for more like it, and I have the feeling there will definitely be more in the next book. Their instant attraction was an obvious part of narrative and pretty much inevitable. It started to get a bit stormier towards the end of the novel, the dynamics which I preferred. However, it wasn’t a massive focus and I appreciated that.

I loved the storyline, and reminded me a little bit of what would have happened before Rick Yancey’s Fifth Wave with the epidemic. The rush of the flu, and the unknown of the source was wonderfully catastrophic and the snowball effect was what set the novel on edge. Although I think I guessed the source of the flu, and how it travelled quickly, the novel took a bit of a whole to get to that conclusion. Would have been nicer have reached it earlier in the novel – but it did lead for me to whisper nooo into the pages a couple of time.

Teri Terry’s writing is on form once again. They way it flows so beautiful, picking out character traits perfectly, setting scenes, and specifically scenes of destruction, in such detail are what I enjoy most. Keep it up, the flow of this book was perfect for enjoyment, wanting to carry on reading, and not reading too fast so that you finish it too quickly. An impressive feat.

The cliff hanger it ended on though, that was so not cool.

I loved this book. It was a wonderful mix of everything that I love within a book. Teri Terry, this sits on par with Slated. I fantastic feat, I must admit and I feel honoured to have read the proof. I’m just sad I have to wait so long for the next book now.

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