A massive tsunami striking American shores…. An earthquake with enough power to split a continent in half…. An illness so virulent that it kills thousands in its first week….
The common denominator in all of these terrifying scenarios is that they’re 100% possible—and Wil Mara takes us on a frighteningly realistic journey to the heart of such horrors in his popular series of disaster thrillers. It began with the smash success of Wave, which is now available in both mass-market paperback and a variety of eBook formats, and will continue with a new novel—The Gemini Virus (see below)—this fall. Meticulously researched in scientific detail and married to fast-paced plotlines with unforgettable characters, each of these stories forces us to think the unthinkable and consider what could happen—but hopefully never will….
The Gemini Virus
An ancient organism, reborn in a vicious new strain and spreading fast…. A terrified society, growing more savage as the death toll climbs…. The most powerful nations of the modern age, baring their teeth and on the brink of launching World War III…. And one man, gifted with genius but tormented by a horrible past, working frantically to find a solution…. The newsmedia call it ‘The Black Plague of the 21st Century,’ and the prelude to the long-predicted end of all things…. But in fact it’s just the beginning…of The Gemini Virus.
“The squeamish may want to avoid the second entry in Mara’s disaster series (after 2010’s Wave), a foray into the deadly-virus subgenre…. The body count grows geometrically as the disease spreads through the populace until most of the country is infected. A subplot involving terrorism helps build suspense, but the virus itself and the deadly possibility that it could appear in the real world is quite enough to keep you turning pages to see who will live, who will die, and how the invader will be vanquished.”
“The Gemini Virus is a vivid, exhilarating lethal-virus thriller. Part of the fun is the reactions of people as some welcome the biblical ‘End of Days’ while others blame the government. Fast-paced from the first cough and sneeze, the storyline never takes a respite as The Gemini Virus goes viral.”
—Harriet Klausner, The Mystery Gazette
“It seems like medical thrillers have gone by the wayside. Robin Cook and Michael Palmer are still at it, thankfully, but I don’t see quite as many of these sorts of releases as I seem to recall in past years. Wil Mara definitely hits it out of the park with his latest, though. Technically part of his disaster series—along with Wave—The Gemini Virus is a chilling and horrific outbreak story (and a stand alone in terms of the read). Even scarier is Mara’s claim that all the science is sound and that realistically an epidemic like The Gemini Virus could conceivably happen. Yikes!”
—Becky LeJeune, No More Grumpy Bookseller
”This is one of those books that you look up and realize you’ve read 50 pages without noticing that any time has gone by….
”The best part, in my opinion, was Mara’s imagining of how the epidemic would play out on the social level. What would the press say? What would President Obama do? How would other countries react, and how would the disease impact international diplomacy? He even considers the economic impact, on tourism in Hawaii for instance, or on local grocery stores.
”Mara also chooses one family, the Jensens, who live near the disease’s ground zero, to follow throughout the outbreak of the epidemic. At first they try to maintain normalcy for their children, but when all hell breaks lose they decide to head to their vacation cabin with piles of canned food in hopes of riding it out alone. Their experiences provide an individual perspective on the social issues and remind us that, for the victims in an epidemic, disease is personal.
—Karen Russell, How Mysterious!
“With all of the possible disaster scenarios, the point is not what’s going to happen. The point is, how did it happen, how did people react, and what could be done to prevent it? And for the macabre-minded, let’s not forget, what are the gruesome symptoms? It is in these areas a disaster story can set itself apart. And Wil Mara manages to set The Gemini Virus far apart from others in the genre.
“The primary POV characters are two epidemiologists trying to track down and cure the virus, and a regular guy trying to keep his family safe. All three characters have strengths and weaknesses, well-developed pasts, and even moments of heroism. They make decisions, they have regrets. They wonder what they could have done differently, if and how they will be judged for what they did, and how they’re going to make it through to the other side of the virus. They make you wonder how you would react in the same situation, and what choices you would make, which is arguably the point of all literature.
“The fictional representation of actual people and places felt true, as did the conversations between epidemiologists. Some explanations were very scientific…but they were short, they fit the scenario, and they did not negatively impact the flow of the story.
“The Gemini Virus has everything you could want in a disaster story, including a fast pace…it’s an edge-of-your-seat read that will have you grimacing, sighing, crying—and reaching for your disinfectant.”