SICK, by Brett Battles: a book review

Those of you who know me also know I love a good conspiracy. Wrap one up in a fast-paced action-packed thriller and I’m a goner. Brett Battles has written such a book: SICK. That’s not “sick” as in depraved or gruesome, but sick as in a swiftly spreading and relentlessly lethal flu virus.

I loved this book. I don’t say that often — and not just because very few people care what I think about the books I’ve read — simply because it’s rare for me to discover a book I think deserves unqualified praise. This one does. I stayed up very very late two nights in a row last weekend, reading an advance copy of this ebook. If you love thrillers, I wouldn’t advise starting this one on a night when lack of sleep is going to be an issue the next day.

This is the first book I’ve read from Brett Battles, though I can’t imagine why, as it’s certainly not the first he’s written. I’ll be remedying that oversight in the near future. I love it when I find a terrific new-to-me writer and they have a backlist for me to devour in my spare time. What? You scoff? Yes, I have a wee bit of spare time. Even I need to take an occasional break and just read.

I’m not much for writing reviews and probably I’m going about it all wrong by not detailing the plot [you can read the synopsis (and buy it!) here at Amazon, and the gripping first few lines here at Murderati], but below is the review I’ll be posting at Amazon. As soon as I remember how that all works over there:

Brett Battles’ novel SICK starts with a gut punch to the vulnerability of anyone who has ever loved someone and feared losing them. Then it throws in dark hints of a highly organized conspiracy perpetrated by an apparently well-funded group masquerading as an entity of the government.

Next thing you know, it has wrapped a strong hand around the back of your neck and is whispering harsh and urgent in your ear, “Go. Run. You fail to keep up, you so much as stumble, we all die.” Then it throws you off the edge of a cliff, ratcheting up your paranoia and adrenaline in a race to the finish.

I love it when that happens. Well, in a book anyway.

SICK is an edge of your seat thrill ride with well-developed characters and a compelling storyline, detailed by the workings of a marvelously fertile and wickedly inventive imagination. With SICK, Battles has written one of the best thrillers of the year.

A word of caution to those who like a story where all the threads are wrapped up in a neat pretty package at the end: This book is the first in a series. There are a few things left unresolved here, some questions left unanswered. Which only makes me that much more impatient for the next book, already an auto-buy. Luckily for us (and for him), Battles writes fast.

9 Comments

Filed under book reviews

9 responses to “SICK, by Brett Battles: a book review

  1. For me, your review hit the nail on the head. Sick, like Battles’ other books, was one I didn’t want to put down. For me, his books are fun to read.
    Great review!

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  2. Thanks, Corri! It’s more than a little embarrassing to admit this is the first book of his I’ve read, considering I’ve been enjoying his posts (and giving him grief — in a nice way, of course 😎 ) over at Murderati for a very long time. Can’t wait now to dig into his Quinn novels.

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  3. cbpen

    I’ve not read him either. I think I need to after this!! 🙂

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  4. McB

    I’m always looking for another good author, and I know you don’t treat reviews lightly so I’m putting him on my wish list. Thanks!

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  5. McB, it’s only $2.99 so probably you won’t have to wish too hard. I hope if you and Pen try it, you’ll let me know what you think!

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  6. Allison Davis

    The thing is rocking me…I had to hide the book so I could get some sleep last night. Brett a good writer, but this book moves as fast as the current in the flooding Mississippi.

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  7. Yes! Someone else who is reading and loving it!

    I had the same problem, Allison, only I was reading the ebook so couldn’t exactly hide it. It was sheer luck that I started it on a Friday night and it didn’t matter that I was up past 3:00 AM two nights in a row, reading. I’m giving him another week, maybe two, tops, then I’m going to start pestering him for the next book…

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  8. Allison Davis

    Maybe he’ll let me proofread the next one, I found a type (two pages after Chapter 46, uses “Chloe” instead of “Marina” in the kindle version. I told him. I can’t believe it was nearly 89,000 words. I need to keep kicking on mine.

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  9. I was reading an ARC for review purposes that hadn’t been copy-edited yet — he warned me there were going to be a lot of typos (he was right) so I tried to just ignore them. After the first page I was so sucked into the story, it wasn’t difficult. And yeah, I need to finish mine too. Any day now…

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