Book Review: The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor

Let me preface this review by saying that I did receive this book for free from Random House through their #earlybirdread program. It’s a program that they host through twitter. If you follow @atrandom you can find out when they post the link to sign up for a chance to receive a novel they are excited about in the office. You can also check out the #earlybirdread hashtag on twitter to find out what people are saying about this month’s book. The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor was an #earlybirdread from a few months ago.



Hallie Leland is a disgraced microbiologist trying to start out her new life as a cave diving guide. She’s determined to not let her dismissal from a government science laboratory cloud her future and has decided to put that life in her past. But then she gets an urgent summons back to that world and she’s quickly thrown back into the world she has tried to leave behind and she will have to use all of her skills as a cave diver and the knowledge of the project she was working on before her dismissal to save the world from a deadly epidemic.

This book scratches so many personal “itches”. The science, the medicine, the extreme world/exploration, and the emergency preparedness. A deadly virus has broken out and may be the worst epidemic the world has seen. A medicine that Leland was working on prior to her embarrassing dismal from the government lab may hold the key to stopping the epidemic. One small problem: the key ingredient to this medicine can only be found in a very deep and dangerous cave. Now Leland will have to go back to the cave for a sample in a race against time.

One thing  that Tabor has managed to do beautifully is making each side of the story compelling and interesting. Too often when I’m reading a novel that tells how different groups in the story are moving through I get bored with at least one side of the story and feel myself racing to get back to the story of the group I am interested in. Not in this case! Each groups experiences as we are on this fast paced journey are interesting and aid in making a complete story.

I think Tabor also manages to convey the fast paced craziness that happens in an emergency situation. You feel rushed at points just like the characters do and at points it felt like everything was happening so quickly, but you knew that it was critical it happened this way if they were ever going to get ahead of the disease.

Definitely a great book to pick up for those who love action packed thrillers with some medicine and science thrown in. Loved this book and I think more people should be talking about it 🙂

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  1. Best of 2012 (Thus Far) and BEA Hopefuls ArmchairBEA « readinginthemountains

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