Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Published by Tantor Audio on April 30, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Horror
Length: 3 hours, 3 minutes
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We live in an age of wonders.
Modern medicine has conquered or contained many of the diseases that used to carry children away before their time, reducing mortality and improving health. Vaccination and treatment are widely available, not held in reserve for the chosen few. There are still monsters left to fight, but the old ones, the simple ones, trouble us no more.
Or so we thought. For with the reduction in danger comes the erosion of memory, as pandemics fade from memory into story into fairy tale. Those old diseases can’t have been so bad, people say, or we wouldn’t be here to talk about them. They don’t matter. They’re never coming back.
How wrong we could be.
It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it’s too late: Morris’s disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop. For Dr. Isabella Gauley, whose niece was the first confirmed victim, the route forward is neither clear nor strictly ethical, but it may be the only way to save a world already in crisis. It may be the only way to atone for her part in everything that’s happened.
She will never be forgiven, not by herself, and not by anyone else. But she can, perhaps, do the right thing.
We live in an age of monsters.
I’ve read almost everything written under this author’s other name of Seanan McGuire, I can’t get my hands on her books fast enough. This is the first book I’ve under the name Mira Grant and color me impressed. I work in a science field and I loved this sci-fi worst-case scenario of “what if” with the increasing number of un-immunized children; there was an unseen consequence that a new pandemic could arise. It is smart, well thought out, and told in a very gripping manner.
There is a forgotten time when pandemics ran rampant; quarantines were common and the threat of a loved one dying from something like Measles, Mumps, Smallpox or Whooping Cough was real. When a viral infection could decimate an entire community or reduce the world’s population by 25%.
Those times have been almost forgotten and with the invention of vaccinations those diseases, almost eliminated from the face of the earth. But what if the new movement of not vaccinating your children, made it possible for that to all come crumbling down and a new slightly modified version of something thought practically gone from the world is back and so are the fatality rates of old.
I loved the way this story was told. You see it from a few perspectives, all from women in the same family. It feels real, like this is definitely how an event like this could play out and what societies response would be. I found it to be smart and scarily plausible in many ways. Fantastically executed novella.
I think Kingdom of Needle and Bone really makes you think about when the next pandemic hits – what will it mean for our new global society? If you are one of those people who are completely against vaccinating your children, well, this will either make you seriously think about your choices or you are going to hate the overall content of this story. Did I mention I work in science (in a health associate profession)? I’m completely pro-vaccination and hope maybe this fictional story will be some food for thought for people who haven’t really considered this subject before.
Cris Dukehart did a really good job with both the seriousness and heart of the story. The performance was completely spot on and transported me into this tale. I listened to this at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE