Sunday 10 May 2015

REVIEW: Peter C Middleton - The Britannia Contagion (Britannia Chronicles Book 2)

Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Britannia Publications
Publication Date: 8th Feb 2015
Pages: 353


A copy of The Britannia Contagion was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Peter C Middleton in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

If you haven’t already heard of Peter C Middleton or read any of his books, why the hell not? I have previously reviewed Book One of this series, The Britannia Conspiracy, here. If you haven’t already read Book One, I would recommend picking it up before tackling this one. It is not a necessity as this one stands up pretty well as a story of its own but it is better when you are familiar with the characters.

Someone has released the Bubonic Plague on London. Again. The modern day plague has been genetically modified and is much more deadly. Anyone who contracts it, initially develops an insatiable thirst for human blood. Within eight hours they will be dead.

The people who have released it have kidnapped, and infected the Prime Ministers daughter, Skye. Alexander Ackerman and his team of “Guardians” must track down the people responsible and find the cure before thousands, possibly millions will die. They must uncover secrets of past times to find clues that will help them defeat an ancient evil, before it is too late.

This, like Book One, is super stuff. This is like a modern day Indiana Jones only a little bit more extreme. It’s exciting. It’s non-stop action. It’s fun. In my humble opinion it isn’t the greatest writing I have ever come across but to be honest – I don’t care. It makes you smile. It makes you want more and more. It makes you want to be part of the action yourself.

Some of the old characters have returned from Book One. We have the leader of the gang Ackerman, John Brody, Sam, Caesar and the Dean. All of these characters are fantastic. None of them are any better than the rest in the sense of being a stand out hero. They all do equal amounts within the story. They all have their own attributes and special talents. Some of those talents have been practised for centuries.

I’m not going to give anything away about the plot in this one because quite frankly I don’t want to spoil anything for you. It’s really split in half. It periodically jumps between present day London and the London of 1650-1670 where we meet some unlikely heroes called Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton, battling an ancient evil during the times of the first bubonic plague and the Great Fire of London. The story adds twists to what we may already know of what happened back then. It changes things to suit the story. I know there will be people reading it thinking “that’s not how it happened!” My answer to that? Get over it. Read the story for what it is and totally lose yourself in it and enjoy it for what it is.

There are twists and turns in this story that at times I found a bit confusing. There is a lot happening in a lot of different locations and occasionally I found it hard to keep up and connect things. This is because of the huge amount of information floating around. It all comes together in the end to explain things and everything clicks into place but I can imagine some people getting confused to the point of setting it down for a while.

To summarise: Peter Middleton is really very good at writing this stuff. He has a really good series on his hands. It’s old school exciting, adventurous, almost what I would describe as swashbuckling stuff. It’s something to read and not take too serious. I don’t think it would ever reach the heady heights of say, the Indiana Jones series but I reckon with the right people behind it, this could be made into a popular set of movies that almost all the family could enjoy.

Definitely buy yourself Book One at the same time as this one. Clear yourself some time when you need cheering up and read these two. You will be smiling at the end.

General rating:

★★★★ Close to perfect but just lacked that little something.

Thriller rating:

★★★★★ Where are my blood pressure tablets?

You can buy The Britannia Contagion here:

Book Synopsis:

In the second book of The Britannia Chronicles, the Bubonic Plague has returned to London, this time with devastating ferocity. It kills within eight hours and for the first few hours after infection victims have an unquenchable thirst for human blood.

The capital is in turmoil. The infected are feeding on anyone they can find and the virus is spreading at a phenomenal rate. To make matters worse, existing anti-biotics are completely ineffective and those responsible for engineering this deadly variant, have kidnapped and infected the Prime Minister's daughter.

With her own child and her entire nation facing extinction, Karen Shaw must call on the help of the Alexander Ackerman and the Guardians. They have just hours to find those responsible, discover their motives and obtain a cure. To obtain the answers they must delve into the darkest annals of London's history, but while they hunt for clues they are being hunted themselves by the deadliest creatures ever to inhabit our plane.

Peter was born in Lewisham, South East London in 1959, and at the age of twelve he went to a traditional English boarding school called Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex.

The Britannia Conspiracy is his first novel and he loved writing it so much he's already hard at work on the sequel The Britannia Contagion which features the same characters. His novels are historical horror-thrillers which give people a great insight into British history while both entertaining and horrifying them!

Peter is delighted to take part in interviews, even for the lowly blogger.

You can see more of Peter at his website.

Peter’s author page can be found here.

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