Publication Date: June 16, 2012
Reviewer warning: This Review contains spoilers about the previous two books in the series.
In Pale Horse by Brett Battles, Implementation Day has arrived and Daniel Ash and his team are on hand to stop it but the devious Olivia has other plans. Now that the virus has been released, who will survive? Will Daniel ever see his children again and will those who seek to take over humanity succeed?
The last novel that I read by Brett Battles, No Return (reviewed on 2/16/2012 reviewed here) was not to my taste. Under usual circumstances, I fangirl the heck out of this author, but I found the novel lacking in both plot and character. As a result, I went into this novel with trepidation. The first two in the series were outstanding, but what if this one wasn’t? What if, like No Return, it felt disjointed and the characters flat? I must tell you, dear readers, Battles back with Pale Horse: A Project Eden Thriller (Volume 3) and he’s back in a big way. Fangirl is back!
As with the prior books in the series, we’re following several concurrent storylines. We have the ever capable, Daniel Ash and Chloe, the Resistance, Sanjay in India, Martina Gable in California, Lizzie Drexel the loner, Perez with Project Eden, and too many others to count. Despite a large number of characters, Battles manages to round them all out as they realize the magnitude of their situation and cope with the results. With so many different focal points, the story could have easily felt rushed as we move from person to person, but Battles uses the time with each person in a way that when we move on to the next, we feel that we’ve gotten the best of them.
My big complaint about the series would also be what I love most about them — the cliffhangers. This series is like a Dick Tracy serial (which I have seen on TCM — Dick ends each episode in some dire strait). Part of me wishes that I’d waited until all the books were out to read through because waiting for the next novel to be released is torture! Battles doesn’t end on the little things; his endings are “will they survive?” in the next novel. Is mankind to end? How can I convince Battles that I must read his next novel and I must do it now!
Brett Battle’s plotlines could happen. The government could release a deadly virus on its people handpicking those who will live by giving them a vaccination. There are clearly people who will live in this novel but who were not meant to do so. This is a straight-up thriller. It may sound like there’s a science fiction aspect, but there’s not. Everything that happens in this novel may be as a result of futuristic technology, but it’s completely plausible as something that could be happening outside of our realization. Where will Battles go with this story next? How will Perez deal with them? Will he send his soldier, Sims, as he did in this book? Will it matter to Perez at all that they’re still alive?
I have said of the previous books, I usually hate the chemical warfare kind of storyline or virus released on the populace. This series is beautifully done and so worth reading so I hope that all of you pick the novels up and read them in time for the fall release of the next novel in the series. Check out our other review of Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles.
Read an excerpt and buy Pale Horse by Brett Battles on