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When a research crew receives a distress call from the Black Quarry — a research base on a hostile planet — they are forced by the company of Hevetz to halt everything to go on a search-and-rescue mission. The crew thinks it’s going to be a simple mission, but they were wrong: when they arrive, they find nothing but a bloody mess of the dead. As the crew tries to piece together what could have possibly wiped out an entire facility, they start to realize that there was something that the company was trying to hide, something powerful enough to destroy their entire operation. Erin Bowman’s CONTAGION tells the gripping story of the secrets and problems the crew will face.

CONTAGION is a thrilling, enthralling adventure; Bowman’s atmospheric prose puts the reader in the situation of the crew, leaving them with the same fear that the crew faces. The book grabs you from the first page and will not let you go until the explosive conclusion. This perfectly paced novel offers twists and turns that no one can see coming and situations that will make readers bite their nails in fear. This is not a novel for the easily frightened: fans of the Alien franchise will indulge in this terrifying sci-fi thriller.

"CONTAGION is one of the most thrilling, suspenseful books I have ever read. Bowman masterfully creates a frightening situation that will leave readers on the edge of their seat..."

My favorite aspect of this novel was definitely the setting. Bowman has the brilliant talent of creating the raw feeling of suspense, the kind of suspense that causes the reader to occasionally look around to make sure that this book isn’t a reality. The fear of the entire situation was tangible the entire time while reading: you could feel the tension in the air around you. There wasn’t a moment that went by that you didn’t feel genuinely terrified for the characters. And throughout the entire novel, it was impossible to predict how it will end. Who survives? Who dies? Will anyone make it out alive? Read to find out.

I wouldn’t really change anything about this novel, but I wish the situation surrounding the political systems were clearer. The universe that this takes place in is composed of four planetary systems creating a Union, and one of them, the Trios, wants independence. There were mentions of the rebels, but they didn’t really have any role in this particular novel. However, I do believe that the author purposely set this up so that they can be dealt with in future books, and this didn’t affect my overall enjoyment. It’s just that I would love to know more about them.

CONTAGION is one of the most thrilling, suspenseful books I have ever read. Bowman masterfully creates a frightening situation that will leave readers on the edge of their seat wondering if their favorite characters will survive. Movie companies need to adapt this into an incredible, enthralling blockbuster; it is bound to be as awesome on the screen as it is on the page. Fans of space, the dark, and scary movies need to jump on this book immediately. For those who are wary of this genre, this book will be the perfect start to your sci-fi adventure. But if they aren’t used to deadly, suspenseful situations, I suggest they read with the lights on.

Reviewed by Daniella R., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

by Erin Bowman