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Book Review: Pandora’s Succession by Russell Brooks

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After the death of his fiancé, a CIA operative, Ridley Fox makes a decision to hunt the killers. Blaming his own ineptness, knowing he should have understood that danger, he goes in deep to uncover their plot and gather his revenge at the same time. The Arms of Ares which he knows as a terrorist group as well as the murderer of his fiancé has set in motion a plot to gain control of the world. He has received information that they have come into possession of a biological weapon called Pandora.

In receiving the intelligence necessary to track down one of the labs he is not only compromised but also captured by the killers. Rescued by the wife of one of the biologists involved in the experimentation, he finds that Ares has infiltrated many of the top organizations of the world, including British and Russian intelligence. Fox tries to secure more information and learn if there are more labs or facilities working on the project but she is killed before he gets the information.

As he communicates within his organization he is also introduced to a Dr. Marx, one of several other biologists in the CDC with knowledge of the Pandora organism. What he learns causes him and his superiors alarm; this weapon can destroy the world as they know it. In the hands of the Arms of Ares, the entire world is in danger.

Following the leads and tracking the sources Ridley Fox, known as a renegade in his organization, finds himself in a position to view the result of this weapon first hand when one of his only friends is killed in action, during a raid on one of the facilities.

The organism feeds on DNA and so far they have not found a way to stop the process. They must find a way of destroying Pandora before it can be used to create worldwide devastation.

As Fox is drawn deeper into the dregs of the terrorist organization dealing with and experimenting with Pandora he discovers that there are other groups also after the same organism, each with their own agenda. He also finds that different factions of the government also have operatives in place working behind the scenes to help bring the danger of Pandora to a close.

As he races against time to find the answers, more and more people are being killed. There is more at stake then anyone imagines, and the Arms of Ares as well a group of cultists, lead by the man known to Fox only as the October man, will do whatever it takes to be the one to control Pandora.

What Fox finds is that as each plan is breeched and every action compromised, there is a mole in his own organization as well as those in both the British and Russian intelligence. As bodies continue to drop he finds himself on his own, having to depend on a woman from his past who has no reason to help him.

Through an unintentional missed meeting she was almost killed and blamed her current situation on him. But she too understands the importance of stopping Pandora before it can be used. Will they be able to find a way to protect the world from Pandora? Can they do what no one else can?

In Pandora’s Succession, Russell Brooks brought to life the very real worry of biological warfare and the possibility of what that would look like in our world. He has developed a group of terrorists, with no care of the human side of their business, but just who or what will bring the highest paycheck. He has then thrown in a group of zealots, a cult, interested in cleansing the world and setting themselves up as the new world order. He has taken different parts of our current history and used that madness to build a more cataclysmic horror, a picture that even the evil of those original perpetrators may not have dreamed of.

The story is fast-paced and the characters very real and solid, capable of hurts and emotions, and as human as they could be. While Fox appears to get out of many situations that would seem to be impossible for a normal man, given the circumstances of each and with the thought behind each escape, Russell Brooks makes it seem both likely and possible for this to happen. There is a great deal of technical and biological information throughout the book guiding you though, giving you a great understanding of the science behind the story.

I really enjoyed this book; it was innovative and yet a bit reminiscent of the current events of the world now and in the past. It gives us both insight and motivation into how differences come into play within the different countries of the world. I found it both interesting and exciting, with just enough human emotion to keep it real.

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About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.