The second Joe Ledger book continues the frenetic pacing of its predecessor in PATIENT ZERO thrusting Ledger into the strange world of militarized science at the hands of madmen. His task, along with Echo Team and a raft of ancillary support units is to stop an extension level event targeting population groups across the world. An idea founded on the back of World War II gains momentum when a scientific breakthrough is reached and a death sentence for millions made possible via hidden gene specific disease in water bottles.
As if that wasn't a story in it's own right, author Jonathan Maberry ups the ante by introducing the 'dragon factory' - a place where monsters and human/animal hybrids are born. Even more menacing, its founders and owners are a son and daughter team whose father happens to be the man behind the threat to wipe out population groups across the world.
Then there's the super soldiers - a genetic blend of prime evil strength and dog-like obedience guarding the respective facilities.
Throughout THE DRAGON FACTORY Ledger and co face adversity after adversity in a fast paced thriller that also combines sci-fi and horror elements. The action is plentiful, however, this isn't all about fist fights and brutality - Ledger grows as a character as we glimpse into his relationship with Grace and the world outside the violence Maberry has created for him.
While part of a larger series THE DRAGON FACTORY does read well as a standalone within the broader series. It's a self contained story, that, while providing a satisfying ending sets up the next installment perfectly.