Publisher's Note:  

Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before.
 
But that's not the only pattern--the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, and unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies while Paul is becomes increasingly secretive and erratic. 
 
Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes: the free will of every human on earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?



This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Pyr


The Genius Plague

by David Walton

Review Date:
10/08/2017

Recommended Age:
18+

Overall Rating:
*****

Profanity / Language Rating:
***

Violence / Gore Rating:
****

Sex / Nudity Rating:
**

Overall Review:  

The Genius Plague by David Walton was awesome. It was so good, I was sad I had to do a review because I just wanted to devour it instead of slowing down to gather material for a complete review.

The premise was so unique, too, dealing with the spread of a fungal infection that heightened peoples' levels of intelligence, and drove them to insane terrorist-level lengths to ensure the fungi's survival. 

The story is told from the first-person perspective of Neil Johns, a clever young man applying for a job at the NSA. Despite his cleverness, he can be a little feather-headed, too, but in a good and goofy way, which makes for some funny moments to offset the underlying seriousness of a plague which can turn even the most average human being into a brilliant strategist.

Although there are a lot of violent moments, it never went over the top. This is definitely a book that has me checking to see what else the author has written. An A+ story, with A+ characters, and an A+ plot! I highly recommend this novel.


Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 derogatory comments; 5 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Many instances of violence, including but not limited to: A character feels threatened by police on a boat; a character is shot in the head, with some description of gore; characters are fired upon with automatic rifles; characters see a newsreel about violence in the Amazon; a character has a fit where he coughs up blood and faints; a character is diagnosed with a fungal infection; characters occasionally face the threat of arrest and/or imprisonment; the leaders of two countries are assassinated; characters frequently discuss terrorist attacks and intricate codes; there is a report of a spreading epidemic; characters witness explosions; characters are implicated in violence involving death/murders; a character is accused of betraying her country; characters are sometimes threatened with violence and/or death; characters face the threat of biological warfare; a character admits to having psychotic episodes with thoughts of killing someone; characters discuss the correlation of an epidemic with uprising terrorist activity; a man attacks a woman with a knife, with some description of injuries; a planeload of soldiers mutinies to take back control of the aircraft; a character warns that a country's leader is in danger; there are frequent reports of uprisings occurring throughout the world; characters are trapped with rising temperatures and germinating fungal spores; characters use a new strain of fungal disease that causes mind-control in subjects; a character is ambushed and infected with a disease; a character connects to mycelium via hyphae growing out of his hair; a character is tasked with a suicide mission to prevent the spread of a mind-controlling disease; a male character shoots a female character; in an extended scene, masses of people are infected with a mind-control agent, a man manipulates a person infected with the agent to gain access to a secure facility, a man gives a gun to a woman in case she needs to shoot him; a character faces the leader of a terrorist group in an attempt to convince him not to use nukes to create radioactive debris to spread Kingdom Fungi; a character drugs someone to take over command of a facility; in an extended scene, characters are ambushed and a character is shot and killed by gunfire, while other characters are captured, and a terrorist escapes to a facility lower levels in an effort to initiate the plan for detonating all the nukes in the building; a character is reported to be dead.

Sex/Nudity:  A female character discusses her love life with a man; a character describes how fungus has sex; a female character puts her hand on a man's arm; a male and female character sit back to back for warmth; a character is described as being separated from her husband; characters discuss someone's parents' separation; a male character is said to be dating a girl; characters discuss fungus reproduction in humans; a male character mentions girls in bikinis; a character remembers a man's reputation used to be that he liked kissing girls; a character says someone doesn't have the balls to get a job done; a character is said to be flirting with the nursing staff; a characters says she won't take advantage of someone if he sleeps at her house; a character briefly mentions how a drug could force girls to become sex slaves; a male character invites a female character out for drinks; a woman calls up a man after their meeting in a hospital.



Mature Subject Matter:  

Mental disorder, murder, disease, infection, death, war, drugs, drug-trafficking, epidemic, spousal separation, assassination, terrorist activity.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters are said to take drugs; characters sometimes have drinks; characters sometimes receive injections; characters are occasionally given medications; a character is said to have been admitted to the hospital for a drug overdose.



Reviewed By Katrina
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