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The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.
Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.
Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.
For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?
I’d been waiting for this one for what felt like forever. I was desperate to get back to Rhys Cooper and Darius Murrell from Strain. That book hit me hard and I loved every horrible minute of it. Mostly. I guess it was not all horrible, but it’s a very dark story that depicts a possible future filled with scenes from any number of my own nightmares. I think a lot about what the world would be like if we had a global pandemic. It’s terrifying to think that in some instances, society could really get pretty bad. Anyway… then came Juggernaut, and I met Zach Houtman and Nico Fernández. To say I was filled with nerves at a book with Zach as an MC would be accurate given who his father and brother are. Getting to know Zach and Nico made me even more excited for Bane to be released.
Bane is the culmination of Strain and Juggernaut. The combining of two separate stories that are ultimately tied together. I could not wait to
see read how the story would resolve itself. So, did Bane resolve issues? Yes. The story moves along quickly, but spans a good amount of time. The relationship between Rhys and Darius gets challenged in what felt like a very real way. There is growth in both of them that I really loved. The same goes for Zach and Nico. Trust in themselves, as well as each other, is built upon and was really needed. The story is still violent, but not in the same way Strain was, thankfully. Secretary Littlewood, if I can spoil you just a tad (not that anyone will doubt this is going to happen) totally gets his. The story moves civilization in a direction that makes sense, leaving the story open for more books should Gormley choose to continue the series in some way.
The characters are compelling, the story is interesting, the glimpse in to a society that would be terrifying but has the chance at bouncing back was fantastic. If you want to read this, I suggest you read Strain and Juggernaut first. Those books are necessary to follow a long, but beware the trigger warnings, in Strain especially. I can’t warn about that enough. But if you can handle it, pick them up. You won’t be disappointed.