Addiction & Pestilence

Fiction - Dystopia
331 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

My name is E.M. Kelly and I have always been fascinated with post-apocalypse and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse books. I've had this story swirling around in my head for years and I finally decided to write it. I'm currently working on the second book in the series, Demons & War. I hope you enjoy reading it!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Addiction & Pestilence by E.M. Kelly is a gripping story with a fascinating post-apocalyptic setting characterized by a gritty struggle against the plague, a narrative with powerful religious themes. A plague is unleashed in New York by the Four Horsemen and it spreads quickly. People are moving and seeking a means of survival. It is against this backdrop that Drew Murphy, an E.M.T. in Boston and a former Marine, undertakes his own journey towards redemption. A man with dark secrets who finds comfort and an escape in his addictions, he sets out to go to his mother who is very sick. The journey is that of transformation as he joins others who have their inner demons to conquer. United by the will to survive and save their families, can they find enough fight in them to trump their addictions and save those they love?

The prose is gripping and E.M. Kelly’s narrative voice is strong, exposing points of views that are clearly defined. The narrative opens with very intriguing lines: “The little black mass appeared out of nowhere. It floated and danced like a butterfly, yet it stayed in the same place.” And the reader wants to know what the floating object is and how it materializes itself. The chapters are short, the paragraph breaks designed for great dramatic effect, and these combine with the use of short sentences to make for an enjoyable read. The pacing is fast, the action intense, and the entire narrative filled with great emotional intelligence. Addiction & Pestilence is a novel with themes of addiction, but curiously, it is addictive. I was hypnotized, transformed, and found myself rooting for the characters. The writing is infused with realism and a fine sense of humanity. The grittiness is real, the psychological elements of the narrative strong, and the character development is expertly handled.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Addiction & Pestilence is the first book in E.M. Kelly’s Slaying Dragons: A Journey Through Hell series. Soon after a small boy vanishes into a heap of burning clothing, the world is turned upside down by a ravaging super virus. Although the super virus was designed by the government in a secret laboratory to be a “battlefield bug,” there is a dark and ominous specter lurking in the shadows. Maybe it wasn’t released accidentally? Possibly this is part of something much darker. The “breath of death” blows, infecting everyone in its path. The sickness spreads quickly, leaving heaps of dead bodies in its wake. “The beginning of the end was at hand.” The first of the Four Horsemen has been released, and death and the power of hell are following after him.

Dark, raw and gritty! E.M. Kelly writes a riveting story in Addiction & Pestilence. This gripping tale ratchets your emotions from the beginning to the end. Written in a journalistic style, each chapter begins with a time stamp. This technique reveals the rapid flow of the plot action; however, I wished the headings included the time zone and the location as well. Kelly pens a large cast of characters. The characters are introduced, develop and intersect as the story unfolds. As the sinister antagonist grows and takes shape, the main characters come to the forefront of the action. These characters have a common trait; they all have some form of addiction. Kelly does a great job of describing the power of addiction. Although difficult to stomach, the ominous force driving the addiction is necessary for understanding the personality and role of the characters within the plot. As a Christian, I have read several works of fiction depicting the end times; this one is by far the most horrific. Mr. Kelly doesn’t whitewash or water down his descriptions. Addiction & Pestilence is full of shock and awe that will keep you up nights, pondering the sign of the times.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Addiction and Pestilence by E.M. Kelly is a gripping pre and post-apocalyptic story. Brian Phillips, a drug addict, is in the Lumpton Treatment Center to dry out but little does he know he is part of a horrifying experiment. When that experiment goes wrong and a deadly virus sweeps through the center, Brian flees, accompanied by a dark, menacing other-worldly figure. Drew Murphy is an alcoholic, and his wife wants a divorce. He flies to Florida to his dying mother’s bedside but it is there that the apocalypse starts. The virus is sweeping the land, soon to take over the world and people are dying everywhere. Drew desperately wants to get home to his wife and daughter and it is up to him to thrust his addiction to one side and take on the pestilence that is destroying the world. Can he help save what remains of humanity or is the world about to be wiped out completely? And what part does Brian play?

Addiction and Pestilence by E.M. Kelly was hard to put down. The first chapter draws you straight into the story and it’s off and running at a fast pace. Every chapter introduces a new character and there are plenty of them! The main characters are developed incredibly well, with plenty of backstories. The writing is very descriptive, very tight and there is none of the fluff or apparent dead ends that so often appear in books these days. The introduction of the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse gives you a clue where this might be going with the first one, Pestilence, making its debut here. That suggests we have another three books to look forward to and I hope they are all as good as this one. This is gripping, compelling reading, packed with action and anyone who loves post-apocalyptic stories is going to love this one.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Addiction & Pestilence will cause you to contemplate your reaction if a plague hit the world. E.M. Kelly begins the plague through Brian Phillips, a drug addict who is the carrier of the plague. It horrifies him as a demon dictates his movements and leaves him witnessing destruction everywhere he goes. The author follows Drew, who is an alcoholic separated from his family, fighting to travel across several states to get to them. He has to put in an incredible amount of effort to avoid those who are infected and those who would wish him ill. Kelly introduces us to others who are fighting their own demons and will probably be instrumental in his next book, Demons & War, as the world recovers from this catastrophe.
This is one of those books that you finish reading and think “How could I sum up the words to express how exciting it was to read?” E.M. Kelly captures the danger, fear, and need for survival when a disease worse than the black plague hits New York, then the world. His focus on a few of the characters gives a perspective on how different people handle a crisis. Kelly implements demons he has fought in his own life to produce a novel that will connect with his readers on their level. I loved the thrill of Addiction & Pestilence as this fast-paced novel bordered on horror, action, and devotion. This book is geared more for an adult audience. The author gives advice at the end for those who need help with addictions, should you or someone you know need it.

K.C. Finn

Addiction & Pestilence is a dystopian thriller novel by author E.M. Kelly, and forms the first book of the Slaying Dragons: A Journey Through Hell series. Drew Murphy is a typically skilled but flawed hero perfect for this genre, an E.M.T. and former Marine with a serious alcohol addiction. When Drew’s wife walks out, taking their young daughter with her, stating that Drew’s alcoholism has reached a breaking point, Drew’s life just gets worse and worse. When he is suddenly called to the bedside of his dying mother, however, a plague of supernatural proportions ravages the land. As society begins to fall apart, Drew must decide what’s really important to him and fight for it, and for his very survival.

The combination of gritty realism and addiction alongside a pseudo science fiction-style plague is a really interesting premise for a plot, and author E.M. Kelly makes sure to enhance and build upon that rather than relying on it. The action scenes have a cinematic quality that makes them lively and exciting to read, and when the plague descends it feels disastrous on an epic scale, making you want to read faster and faster. This is a well-paced action novel with tons of excitement, and I particularly thought Drew’s dialogue was both amusing and realistic, adding empathy for the character and occasional levity that this kind of story needs. Overall, Addiction & Pestilence is a rip-roaring start to a series and is sure to please disaster fiction fans and thriller fans alike.