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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Contagion: Get Sick? Run! by Chad Stambaugh is a book I loved for a number of reasons. It establishes a powerful premise — a family has to choose between a loved one and the welfare of society and in the context of an epidemic. The conflict is well-developed and the emotion hits home to the reader in a powerful way. A deadly virus is taking lives in a community and the CDC is out to contain the virus by eliminating victims and families. When Vincent Gallo’s eldest daughter, Alegra, shows signs of the virus, he knows he must make a difficult choice. Will he and his family stay put and try to hide the virus from prying public eyes or will they take their chances at an escape.
The story is well-written in a voice that is fascinating. From the very first page, the reader is captivated by the crisp prose, the powerful images and the focused scenes. But the characters are also compelling. We are thrust into a society where uncertainty seems to be part of the rhythm of life of the inhabitants. From the moment the reader meets the Gallos, they are hooked and they want to find out what will happen to them. Chad Stambaugh weaves realism into the story and makes readers believe in the characters. The plot looks a little linear, without complex layers, but it has surprises that readers will enjoy in a work of this nature and a psychological depth that is 'contagious.'
There is something about the narrative voice, something unique that keeps readers turning the pages. It’s this originality — the unique way with words, the creativity when it comes to character development, and the compelling elements of the setting — that gives this book its appeal. The author creates a vivid setting and readers can see the lawns, feel the streets and get a whiff of the smell of the pizza, the oddly familiar pasta smells in the air. The beautifully imagined and well-described locales make readers feel as though they are part of the story. I can’t wait for the next book in the Contagion: Get Sick? Run! series.