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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Pandemic: Survival is a work of fiction in the horror, suspense, thriller, and action subgenres, and it forms the sixth installment in The Nightbird series. It is best suited to mature adult readers. Penned by author Cynthia Fridsma, the story unfolds with a tense situation at a Boston mall, where terrorists have taken control. Jack Hunter, an agent of the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU), becomes the city's last hope to stop these terrorists and prevent a catastrophe. But the mission doesn't end there. A deadly virus begins to spread in Boston after the shootings, and Jack realizes that someone is behind this outbreak with a sinister plan to destroy the city. Simultaneously, we meet Sybil Crewes, a former ATU agent dealing with PTSD after surviving the Nightbird attack during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her life takes a dangerous turn when someone attempts to kill her. Sybil has vital information that could stop the Tranq virus, a drug that turns its victims into zombies. She joins forces with Jack in a race against time to find a cure and save the world.
Author Cynthia Fridsma really knows how to grip an audience by the throat and not let go until the last suspenseful second. Reading Pandemic: Survival was an adrenaline-pumping experience that had new shocks and twists in every chapter. The fast-paced narrative, filled with action and suspense, kept me eagerly turning pages to discover the next atmospheric and cinematically described moment. The characters are also very well-drawn, and the dynamic between the central pairing adds some light relief to the tale thanks to their slick, enigmatic dialogue, breaking up the suspense nicely. What sets this book apart is its relevance to the world we live in, addressing the themes of terrorism, bioweapons, and a pandemic, which hit very close to home given recent global events. The shocking truth revealed toward the end of the novel adds an unexpected layer to the story, leaving readers with plenty to ponder. Overall, Pandemic: Survival is a thrilling and thought-provoking read that seamlessly combines elements of suspense, action, and intrigue, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.