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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
Pathogen Protocol is the second book in former Space Shuttle experiment engineer Darren Beyer’s Anghazi series. Mandisa ‘Mandi’ Nkosi reunites with her mother, Gisela, on the Anghazi near Helios while Colonel Grae Raymus, alone and outnumbered, escapes from New Reykjavik to a secret base. Being inside an Anghazi begins to have a strange effect on Mandi, manifesting as vivid, recurring dreams of the ouroboros symbol: a snake biting its tail. Grae discovers a message left by Danny Dagan that reveals a startling truth. Jans Mikel can’t ignore this new information and travels to a moon near the Outer Sphere to meet a dangerous man who might become a powerful ally. Erik Hallerson’s battered and wounded body survives the vigor of Accelerated Regen Therapy and he returns to duty determined to find and destroy Grae.
Pathogen Protocol continues from the events in Casimir Bridge and quickly immerses the reader in the corporate and government politics affecting human settlements on several worlds. Beyer weaves convincing scientific concepts into Pathogen Protocol alongside stunning visuals of distant solar systems, the organic Anghazi, and a seedy mining colony to create a vivid world. The characters are believable. Jans, Grae, Ivey, and Mandi complement and balance each other out well with their diverse backgrounds and skills. Erik is a convincingly formidable antagonist but lacks the humanity that would make him relatable. Fast pacing and plot momentum make Pathogen Protocol difficult to put down, although it will be challenging to follow for those who haven’t read the first book of Beyer’s Anghazi series.