Predator One by Jonathan Maberry
Goddamn, do I love me some Joe Ledger. And this one did not disappoint. It was high octane kill your face from the getgo. Joe Ledger can’t ever watch a motherfucker baseball game. He’s at Opening Day for baseball at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. As he sits in the box ready to see the first pitch, terrorists attack the stadium with drones and explosives. It’s a hideous terrorist attack. Meanwhile, the government is reeling from a video that got captured and broadcast on YouTube of a certain terrorist that was supposed to have gone Zero Dark Thirty who is NOW dead.
Anyway, this is just the beginning. The remnants of the Seven Kings are basically annihilating the DMS and trying to tear apart the world. It’s just a hair towards convoluted, but the meat of the story is the true horror. Anything autonomously operated — much of the military, drones, drone delivery, autoparking cars — can be manipulated by a sinister AI and forced to shutdown or attack or deliver viral loads. It’s all feasible and fucked up and I love it.
Maberry knows how to give his characters a beating, and this is no joke. So many people get killed or hurt in this book. So many. And it’s not even like I’m going to try to injure you in a terrorist bombing. It’s setting secondary bombs that kill first responders. It’s killing someone with a virus and then sending mercenaries to the hospitals to murder the survivors. And the attending physicians. It’s brutal and well-constructed. I only shave a star off because it’s still got some hiccups and melodrama and chest-pumping that gets a BIT much. Maberry does love his technical descriptions of artillery and technology. Still, it’s great to see a series as deep as Joe Ledger staying fresh and intriguing.