It Is History S Most Feared Disease It Turned Neighbor Against Neighbor, The Civilized Into The Savage, And The Living Into The Dead Now, In A Spellbinding Novel Of Adventure And Science, Romance And Terror, Two Eras Are Joined By A Single Trace Of Microscopic Bacterium The Invisible Seeds Of A New Bubonic PlagueIn The Year , A Disgraced Spanish Physician Crosses A Landscape Of Horrors To Avignon, France There, He Will Be Sent On An Impossible Mission To England, To Save The Royal Family From The Black DeathNearly Seven Hundred Years Later, A Woman Scientist Digs Up A Clod Of Earth In London In A World Where Medicine Is Tightly Controlled, She Will Unearth A Terror Lying Dormant For CenturiesFrom The Primitive Cures Of The Middle Ages To The Biological Police State Of Our Near Future, The Plague Tales Is A Thrilling Race Against Time And Mass Destruction For In , Humankind S Last Hope For Survival Can Come Only From One Place Out Of A Dark And Tortured Past I really wish I could give this 2 1 2 stars.The book tells two stories at once, one in the past and one in the future, in which both characters are trying to deal with an outbreak of the bubonic plague The author could write some gripping scenes, but I found myself intensely disappointed by the ending both story lines had several major contrivances to get them to the end, and then the end felt like a copout And the author couldn t decide what type of book she wanted to write is it a drama An end of the world thing A romance Oh hell, let s just sprinkle romance over everything, even though it doesn t make a damn bit of sense view spoiler First of all, this oh so virulent plague that is unleashed on the modern world only infects about 10 people, even though all 3 main characters were arguable highly contagious infective and traipsed all over London Give me a break.Second, why kill off Adele If they really loved each other that much, his ethnicity would not have been that big of a deal look at how Kate, the little girl reacts She doesn t give a flip that he s Jewish And third, if Adele must come down with the plague but mysteriously no one else in the castle does , why doesn t the princess, who is a raving bitch, not get infected And what the hell is a swarthy Spanish Jew, on the run, going to do with a fair, blond child I m almost surprised they don t get married before they begin their flight, just because it would be something else that came of out frickin nowhere hide spoiler So here ya go a book that s both a fascinating historical novel about a Jewish physician during the plague AND a futuristic medical thriller about a contemporary outbreak of the bubonic plague You ll love the characters, and both halves of this story are first rate. Really good book Combined two of my favorites..dystopia with historical fiction I kept putting it down to look up info on it and to me that really makes a book. I really enjoyed this book of dual timelines, one in the Middle Ages and the other in present day Both dealt with the Black Plague The stories were connected and became apparent as the book went on For sure will read the second one eventually. A very absorbing book the two tales intertwined were well crafted, though there were times whe I would be caught up in one and hated switching to the other The details, especially regarding the story set in 1348 were especially fascinating to this nurse and lover of history.From the PublisherFourteenth century physician Alejandro Canches, caught performing an autopsy in Spain, flees across Europe at the time of the Black Death to escape execution for his heretical deed When he arrives in the papal city of Avignon, he is conscripted against his will to serve as a plague doctor in the court of England s Edward III Unfolding in a dramatic counterpoint is the story of American medical archaeologist Janie Crowe, in England at the turn of the twenty first century to recover from the tragic loss of her family She digs up a medieval artifact as part of her research and unwittingly releases a deadly plague bacteria on an unprepared world In a future where antibiotics are useless and a past where death is an ever present fear, these two unwilling heroes from two different centuries are linked by history and defined by circumstance Here are their stories the plague tales. I found this book at the librarby hurrah for libraries and thought that maybe I had read it before, but, since it intrigued me and I couldn t really remember the storyline, decided to give it another go About 50 pages in, I was sure that I had read it before, but was interested enough to read it through again, since I couldn t really remember the story anyway.The plot was intriguing some of the other reviewers were troubled by what they viewed as medical inaccuracies in the current future story As a non scientific person, I wasn t troubled by any such inaccuracies, since I don t have a clue anyway, and, since this is set sometime in the future and that was vague , I think the reader is supposed to assume medical protocal changed in the Post Outbreak World.What did trouble me, even in my so totally not scientific mind, was the idea that a germ would lie dormant for 500 years and then revive itself after it was warmed up Since that is the central theme of the story, you have to accept that premise for the modern day story to work It didn t both me that the modern day scientists couldn t identify the germ, since this was set sometime in the future and centuries past the Black Death, but I had a really time believing that the germ would suddenly wake up and set infecting people again, just like it was the Middle Ages all over again.I also didn t like the mystical part of the keepers of the secret, although the old man with his dog dog lover that I am was appealing For plague, epidemic, oh my god the world as we know it is going to end, I would recommend The Things That Keep Us Here over this book but this is a good, but not great, read You could do worse, and you could be better. Wow, I thought I would love this one It s everything I enjoy stories about the plague from the past and fears of infectious diseases in the future Seriously, I love that stuff But this was so slow and bogged down in unimportant detail that I had to stop reading I tried skimming but even that felt too laborious If a person opens up a file on a computer, the author describes exactly what they re clicking on and what pops up and what they click on next If two people part ways, we have to hear every word of an exchange in which they explain what their plans are, even if they re incredibly uninteresting and dull Someone badly needed to edit this And the romance ye, gods, I thought we were past men falling in love with women because they have nice HAIR, but apparently we re supposed to be invested in a man hair relationship Oh, well If you want a good plague book, Connie Willis s Doomsday Book is much better. Wow A big, reverberating WOW Wow Wow Wow I was up half the night because I couldn t put it down, and when I put it down, I d still be up with the creepy crawlies Pretty scary stuff Pretty gross And pretty Fan tatty What really knocks me out is that this is Ann Benson s first novel all her other works have been about beading Yes, I said Beading How does a beadweaver just sit down and write this incredible medical thriller Two parallel stories, two parallel characters, linked by history It was a thrilling, exciting doomsday tale, something like Outbreak, but with a much intriguing flavor because of the historical aspects A great blend of love and loss, medicine and politics, the medieval and the futuristic.Wow shiver.Beads Nah I just couldn t convince myself that this was a passable book I want to be be thoughtful about my review, but I m having a tough time giving it that much effort If I manage it, I may rant, and if I rant there will likely be plot details Beware I liked the idea of the juxtaposed timelines the original appearance of the plague, and the current occurrence in the timeline I was intrigued by this current setting, a near future that has recently survived a major and devastating medical event I couldn t figure out why I tolerated the old timey storyline , at first, but after a bit of thought I realize why this is There s not a whole lot of intriguing character arc and development present in the book at all, but the young Jewish doctor s actually happens, somewhat convincingly, in story We see religious persecution first hand, and how it informs his choices We feel his medical curiosity and see what his devotion to it justifies, in terms of his actions It fleshes him out enough that I kind of cared about what he was doing, and I got mad when he did something stupid instead of as with all the other characters rolling my eyes and muttering uuuggghh so fugging duuuuuumb The intriguing current setting ended up frustrating me to no end because I just couldn t see the damn point of it The story would have made sense in actual real life, honestly, and that just seems a huge waste of time The gist is that our modern American doctor, Jane, is a survivor of fairly horrific epidemic that killed vast numbers of the North American population, including her husband and children Apparently the UK fared much better because they enforced strict quarantine protocols smart, methinks , and now years later many of these are still maintained as a prophylactic measure We meet Jane in full hazmat on a commercial flight of like sterilized travellers She must go through strict procedures at the airport, and dreads being made to undergo the invasive body scan , which she objects to on principle I object to her objection, given her medical training and knowing that her entire family like, mom and pops too were killed by infectious disease It s not even plucky I m an American resistance, just this sort of nah, I don t want to cause, like, privacy sort of objection, and I can t make it jive with what she s been through AND ALSO, she s travelling to Britain to complete a project for her new university degree Because she s been reassigned a career Because after a catastrophic medical event, the US has decided that there are just too many damn doctors, and not enough of whatever it is that she s supposed to become which involves her digging soil samples in another country Uhhhhh Whut Now, once she s past the airport unscanned, because apparently your medical condition isn t worth than a blood test unless you are staying for than three weeks , she s pretty much able to move around with ease, except for needing a prescription for analgesics like Tylenol, which is really the only thing anyone cares about because it s mentioned like, four times Jane s school project ends up unearthing the plague virus, and everything that happens after that is total and complete hogwash Her soil samples end up in a lab overseen by her old something or other who she eventually sexes up This matters because romance But not in a story enhancing romance The lab tech discovers the pesky disease by it s medical name, leaves the lab full of other microbes and whatnot with his work percolating all around, and is out and about on the town before he realizes what the virus is Seconds after his oh shit mental moment, he gets hit by a car I can not tell you how angry that particular plot device makes me I can, but I won t But fuming, for reals Every single medico in the story now proceeds to do the very wrong and very unethical thing Hide the fact that the virus is out Sure Walk around in crowds of people after knowing you ve been exposed YUP Not do any tests and try to self medicate Absolutely, you re a doctor, you Know Stuff Try to medicate someone else who is clearly sick but not tell them why or what you are giving them so they can t tattle on you And also sedate them Hello, Doctors can do that too Cut that plague infected dead Doctor s hand off, so you can access his cover up, and cover up some Indeed Don t stop now Uuuuuuuugh so fugging duuuuuumb But the worst part of the whole story is that the resolution is magical Witchy Incantationaltastic I m not kidding I m not kidding.
Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
- 675 pages
- The Plague Tales
- Ann Benson
- 07 June 2019 Ann Benson