January 29, 2014

Turn off the TV and Read: Helix

Helix is a new intense thriller on the SyFy channel about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind's salvation...or total annihilation (from tv.com).

I put together a few books that I found that have similar scenes of scientists going too far, viral outbreaks and people going a bit crazy as a result.

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

Also by Mira Grant, the Newsflesh Trilogy is also worth checking out. It focuses more on the later effects of viral outbreak, but some of the earlier novellas relate.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere.

Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outerfringes of space to "collect organisms and dust for study." One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona.

Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont,a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.

Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen

Lapped by he gentle waters of Locust Lake, the small resort town of Tranquility, Maine, seems like the perfect spot for Dr. Claire Elliot to shelter her adolescent son, Noah, from the distractions of the big city and the lingering memory of his father's death. But with the first snap of winter comes shocking news that puts her practise on the line: a teenage boy under her care has committed an appalling act of violence. And as Claire and all of Tranquility soon discover, it is just the start of a chain of lethal outbursts among the town's teenagers.

As the rash of disturbing behavior grows, Claire uncovers a horrifying secret: this is not the first time it has happened. Twice a century,the children of Tranquility lash out with deadly violence. Claire suspects that there is a biological cause for the epidemic, and she fears that the placid Locust Lake may conceal an insidious danger. As she races to save Tranquility -- and her son -- from harm, Claire discovers an even greater threat: a shocking conspiracy to manipulate nature, and turn innocents to slaughter.

There are also lots of nonfiction books that give a good working idea of what it is to work for the CDC, but the one that seems to stand out in reviews and ratings is The Hot Zone.

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

That's all for now, if you know of more books that fit leave a comment. Happy tv watching and book reading!

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