Kill Switch is the latest book in the Jonathan Maberry Joe Ledger series. He is an author that I have on my automatic preorder list, along with Douglas Preston&Lincoln Child duo and James Rollins.
I’ve read pretty much everything that Jonathan Maberry has ever written, including both his Joe Ledger and his related (yet zombie-infested) Rot & Ruin series, and with all the books out there so far, this author doesn’t seem to slow down in the interesting, suspenseful and highly addictive department.
Joe Ledger is famous, feared and loved by friends, while deeply hated by enemies. He is also part and the leader of the DMS, the shadow organization called the Department of Military Sciences, created for one sole purpose: eliminate all enemies of the country, both human and non-human (and that includes mutants, zombies, drones, catastrophic plagues and much more).
In each installment, the terrorists’ creative ideas in coming up with weirder and weirder ways to hurt the country is truly amazing. What Ledger and his Echo team have to go through to stop the malevolent forces intent on destroying the planet is simply incredible.
If you love Lovecraftian horror, then this book will be right up your alley. Here the Cthulhu mythos is right up there with portals to other dimensions, with bioweapons and plain weirdness all around which needed a heavy suspension of disbelief. And yet somehow the story works just the way it is supposed to. The fact that Captain Ledger himself has those moments of ‘wtf’ and ‘I can’t believe this’ makes easier to just go along with it. And boy once you do, the ride is simply crazy.
The action did start a bit slower than in previous books, building up slowly, but once it got there, the edge of your seat moments were right there one next to the other. I did figure out relatively early on who the real bad guy/evil mastermind was, maybe because the author was trying too hard to hide him from us. Joe Ledger took his time in figuring him out though, and I felt at times like ‘hurry up, can’t you see it’s THAT person?’.
There is a sort of a side-story involving Prospero, probably the most intelligent person on Earth, which really kept my attention going. The mystery around him was delicious. And the way things played out at the end, I found it highly rewarding, although I’m eagerly awaiting the next Joe Ledger book to see how the scars (emotional and otherwise) the main players got in Kill Switch will affect them in the future.
The characters are really fun to read about, and I love the dialogue, the fun banter, and I had plenty of chuckling moments throughout the book. These moments have a way of defusing the otherwise intense tension the characters have to deal with overall, so they’re very welcome. And they’re also one of the highlights of each book for me.
It is said that each book can be read on its own, however having read all Joe Ledger books so far, I do recommend you read them in order starting from Patient Zero. The way the team gels together, their interaction and growth are palpable from book to book. You will be missing out on a lot of backstories (albeit the author gives quite a lot of background info in every new book) if you do.
Overall Kill Switch is a favorite in the series, although I can honestly say I loved all 8 published books so far. The level of entertainment you get from these books is seriously great.