Review: Redzone (Mutant Files #2) by William C. Dietz

August 1, 2015 Review 0

Review:  Redzone (Mutant Files #2) by William C. DietzRedzone by William C. Dietz
Series: Mutant Files, #2
Published by Ace on July 28, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Thrillers
Format: eBook
Pages: 304 pages
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: sex scenes
Reviewed by: Kristina
2 Stars

The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels returns to his dark mutant world, where Police Detective Cassandra Lee is on the trail of a brutal murderer…

The year is 2065, almost thirty years since a bioterrorist attack decimated the population. The world has been divided, and new nations have formed. Those mutated from exposure inhabit the red zones, while “norms” live in the green zones.

In the nation of Pacifica, Los Angeles detective Cassandra Lee is in charge of investigating a disturbing case, tracking a cop killer dubbed the Bonebreaker. But strange new murders have occurred, falling outside the normal pattern and leaving Lee and her team wondering if the serial killer has become unpredictable—or if he’s no longer acting alone…

To make matters worse, Lee’s attention is diverted after she receives a letter from her long-lost mother. Now she must venture into the red zone, a lawless land where might makes right—and where the biggest danger may be her own family.

REDZONE came off as really confused as to what genre it wanted to be. For the longest time it felt like I was reading a police procedural and a one that was at times confusing and slow. There were some hints about mutants and a disease being passed around in world and these mutants are put in redzones for everyone's protection. When Cassandra does eventually go to a redzone it felt like a massive detour from the Bonebreaker serial killer plot of the police procedural section. The two parts didn't connect and both plots were pretty interesting in themselves. The redzone plot was a family drama involving inheritance, betrayal, and great family revelations. The police procedural part was a interesting thriller involving a cat and mouse game between Cassandra and the Bonebreaker which is a continuation from the previous book. There was no science fiction involved in the Bonebreaker case. No random mutants wandering about protesting at their unfair treatment or the Bonebreaker trying to threaten the general public with contamination of this virus. Only when we actually go to a redzone do we see some future tech and mutants.

Anytime a mutant showed up I got excited and immediately disappointed as their mutation is described, they say a few words maybe and the scene goes on.  I had so many questions about the mutants and their lives. What are their lives like in the redzones? Do they get subpar medical care?  It's mentioned that there is a hierarchy with mutants who don't have visible mutations being thought of as more normal. The mutants are  treated as background characters or they don't even really seem mutated until their facial features are described. There could have been an interesting commentary or allusion to how the disabled and people with chronic diseases are treated in society.  But no, the mutations seem to be just quirks people have that are only brought up in passing and when the plot thinks it's important.

With an airborne virus such as the flu you can catch it  from someone coughing on you as well as from touching a surface someone with a flu or cold has touched. So, someone sneezes on a counter, you touch the counter and rub your eye, you could possibly catch flu. This mutation in REDZONE is so contagious that any spray of fluid (your breath has small water droplets in it even if you don't cough) immediately causes the mutation. My question is do the mutants have to wear gloves then? These mutants shouldn't even be touching non-mutants since sweat and tears can transfer a virus very easily. See the Ebola virus. I know this is fiction and a fictitious virus but I am confused by such a powerful virus being only transmitted through breath.

The conclusion to REDZONE was really dissatisfying as the part in the redzone just sort of ended once Cassandra left and we were straight back to the Bonebreaker plot which was a bit jarring as there was no mention of this plot thread for quite a good section of the story. REDZONE had some nice ideas that I would have loved to have read more about but it was just all over the place genre-wise and plot-wise for me to really enjoy it.

Series Titles:

1. Deadeye

Similar Titles:
  • For another series by the same author, try the Legion series by William Dietz.
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