Publisher: LJS&S Publishing; 13 May 2011
ISBN 10: 0966761227
ISBN 13: 9780966761221
Copy: Provided by Publisher
Synopsis: "A biological crisis of epic proportions threatens the world. Genetically manufactured creatures, named airwars, attack and kill at random. Despite having captured and sequestered the airwar's creator, a hastily formed world government appears more effective in consolidating power than managing the crisis. Hope emerges when a navy admiral discovers there are individuals born genetically immune to the deadly stings of the creatures. As the "immunes" struggle to protect humanity, they bemoan escalating governmental control. There is, however, one key "immune" with the intelligence and leadership to look beyond the crisis. As the government unfolds its secret plans to end the crisis, the future of humanity may well rest on his shoulders."
Not knowing anything about the author or the book when it reached my doorstep, I had no idea what to expect when I began to read The Immune. The cover is a little campy, but I have to admit I kind of like it. The novel starts out in a rather serene situation until strange floating jellyfish known as Airwars start appearing around the globe. I really enjoyed the build up to the "first contact." We spend some time with our protagonist (later known to the world as "The Immune") and got a feel for the world before everything changes. This also did a great job of setting things up for all of the United Nations changes that rapidly come to become world-wide law.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to The Immune was when chaos begins to spread across the globe and the world seems to change overnight due to a quick acting multi-national group. At times Meisenheimer has some really bleak and dark moments in human history occur. There were a few times where it did not quite hit the mark but still manages to get us to believe in the swift policy changes. Meisenheimer also give you an opportunity to think about national governments and world governing bodies as well as various other political ideas and concepts. He does not browbeat you, but I get the feeling our author has a few libertarian leanings. If fact, I could be wrong as the way in which he presents them is more in the vein of devil's advocate. I really enjoyed it as it got me to thinking about many of the ideas he brought up in the book as they all play a major role in how the world shift when a world-wide crisis occurs without warning.
However, the biggest thrill was how the book loved to use PR or Public Relations to sway the public to either go along with what the government's plans or to single out cells of hold outs who refuse to go with what the UN has deemed required. The propaganda and its uses are interesting and a huge plot point in the book which was nicely done and did a fairly good job of keeping me off-balance.
Through out The Immune, Meisenheimer weaves an intricate tale of characters and events that all build up towards a major ending. Except it was not the ending I was expecting. Just when I thought I knew who and why the Airwars appeared I was stunned to find out I was completely wrong. It is rare to find a book that manages to pull an ace from its sleeve and catch me unawares and I found that I liked it. The book felt a little too predictable and then the rug was pulled out from under me, I liked the fact that I was wrong in my prediction. Once the real conspiracy was uncovered it was resolved a little too quickly but with the big reveal there was very little more to do than deal directly with the new knowledge. However, it would have been nice to have a little bit more of the real cover up as it came from left field and was completely unexpected.
The Immune is a nice change of pace it tells of a world-wide threat that is unexplained, how the governments of the world step in or in most cases get out of the way and, and how people cope with their new realities. It also raises a lot of questions about our world governments, the UN, and the secrets that they keep. Science and genetics are also questioned in the book. I have a feeling that The Immune may escape a lot of readers attention, but it really should not be missed. It just might be the sleeper hit of the year. A book with the same ideas as Heinlein but a bit more in your face and focused on today's current concerns. Recommended.