It takes a lot to get a five star rating out of me. To earn one, the book needs to have been crafted by an author at the peak of their craft with an original and credible plot, characters who quickly take on a reality and humanity and the overall ability to sweep you away into the journey so that you just must keep reading.
Mr Riddle's recent books have been good and ever improving. With "Departure" he moved for me from very good author to gifted status. With "Pandemic" however, he joins the ranks of the truly great and leaves such luminaries as Dan Brown, Clive Cussler and Matthew Reilly floundering in his wake.
I have not been paid for this review nor was I supplied a reader's copy by the Publisher. I paid my own good money out of the limited funds my Disability Pension provides me and regret not one cent spent. It was a real pleasure to see Riddle breathe such new and exciting brilliance to a trope which has been oft visited , usually in a far less polished manner it must be said, and I have no hesitation in speaking of his novel in the same glowing terms I would normally reserve for Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain"; one of my all time favourites of the trope.
Full credit should be given as well to the narrator of the Audible version; he brings both story and characters to life perfectly, managing to even create acceptable Australian accents - a very touchy point for we Aussies who usually don't know whether to laugh or cry at the way our speech is mangled.
Although my eyesight is so poor I cannot read it, I have already purchased the second volume of the Extinction Files, "Genome" in the hope that it's Audible version will soon be available ...... and with prayers that the same narrator is available.
Bravo Mr Riddle, and thank you from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia!