Immunity by Erin Bowman (Book Review)

Immunity by Erin Bowman Book Cover

Book Blurb:

Survivors of a deadly planetary outbreak take on a new, sinister adversary in the white-knuckle sequel to Contagion, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman called “gripping, thrilling and terrifying in equal measures.”

They thought their nightmare was over, but Thea, Coen, and Nova’s rescue was only the beginning. After being imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety, it’s clear that the threat they left behind isn’t as distant as they’d hoped—and this time the entire galaxy is at risk.

Now that threat is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare. To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, the survivors must harness the evil they faced on the planet Achlys and learn to wield the only weapon they have left: themselves.

The first installment in Erin Bowman’s duology earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called the plot “intricate and action-packed,” and fans of Jonathan Maberry, Rick Yancey, and Madeline Roux will relish in Bowman’s tense, high-stakes conclusion to the events of Contagion.


Tags: Sci-fi, YA, War, Virus, Survival, Action, Romance


My thoughts banner

(I voluntarily requested this book and, thanks to HarperTeen and The Fantastic Flying Book Club, I received a free e-copy in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.)

Well, that was annoying. When I found the blog tour sign-up for the sequel to Contagion by Erin Bowman I immediately shared it to Kaleena on Reader Voracious, knowing how much she loved it, and signed myself up, too. I was elated when we both got in but I never anticipated this happening. ‘This’ being the fact that Immunity, the sequel, felt like an almost entirely different book. Girl, I signed up for Immunity expecting the thrilling rush and bits of spookiness found in Contagion but you gave me none of that. I was so bummed out about this that I decided I couldn’t post my review during the tour.

It’s not that Immunity is a bad book, if not for the inconsistency of the themes it’d actually be a smart and well-plotted story, but you can’t disregard this massive change in focus when this is a series we’re talking about. People who read Game of Thrones for its unflinchingly easy killing of major characters will be disappointed when the next books depict all the well-loved characters lived happily ever after, right?

Let’s just put it this way, if you’re expecting the same thrills and spooky factors in Contagion then you’re going to be very much disappointed, but if you love politics and action then you’ll enjoy Immunity.

There were plenty of escape plots and close-calls which improved my reading experience. Another notable change in this sequel is its romance development. It’s funny because I absolutely love and look for romance in almost anything I read and yet I did not take to it in Immunity. I’m surmising that this takes us back to my expectations of the book; I was not anticipating any romance.

Aside from those, this was a fine piece of work. The plot was never lacking in danger and was pretty tight. Pacing was fairly fast and the characters stood out. Their courage, ingenuity and tenacity are to be commended. I was appreciative of how Erin Bowman kept them in character, each individual reacting to situations in their own way instead of being indistinguishable. The stakes were high so you are always kept on your toes, waiting to see how the characters would get out of the situation.

Another thing that I love about Bowman’s books is that they bring up deep stuff and is a great starter for discussion. For e.g., in Immunity, the idea of reading each other’s thoughts is brought to life, shedding light on its benefits and unexpected downsides. I’m of the opinion that reading people’s thoughts is overrated and can have detrimental effects on society.

Immunity was well-written and quick-paced, intelligent and exciting but—you probably know what’s coming—the overall theme felt noticeably different from the first book, focusing more on the warring planets, romance, escaping imprisonment and the effects of being a host to the contagion, with none of the thrilling spookiness of the previous book. I don’t even know why it’s got the genre ‘horror’ listed. While it had some scenes of infected humans, it was a case of ‘too little, too late’.

Review end banner

Parental Guidance: 13+
Violence – Quite a bit but not overboard. There’s blood, torture, stabbing, shooting and other general violence
Sex – Sexual tension between two characters
Religion – No
Profanity – Scattered throughout but not to the extreme

Recommended for: Readers who enjoy plots focusing on politics in a galactic environment with a fair amount of action. Those who enjoy stories that bandy about interesting and deep topics.

Grab this now on: Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

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