Pathological by Jinkang Wang is a story following scientist Mei Yin, a Chinese orphan with adoptive American parents, who has her own research institute, gets married and at the same time is researching a deadly virus that is called Satan’s gift to find cure. On the other side we have Zia Baj who has acces to the same virus but instead wants to use it for terrorism. This is a mini version of the synopsis and this sounds like an amazing story. Alas, that’s not what the story actually is.
STORY & CHARACTERS
We mainly follow Mei Yin throughout her life right from her initial chapter where she’s getting access to the virus and till the end, or almost the end, I DNFed it at around 80%,
where she’s meeting up with someone she loves, sort of. Since we are mostly following Mei Yin we get to see most of the things she does though when we do go to someone else’s POV there’s something that MEI YIN does that is meant to be surprising or shocking.
As a character, Mei Yin is the most boring person I have ever met. I don’t think she has a personality to speak of and I didn’t really buy her motives or her feelings. I’m not sure if she actually has any feelings. If, at the most important moment in her life, she’d dropped dead, I don’t think I would have been affected. She really isn’t easy to relate to or are about. The other characters, especially one of the orphan girls, is a much more compelling character and I do wish the author had written Mei Yin with as much heart as she’d written this girl.
The writing was what I had the biggest problem with. I expected this to be a little more thrilling, like a mix of Dan Brown and a nerve racking medical thriller but it felt more like an impersonal biography style than anything else. Cold, that’s the word for it. The writing was cold and uncaring and I honestly didn’t care about what happened when or who did what. Yes I wanted to give it a fair shot so I kept going back to it and trudging through but I just don’t think this book is for me. As another reviewer said, the prose is clunky and inelegant.
On the plus side it seems like the author has put in a tremendous amount of research into this book. The amount of medical explanations and geographical descriptions were awe inspiring and I take my hat off to her for that. In conclusion, read for the science, skip for the writing.
Since I don’t have anything good to say I’ll keep this review short. I won’t be reading any other books by this author because I don’t think this is the style of writing that I’m looking for from my scientific or medical thrillers.
On the surface, the life of young scientist Mei Yin seems perfect. She runs her own research institute in China, she’s getting married, and she founded an orphanage that helps hundreds of girls. But Mei Yin has a dark secret—three vials of “Satan’s gift,” a deadly smallpox virus left over from Russian scientific research conducted during the Cold War. She’s determined to find a vaccine, even if that means endangering those she holds dear.
Zia Baj, a terrorist educated in the West, has also obtained Satan’s gift. But he’s not looking for a cure—instead, he plans to exact revenge and start a war. So he unleashes the virus in an American classroom. At the same time, thousands of miles away, the children of Mei Yin’s orphanage fall ill. Soon authorities realize that this is no ordinary outbreak: it’s the start of an epidemic. How are the two cases linked? And can a worldwide pandemic be stopped?
From award-winning Chinese author Wang Jinkang comes a terrifying look at the future of war.
*I received a copy for review on Netgalley, opinions expressed are my own.