Review – Pestilence – Craig A McDonough

mcdonough-craig-pestilenceCraig A. McDonough’s Pestilence: The Infection Begins is a book about a vampiric disease.

Grace Delaney, a member of the United States Center for Disease control is sent to Des Moines, Iowa to begin inoculations of a Baltic Flu vaccine. Things go horribly wrong and she soon finds herself in the midst of a vampiric nightmare. As she tries to escape the hospital and save her own life, she realizes that maybe those that she’s supposed to trust most are the same people who have gotten her into this position.

I’m giving this book a 1/10. I’m saying that up front in case you’re in a hurry and just want to know whether or not you should read this book. I’m not going to say, “read it” or “don’t read it,” but I am going to give the book a 1/10.

I’ve put off writing this review for several days because I’ve been trying to find something positive to say about the book. I haven’t really thought of anything.

The plot was almost good. Almost. Maybe if the political rhetoric wasn’t being shoved down my throat so aggressively? Maybe? I’m okay with reading a book that speaks out against vaccines, but it was executed poorly in Pestilence. I wasn’t reading a story with underlying rhetoric; I was reading rhetoric with an underlying story.

The characters were not almost good. The characters were bland and unrealistic, and their persistent lustfulness felt unnecessary, inappropriate and immature. I haven’t personally been in a vampire virus outbreak, but I don’t think my observations would focus on breasts and bodies in the midst of one. Yet that seems to be the forefront of everyone’s mind in this book.

To continue that train of thought, the language was vulgar. I understand some characters will have vulgar dialogue, but the word “tits” appeared in this book far too many times outside of dialogue for me to be okay with. It made the book feel like something a hormonal sixteen year-old boy would write.

The dialogue itself was one of the most awkward, unrealistic things I’ve ever read. McDonough is an Australian tackling American English, and maybe that’s the problem. I’m American and tackling British English. I get it: it’s tough sometimes. Regardless, the dialogue didn’t work.

LASTLY, the typos, punctuation errors and grammar errors were unbearable, unprofessional and unforgiveable. I’d like to leave it at that, but McDonough complained on his Facebook page about a different reviewer not providing examples of errors. So…


“The guard had noticed their uncomfortable looks when he shone his flashlight on them.” pg. 154/167

“Uh it just these cuffs are hurting my wrists.” pg. 154/167

“…and the more relaxed and confidant the guard was the better his chances.” pg. 155/167

“…Unlike n actress the desperation in her voice wasn’t make believe.” pg. 155/167

“The guard’s head hit the back of the divider and creating a loud hollow sound.” pg 155/167

““Oh my God,” Steve jumped out of his seat. the shots still reverberating within the van.” pg. 156/167

“He didn’t have time to take in all the delights of the Iowa night there was work to do.” pg. 156/167

“…he could smell the grass, now damp from the night air he could see the stars int he sky. he never knew…”  pg. 157/167

“Tilford back by the van heard the conversation an then the shots” pg. 157/167

I cherry picked those from a single chapter. There were more punctuation errors and syntactical errors. There were also countless times that apostrophes were used incorrectly (not in this chapter), and dashes were also used in place of hyphens:

“When they don’t call at a pre–determined time…” pg. 158/167 (Hyphened ‘pre-determined’ for reference.)

The dashes and hyphens issue made the book incredibly challenging to read, since the two punctuations serve different functions.

I probably wouldn’t have even finished this book if I hadn’t been assigned it to review.

Reviewed by Bryce Grant

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