Pandora's Succession

Pandora's Succession - Russell Brooks *read by Anna, my guest reviewer* Pandora’s Succession, by Russell Brooks, is the story of an extremely dangerous virus called Pandora. The virus has existed for hundreds of years, but only in recent years an organization called The Arms of Ares has modified the virus in order to sell it to terrorists and other groups, to be used as a biological weapon.Ridley Fox, who works for CIA, must stop Ares from releasing the virus onto the black market. His hunt for the virus leads him and a few colleagues across the world, from Chechnya to Africa and all the way to Japan. Along the way Fox finds himself in a lot of dangerous situations as he has more than one enemy who want to see him dead. Luckily Fox is an excellent agent with a past in the Joint Task Force Two (JTF2), Canada’s answer to America’s SEALs. Fox is not afraid to use various firearms and different tricks to get out of the situations alive.In Tokyo the CEO of a medical company, Hexagon Pharmaceuticals, Hideaki Hashimoto, is also the leader of a cult called The Promise. With the help of a drug called Clarity, Hashimoto’s team brain wash young people as they recruit them to the cult. The recruited men and women have a difficult or criminal past where they have brought shame upon themselves or their families. It is the Promise’s intention to release the Pandora virus and kill all the people of the planet. Only the cult members will be saved as they shall live in a bunker while Pandora takes care of the rest of the population. After the Pandora has done its job, the cult members will live a wonderful life together on the “new” planet. Hexagon has been able to modify the Pandora virus so that it only attacks human beings, not animals, as the original virus from the Arms of Ares was designed to do. As Ridley Fox finds out, it is not easy to know who is a friend and who is an enemy. Who can he trust? Or can he trust anyone at all? Personally I found it a little difficult to follow all the double agents and moles in the story. People you thought were on Fox’s side turned out to be bad people and vice versa. Another thing that was difficult for me with the book was the many different names of weapons and helicopters. For example, one of the bad people had a “Px4 Storm Type F Sub-compact Beretta”. That doesn’t tell me anything, except that I know a Beretta is a type of gun. Neither do I know what an AK-74 or an M-11 is. But what it does tell me is that the author has great knowledge about firearms and weapons. The author also has a BS in Biology and it does show in the book. It all seems so realistic.I think Pandora’s Succession is a very good book. Well written and with a high speed and a lot of action. I never got bored reading the book. It was difficult to stop reading once you started. All you wanted to do was to read a few more pages and then a few more pages after that to find out whether Fox would survive the dangerous situation or not.I highly recommend the book for readers who love thrillers and as me, novels about biological weapons, diseases and similar. But at last I need to put in a word of caution: The book contains some very graphic description of what happens to the human body when it is attacked by the virus and how the body looks afterwards. So sensitive readers might want to be prepared for that.