Published: June 2021
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋/5
It’s the year 2025, in Glasgow Scotland a male patient comes into the A&E department where Dr Amanda Maclean is working. He comes in with some flu-like symptoms and within a couple of hours he is dead. Over the next few days more men show up to the A&E with the same symptoms and all of them die. Amanda discovers that this unidentified deadly virus is only affecting men. She has never seen anything like it. Of course, she tries to warn the health departments and CDC, but no one listens to her. By the time she is taken seriously, it’s too late. The virus spreads beyond the borders of Scotland and becomes a global pandemic. Highly infectious and extremely lethal. With all the men dying, women are the only hope and it is up to them to find a solution.
Reading about a global pandemic during an actual pandemic is crazy. In the introduction, the author says that when she started writing this book, she never could have imagined that by the time it was released that we would be in the midst of a global pandemic itself so the fact that this is in no way based on our current situation makes it even more interesting.
“That’s the key thing that’s allowing it to spread so fast. When half of the population is walking around symptomless, carrying and spreading the virus, you’re in trouble. And we are.“
There is an overwhelming impact on the lives of everyone no matter what their status in society. It impacts their healthcare systems. Families lose several members in the span of days and there is a rush to find a vaccine as well as the major impact on the economy. The virus is extremely contagious, only affects men and has about a 3% survival rate, I’m glad that this is far from where we are at the moment. There’s nowhere to run and hide and women lose husbands, sons, parents, brothers all within a matter of days to weeks and it’s absolutely devastating. Some are left completely alone. Once again, women are at the forefront and we get to read about the different perspectives of different women in different parts of the world.
Women are the hosts and only men show symptoms and because men are dying at such a rapid pace, the economy starts to collapse and riots break out. Women are left to carry the burden and make sure things can still run. I like that there are little details that you wouldn’t even think about initially. The survival of the human race is threatened due to the low number of men surviving. The world starts to face food shortages and with half of the population dead, the other half have to pick up the slack.
Initially when I saw the title, I expected to read about a virus affecting men, but this is not confined to only grown men, any person with male DNA is vulnerable including young children and new born babies.
I find it easy to read about books that have a bit of a medical perspective, but honestly anyone can read and enjoy this book. I loved how fast paced it is. I also didn’t feel like it was overly dramatized. My only issue is that there are a lot of different POVs and sometimes this can get a bit confusing. We have the first doctor Amanda, who identified that there was a highly contagious virus affecting men, then we have a woman from the CDC, British Intelligence services, the head of virology in Toronto, a social anthropologist and a couple more characters that we read about in the book.
This is a debut you definitely want to get your hands on and I can say without a doubt that I will jump at the chance to read more of this author’s book in the future!
Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.