Contagion is a Sci-fi, Horror book by Erin Bowman, published in 2018. It is set in the future, where humans have colonized other planets. The book is centered around a small rescue crew sent to a drilling station on an uninhabited planet after receiving a distress call. 

          The book does a great job with character work. Each member is well-defined, and easily distinguishable from one another. Each one has personalities that clash with each other, and their interactions do a great job of showing this. It makes sense for a character who’s prideful in nature, and believes leaving or calling for help is cowardly, would clash with another character that feels that they need to leave, or call for help immediately. The characters remain consistent with their personalities.

          This is not a book that immediately gets into the action. While it isn’t slow-paced, the story does take quite a number of pages to get going. The first fifty or so pages are dedicated to introducing the characters, showing their personalities and how they think of the world and each other.

          It works well. When they arrive at the drilling station, they find dead bodies, and spend a bit of time trying to figure out what’s going on. The author spends time establishing her characters. The fifty or so pages the crew spend searching around the station, trying to find clues as to what happened, adds mystery to the situation. It makes it suspenseful, and has us wonder what could have happened there. We’re left waiting to see when the crew figures it out.

          The book does a great job with atmosphere. The planet the station is on is described as very rocky and windy, with dangerous storms happening often. Whenever the crew is inside the abandoned stations, the whole place feels very dark and desolate. It feels very sterile and uncomfortable, and I think the author’s use of language and descriptions did a great job of making the atmosphere of such a place feel as real as possible. 

          Horror, the main part of the story, is done very well. The scenes with the infected are super scary, and the way the infected are described, as having hemorrhaged-eyes, bloody noses, and being completely insane, were very detailed and vivid. The scenes with the dead bodies, especially the one where a character has to go down to a large pile of corpses to get a body for an autopsy, was very well-described and horrifying to think about. All in all, the horror is very well-done.

          Although the characters are well-defined, sometimes they can be annoying. The leader of the crew is not the brightest. Often makes poor decisions that lead to someone getting hurt. I also think that characters were overly rude or harsh in their interactions, and that can get really annoying after a while.

          This is a great book that exemplifies the Sci-Fi and Horror genre very well. I would recommend this for people who enjoy movies such as Alien, or Sci-fi movies involving space travel. It won’t necessarily be somebody’s favorite, but anybody who is a fan of sci-fi and horror will definitely enjoy it.