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Uncaged - a Review
Uncaged, written by Paul McKellips, is a story that will paralyze you with fear. What makes it so scary? The possibility that it could really happen. This book, propelled forward more by the plot than by the characters, shows the buildup of a terrifying act of bioterrorism. Some of the first part of it reads just a bit slow and I wasn't sure exactly where it was going, but it was still good. The book becomes extremely hard to put down, though, when the plague, the Angel of Death, is released.
Medical terrorism is a big focus of this book, but animal research is as well. It brings up a few questions about it. Is it really necessary? Do we have the technology to conduct the experiments that contribute so much to the medical field without injecting animals with deadly viruses and killing them? The plan that these terrorists have begin with shutting down all of the animal research facilities in the United States.
The Animal Liberation Front Underground (ALFU) is demanding that all animal research is stopped, that the killing of all animals for any reason is stopped, that everyone in the United States become vegans. They are going to set off a bomb a day until this is done. Animal researchers and animal research facilities are being blown up. What animals do they want freed? All animals – from Shamu the killer whale that performs at Sea World to any dog confined by a fence or a leash to the mice, rats, and other animals being used for study by scientists. Airlines begin to refuse transport for animals that are going to be used in biomedical research or for lab animal breeding.
Next, the ALFU poisons the beef supply with E. coli in order to force people to quit eating meat. What better way to stop people from eating meat than to poison it? Is this all that the terrorists want to do? Do they just want to force everyone to free the animals and become vegans? Or is something more sinister at work in the background?
All the while, they are unleashing a virus, a deadly combination of the bubonic plague and ebola. This is aptly named Malak al-Maut, translated as the Angel of Death. Infected rats are set loose on ships. Once the military figures out what is being done, their first thought is to destroy the rats carrying the virus, then they realize it isn't the rats they have to worry about – it is the fleas that bite the rats then hop onto others. The fleas spread the disease, not the rats. The next being, animal or human, that is bitten will get the deadly virus. Once a person is infected, he will be dead within 7 hours. And the research facilities are now shut down. What will happen now? To find out how, or if, this crisis is averted, you will have to read the book.
Are we in the United States, or any other nation, prepared to face an attack of this nature? How would we respond to a pandemic like this? The epilogue of the book makes the story even more terrifying. In it, newspaper accounts are given of things that occurred around the time Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. The entire world was focused on the transition of power from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, so these stories didn't attract much attention. Maybe they should have. I found the epilogue most frightening of all.
I purchased my own copy of this thriller from Amazon. Below is a link if you would like to purchase your own copy.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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