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Type B by Steve Mitchell

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bIn this sci-fi thriller, a deadly blood disease wrecks havoc on society. All adults are at risk of succumbing to BARD – with only a single exception: people who have blood type B. Those with the B blood type are immune to the effects of BARD; however, they can be carriers of the disease, which makes them a potential danger to those with whom they come into contact. The story begins with John, who works as a courier at Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. As the death toll rises, John panics and seeks to save the life of his wife Paula (who has blood type A) and his daughter Beth (who has blood type AB). Luckily, his son Peter has the same blood type as him, and the two desperately seek to find a cure. Time is against them, however, as the more and more adults die, leaving hoards of orphaned children with no means of support. Gang violence among children rises, as adults without blood type B become afraid to interact with possible carriers of the disease, isolating John and straining his personal relationships. Once the plot of the book is set up, the chapters go back and forth between John and Peter’s perspective, showing the how the tragedy of the BARD virus affects children and adults.

The book’s strongest chapters focus on Peter and his best friend Ken, as they try to make sense of a world gone mad. Although John’s chapters provide greater context for the BARD disease due to his career, Peter’s chapters provide more pathos to the novel. He’s a 14-year-old kid who understands how the disease works to a certain extent, but the panic that arises due to the death of his friends’ parents and the fear that his mother and younger sister (when she comes of age) will die weigh on his mind. He’s desperate to find control in a situation in a world where there is none – this is where the book truly shines. Meanwhile, John’s chapters felt more expository than thrilling. Had the book been written entirely in Peter’s perspective, this would have been a much stronger thriller.

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