“Dark Matter: Contagion” by Teri Terry (2017) Review

It’s very easy to associate the words ‘contagion’ and ‘epidemic’ with an apocalypse or zombies. Not once did I expect Contagion to go down the lines of ghosts and superpowers (although perhaps I am exaggerating a little bit). Unlike the idea of an epidemic bringing humans back from the dead, Contagion opts to experiment with the survivors and what strange new abilities they get. In turn, a new approach to the genre is born in an exciting tale of thrills, drama and romance.

Contagion is told from the two perspectives of Shay and Callie who form an unlikely friendship due to unforeseen circumstances (no seriously, it’s not what you’d expect). Shay is the main character and by the end of the novel I felt as though I got to know her the best. Callie on the other hand was in a difficult position to connect with. There were times throughout the novel where I wondered what the purpose of Callie’s perspective was and whether it was going anywhere. By the end, I was starting to understand it a little better but still have my doubts about how it will pan out in the second novel.

Kai is the love interest to Shay and half-brother of Callie. Rather teenage-like and innocent with the flirting and charming guy, Contagion channels the romance found in a typical YA novel but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. It would be nice if romance happened the way it does in books wouldn’t it? But alas then you’d need some dramatic science fiction world change. As fascinating as that would sound, I doubt we’d really want that.

Kai is a likable character, but I think we’ve barely scratched the surface and I’m glad we’ll get to explore his perspective in the next book. I couldn’t help but feel as though he fell into the category of ‘love interest’ and that was a shame.

Short chapters that jumped between Shay and Callie worked great. I loved how it kept the pace fast and the intensity building in various moments. It also kept the story moving and I always appreciate a good pace. I had a sudden epiphany when I realised that the first chunk of the book had ‘hours’ and was counting down to the official moment that the outbreak or ‘contagion’ occurred. This choice in structure was exciting and left me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.

Do I like where the book is going? Yes. There’s still mystery and questions that need answering and that’s exciting. Perhaps there are a few ideas that I could predict or conger up for book two, but none that would distract me from enjoying the story to come.

3.5/5

Book supplied by Hachette NZ – (RRP: $19.99). Click here for details.

An extra little note… The cover photo was created by me with the images sourced online. I don’t claim ownership of the images, I just love to edit.