Kingdom of Needle and Bone

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Subterranean Press, 2018 - Anti-vaccination movement - 128 pages
"It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it's too late: Morris's disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop. For Dr. Isabella Gauley, whose niece was the first confirmed victim, the route forward is neither clear nor strictly ethical, but it may be the only way to save a world already in crisis. It may be the only way to atone for her part in everything that's happened."--Publisher's description.

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I really, really want to like this story, and in many ways I do. As is always the case with Mira Grant's science fiction the actual science is thorough and compelling. The explanations of measles and related effects are both accurate and chilling, which serves well as a giant warning exactly what this story preaches. Ultimately the exploration of the aftermath feels shallow, more reflecting the choice to present this as a novella instead of a fully fleshed novel. I couldn't help but think I was only getting an overview, even of the science. This extended to the conclusion of the story, as well, which left me more unsatisfied and less unsettled. After being pushed repeatedly to let things lie until later, the end comes abruptly and without resolving some of the issues being pushed aside. Ultimately this is a shame. Finishing the story, fleshing out the world, could have resulted in something amazing. 

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