April 19, 2016
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Can one girl help others find closure by slipping into the identities of their loved ones? Find out in this riveting sequel to The Remedy and companion to the New York Times bestselling The Treatment and The Program.The Epidemic is the second prequel of the Program series, following The Remedy. The Remedy and The Epidemic can be read before or after The Program and The Treatment.
In a world before The Program Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer, a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself to do so. But she couldn’t have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world.
The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon’s been keeping secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who’s been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur’s daughter, Virginia, who tells Quinn the truth about Pritchard’s motives. The former closer will start to see that she is the first step in fighting an epidemic.
But Quinlan doesn’t want to be a cure. And with all the lies surrounding her, she realizes she has no one left to rely on but herself, even if she doesn’t know who that is anymore.
The first prequel book, The Remedy, introduced us to closers, who they are and what they do; we met Quinn, Deacon, Aaron, Myra, Marie and Dr McKee. We saw how being a closer worked, what the process intended, how it was conducted, how society viewed closers and what it all meant for Quinn, Deacon and others. Now, it's time to work more on connecting the world with closers to that with the Program.
Quinn thought that the lies she'd unearthed in The Remedy brought everything into question - her identity, her past, her family, even Deacon. As The Epidemic starts, though, there are even more questions, only a few answers and most of them very unsettling.
When we do see how it goes from closers, those beliefs and practices to the Program and that methodology and those beliefs, it seems almost sudden. At the same time that it felt like there should have been more steps, more to connect a to b, it was obvious that there couldn't have been. Especially, if you've already read The Program and The Treatment the reasoning and emotion behind the transition make sense. A long, thought out, drawn out, move from one to the other wouldn't have fit.
While I now know how things got to be the way they were in The Program (something I wondered many times while reading it), it doesn't make me feel any better about it.
Quinn is the perfect character to be at the center of these prequel books. Who she is - whether she she thinks she knows who that is or not - her past, her relationships what she'll do to find the truth and keep herself safe, is just right for all that happens. Deacon and his secrets, his love for Quinn and how he approaches the same situations make them a great pair.
This does a perfect job explaining how the world of the Program came to be. I am happy, though, that I read them after the fact. I think knowing more of what was to come for Sloane and James would have broken me (oh how I love, love them). Both pairs (of characters and books) certainly give you a lot to think about, long after you've finished reading.
Now, I have to go back to The Program and The Treatment and see which characters I now know more about!
#0.5 The Remedy
#0.6 The Epidemic
#1 The Program
#2 The Treatment
#2.5 "The Recovery"
received for review from publisher, via Edelweiss