Symptomatic - the conclusion of the Madness Chronicles
The cruise ship Intrepid is just about out of fuel and this forces their hand even though they would prefer to remain far away from land at this point. A nearby island has offered to trade fuel for food, and they claim they have not been affected by the rage virus, but can these islanders actually be trusted? It really doesn't matter because with the number of Parasitics locked up on the ship if they run out of fuel then they will no longer be able to keep them contained. The monitoring of the Parasitics has also revealed some very disturbing behaviors that show they aren't just mindless killers and then of course there are the Symptomatics - infected individuals who are able to hold back the rage from taking control. With few guns on board and threats inside the ship and out it is clear that the situation has reached the breaking point.
This final installment in the Madness Chronicles brings with it a focus on the unique aspects of this outbreak as details about both the Parasitics and Symptomatics are revealed. Both groups have enhanced abilities over normal humans and have become super predators that are far stronger than they were before they were infected. The Parasitics are consumed by their rage and their need to eat human flesh while the Symptomatics are able to keep such urges under control. It is the Symptomatics that are actually the best defense the crew has against the Parasitics but not everyone trusts them and rightfully so. Science and emotions clash as It all builds up to a powder keg of an explosion for the cruise ship and island inhabitants.
This third book was the best of the series and it wraps up the storyline by establishing a new world order before it is all over. Ultimately the series is successful at being unique in a crowded genre but the characters themselves left a lot to be desired and were mostly forgettable. For audiobook fans the entire series is available in a boxed set which makes it a far more compelling value than picking up each book individually since each one is rather short. Gary Tiedemann does a good job on the narration throughout so this is definitely worth a listen.