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Contagion: Dark Matter #1    by Teri Terry order for
by Teri Terry
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Teri Terry's Contagion (first in the Dark Matter trilogy) starts with horrific experimentation on a twelve-year-old child, Callie, at the Shetland Institute in Scotland. What remains of her breaks free, and an epidemic sweeps the country.

Meanwhile, readers meet Shay, who hears of Callie's disappearance and recalls seeing her near Shay's home, being led into a car by a man. She contacts Callie's older brother Kai and they seek to learn Callie's fate together. What follows is a race against extinction. As the disease spreads and countless die, Shay and Kai seek to understand its origins.

They themselves are hunted by a Special Alternatives Regiment after Shay becomes one of the few survivors of the illness, and is changed by it. She seeks to understand her new powers, which frighten others, including Kai. Shay and Kai interview Callie's stepfather, Dr. Cross, a theoretical physicist with a relationship to Shay as well. They make contact of a sort with Callie.

Towards the end, Shay wonders if she herself is a Typhoid Mary. There are so many questions and most are left unanswered in the first, very fast moving episode. It ends on a cliffhanger that will leave readers (including me) very curious about what comes next.

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