Variant Effect

The Variant Effect: GreenMourningThe Variant Effect: GreenMourning by G. Wells Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Variant Effect was first seen ‘back in the day.’ It was caused by a drug, Varion, which was put into circulation by Bezo Pharmaceutical. It was thought to be a wonder drug which helped with all types of mental disorders. The problem was that after years of use it built up in the fat tissue of users, this caused them to ‘present’ as feral, skin eating savages. They thought it had been eradicated, they were wrong.

Meet the Players:
Captain Joe Borland is an original member of the variant squads from the first outbreaks. With the resurgence of variant in the community he has been brought out of retirement as a consultant to the new 9 squad. He has lost a lot of friends as well as his own skin to Biters and he does not intend to lose anymore if he can stop it.
Captain Eric Hyde is another member of the original 9 squad and has never really stopped working. Hyde hates Borland because he feels that he is responsible for his condition, the loss of 85% of the skin on his body. His mind was not effected and he is brilliant even with his body ravaged by constant pain. He is now tracking a serial killer while variant runs through the streets and he has to stop him before the full effect takes hold.
Brass is a Bezo executive who is pulling the strings of everyone, particularly those of Borland. He is behind a massive coverup in regards to Varion and what was known about its potential for harm in the population. He is a shady character who has few redeeming qualities.

There is a lot more going here than usual, not only do they have to deal with the Biters but it appears that they are becoming more intelligent than previous encounters. They also have a serial killer taking choice parts off of young men in an attempt to build the perfect body or so they think.

It is a good story that gives you a lot to think about.