The One and Only
by Julia Ash
When bioterrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.
Ruby Spencer plans to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council. With an escalating Extinction Level Infection (ELI), the SWC needs the best minds acutely focused on the fight ahead. Yet motherhood has shifted her priorities. She’s preoccupied with her newborn’s health and safety. So resigning is the right choice.
For her last assignment, the SWC sends Ruby and husband Clay on a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they’ll consult with scientists analyzing the infection. Too bad Lt. Col. Quinton Oxford—the American Consulate’s embittered military attaché, is waiting in the shadows. Because Ox’s plans for the couple are everything but low-risk.
When the Spencers are separated and kidnapped from Taiwan to Moscow, Ruby is thrust into a perverse war game between superpowers, where she’s the prize. Only she doesn’t know why. Or even how her abduction relates to the ELI crisis.
But her connection with Zoonosis Mutated Bacteria is emerging. And the fate of her family, of the world, awaits her next move.
It’s the year 2032. Ruby was able to survive a extinction level infection because her blood was somehow immune. She was the only one to survive the first wave of infection. Now, the Special War Council has requested her to go on a mission to investigate a newly morphed bacteria. This last mission should be simple and low risk, almost like a honeymoon for her and her husband Clay. They shouldn’t have to be there long–maybe a week–and this can finally be over. They head to Taiwan to investigate the zombie infection, including the person responsible for it. Her plans are to retire from the Special Warfare Council when she gets back so she can concentrate on raising her child, but something goes wrong while they’re there. The problem is that Ruby has something everyone wants and they’re all willing to fight for it. What is it that they want, and is there anyone in the world Ruby can trust anymore?
Flipping through the book at first, I was a little nervous thinking it might be too stuffy for me, but it wasn’t at all. I was pulled in from the first chapter. I found the writing to be extremely detailed with imagery in my mind throughout of the different characters and places. The zombie descriptions prompted me to think of two of my favorite movies, World War Z and I Am Legend. I pictured the zombies from these films in my mind with their chattering teeth, dark eyes, and aggressive behavior. This made the book feel even creepier. Plus, the story is interesting, fast-paced, twisty, and a fairly quick read.
The characters were well-developed. Ruby, the heroine, is extremely courageous and an awesome female lead. She wants to do her duty for mankind, but she’s caught between that and being a mother. She wants to keep her daughter Gabby safe, which is now her main priority. I totally connected and sympathized with her. Her husband Clay was a good character, supportive, but Ruby was definitely my ‘one and only’. I also liked Ox, believe it or not. He’s a highly-decorated military attaché willing to do anything for his country. He’s also the type of character you love to hate and perfect for this story. You honestly can’t trust any of the characters in the book though. Be prepared for some surprises!
For the ending, it truly shocked me and I didn’t see it coming. What a twist! At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but it actually works and definitely sets the stage for book two.
I haven’t read many post-apocalyptic books like this one–none pertaining to zombies and bioterrorism anyway. Overall, this was a great read. I can totally see this book adapted to film. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next book.
- Series: The ELI Chronicles (Book 1)
- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Julia Ash (April 24, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1732081611
- ISBN-13: 978-1732081611
About the author:
Julia Ash’s favorite books are contemporary or near-future which push into the imagined, and her debut novel THE ONE AND ONLY lands squarely in that sweet-spot. Like the books she reads and writes, she mirrors the melding of extremes in her personal life. While the bulk of her career was spent working in public relations for a school system–focused on facts and information, she grew up in a historical home–haunted by the paranormal. She currently lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, near the ocean, and belongs to a hunting-and-fishing club in the Pocono Mountains.
Thanks for reading my review of The One and Only. Have you read this book? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.