The Ebola Flight by Shirley Bourrage
Warning: Contains death… and salad bowels.
The Ebola Flight by Shirley Bourrage is an action thriller novella set on, what else, a plane. On flight 1313 from France to the United States, a mutated strand of the Ebola virus is released and it is airborne. With passengers becoming infected at an exponential rate, will the plane ever reach it’s destination? And if it does, will anyone still be alive?
I’m going to be blunt here; there was nothing redeeming about this novella.
For a novella of just a little over 60 pages, there were a lot of problems with the writing. The biggest issue was in the syntax, the awkward phrasing and lack of any flow. There were grammatical issues, punctuation problems, and a very unfortunate image created by ‘salad bowels’.
The dialogue… it was stilted at best and unbelievable the rest of the time. Nothing sounded natural and there was nothing to distinguish one character from any of the others.
As for the characters, there were too many for such a short piece. Although the novella takes place on a plane of 400 passengers, there are over two dozen introduced, some only for a quick word, and I could not begin to tell you who was who. With a novella this short, it was impossible to find depth in any character and that took a lot away from the ‘thriller’ aspect as I didn’t connect and, therefore, did not experience their terror. It was all very superficial and the author, Shirley Bourrage, would have been better off picking one or even a half dozen characters and allowing them to develop the story.
The plot, while one of my favourites (I love a good virus outbreak thriller), was not believable or well developed. Assumingly, there are protocols for these types of things, but it does not look like Bourrage did much, if any, research into them. There is also a suggestion of some nefarious plot, but there was no real development into it. By the end, I was left with more questions than I started.
Who released the virus? What happens to the passengers? Were any saved? Were they able to find a cure? Can you make a hazmat suit with just a bit of plastic? What’s really in Area 51?
To conclude, I would definitely suggest this novella get another rewrite or two. Characters need to be developed, the plot needs to be researched, the writing and dialogue need to be heavily edited, and please remove the salad bowels!
Entertainment Value: 0.5/5
Average Overall Rating: 0.67/5
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