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Five ordinary lives terrorized by war and disease...but the greatest danger comes from within.Modest professor Ben Appelstein and four gifted students receive the opportunity of a lifetime—to join the first archaeological expedition in postwar Iraq. But their promising futures are cruelly shattered by a bloody Islamic insurgency that threatens to destroy everyone it touches.The survivors escape one chaotic maelstrom only to discover they unwittingly unlocked another, as humanity itself is imperiled by a horrific new affliction that ravages man’s most vulnerable organ—the mind. Now the friends responsible for unleashing the plague find themselves at the forefront of the struggle, and experience their ultimate trial at the conclusion of one fateful summer.10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist"[A]t once a fierce academic thriller and a powerful meditation on humanity... A striking, powerful debut that heralds the start of a promising career."—Kirkus ReviewsQ&A with the Author:Q: PWG is a long book, particularly for a debut novel. What was behind this decision?A: I wanted to write something on the grandest scale I could think of—the existence of the human species as we know it. At the same time, Ive always liked stories about regular people who rise up from their everyday trials to face extraordinary challenges.I felt that I couldnt just jump right into "humanity is on the brink." I thought it would be more meaningful to see how individual lives would be impacted by a terrifying pandemic, which required showing those regular, everyday lives before events overtake them and turn everything upside-down.(Partial Spoilers)Q: The use of speech errors in dialogue is somewhat jarring for those of us who have an inner editor. What was the thought behind this, and are you concerned that the book will appear to have errors that might turn off some readers?A: I can see how it could be confusing, but hopefully it is not overused in the book. Having difficulty with language as an early sign of the disease was used as a realistic symptom that could result from an affliction that rewires the brain and as a tip to an observant reader that a character is beginning to be affected.Q: Those infected by the Eden virus are compared to zombies by some readers. Was that the intent?A: No, the intent was to compare the infected to animals. More specifically, to predatory animals. In fact, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle references to human beings as animals throughout the book, even without the plague. Our limited ability to control our carnal and violent impulses is a recurring theme. The disease as a mental illness only exacerbates this condition.Q: Will there be a sequel?A: Who can predict the future?