Piper Reviews “Infected: Paris” by Andrea Speed
It’s no secret I’m a hardcore fan of the “Infected” series by Andrea Speed. I don’t have a tattoo representing Roan on my wrist for nothing. Without a doubt it’s one of my favorite series out there, and I’m very much in love with all its characters and the world in which they live.
Infected: Paris is a prequel to the series, but it released today, months after the final “Infected” book came out. If you’ve read this series, you might have gone into this book with a mix of dread and anticipation, as I did. I’ll try to avoid spoilers for both it and the series as a whole, but be warned, some milder stuff might slip through.
In this book we get to meet Paris Lehane and see how he met Roan McKichan, who is the main character throughout the series. While working a stalker case with too many suspects and not enough clues, private investigator Roan runs into a homeless man named Paris. Roan’s sense of smell is heightened even by shifter standards, and he can immediately tell that Paris is a fellow “infected.” Unlike Roan, a virus child who was born with the disease, Paris got it from another shifter. Like STDs, the infection can be passed through bodily fluids. There are various shifter strains, but they’re all “big cats.” Tigers, lions, panthers, etc. The deadliest strain by far is the tiger strain. Infected tigers rarely survive for long, if they even last beyond the first shift. In this world, being a shifter is ugly and painful and it’ll eventually kill you. These are not the romanticized shifters some of us have come to expect in paranormal romances. In this universe, there’s nothing glamorous or exciting about it, and infecteds are often treated as pariahs.
Roan can tell Paris is a tiger strain immediately, and by the looks of Paris, Roan knows he probably doesn’t have much time left to live. He gets Paris to a clinic for infecteds to help deal with his shift, so that hopefully Paris survives to see another month. He visits Paris several times while Paris is there, in addition to talking on the phone, and while Paris is fighting the toll his disease has taken on his body, Roan is still investigating his frustrating and seemingly unsolvable stalker case.
Roan and Paris are drawn to each other pretty much from the start. Despite the scraggly facial hair and grime covering him thanks to his life on the streets, Roan sees some of Paris’s physical appeal. More than that, Paris has an undeniable charisma that Roan can’t seem to resist. So, in spite of knowing it’s unwise to get involved with an infected tiger strain, given their high mortality rate, Roan can’t help himself. He and Paris want each other too much—and we as readers know they’re meant to be.
Overall, I loved the story, and I’m immensely grateful to Andrea Speed for giving us more Paris because my love for Paris is renowned. And of course, I’ll never complain about more Roan.
I can admit to a bit of disappointment, though. I was thinking that this book would be mainly in Paris’s point of view; instead, it was mainly Roan’s. And while I understand the inclusion of the stalker case/mystery because it ultimately led to Paris and Roan’s first meeting—and because there’s a mystery in every book—I would’ve liked less focus on the stalker case and more on their developing relationship. I wanted more scenes with them together and maybe a bit more about Paris’s past, especially what he’d gone through since becoming homeless. But that’s just me, and I can admit I’m greedy. 😉
“Infected: Paris” is a great introduction to Paris and Roan’s relationship and to them as a couple—and the series as a whole for people who haven’t read it. I highly recommend it for fans of the series, and if you haven’t dipped a toe into the “Infected” world yet, this would definitely be the ideal place to start. I can’t wait for more in this universe. There’ll be a spin off for Holden, a character introduced in later “Infected” books, which I am really looking forward to.
In the meantime, I’ll probably be rereading all of the Infected books again. I love spending time in this world. Humor, pain, mystery, suspense, action, love, loss, smart-asses, hockey players—this series has all that and then some. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
*Disclaimer: Thanks to Andrea Speed for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.