The Han Agent, by Amy Rogers: Book Review

Han Agent review picture Unit_731_-_Complex
Unit 731: the Japanese compound in China where biological warfare experiments were carried out.


Amy Rogers’ new book, The Han Agent, is a fast-moving, suspense-filled thriller. This science fiction novel is, above all else, entertaining. I read through the book in one day–I  had to find out  “what happened”.  The story held my attention because it was well written, and because it honed so closely to reality.  In the tradition of the best science fiction, the book was grounded in facts and took those facts into the realm of imagination.  

Ms. Rogers knows her science, and her history.  She’s a scientist by training, so that wasn’t surprising.  However, her attention to historical detail was surprising, and gratifying.  The accuracy of events referenced in the story made the narrative all the more believable.

The plot is rooted in a biological weapons program carried out by the Japanese in WWII (and pre-WWII) China.  The protagonist is a young scientist, a woman who suffers from a flaw that has afflicted dramatic characters throughout history: hubris.  Suspense arises not only from concern about a deadly biological agent, but also from wondering if the young scientist, on whom so much depends, will resolve her moral dilemma.

The Han Agent is a credible exploration of scientific possibility.  Generally, people think about threats to security coming from a nuclear attack or a dirty bomb.  In The Han Agent, the author suggests a different, perhaps more devastating possibility.  Ms. Rogers creates a universe in which the unthinkable may be realized. 

The Han Agent is a great book.  Readers from various backgrounds and all ages will find it thought-provoking and enjoyable.