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text 2017-01-29 04:58
The Beast Beneath
Kraken Rising: Alex Hunter 6 - Greig Beck

Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, goes back to Antarctica, or at least, beneath it, and faces an old menace. And we, the readers, are along for the ride. This book is as much horror as action. I have always thought as the polar ice caps melt, something will be revealed that we may not want unleashed in the modern world. Pathogens that could wipe out humanity. This book touches on these fears, both at a macro and micro level. The world beneath Antarctica as a whole seemed out to get to the explorers. There are moments in this book that made my skin crawl and made me wince. I didn't read this before bed, but I can imagine it might have given me some night terrors. I do admit to a phobia about infection and pathogenesis.

Alex is a complex character. As much a hero as a man on the brink of psychosis. He received a treatment that saved his life and made him a super-soldier, but has also awakened an Other inside of him that is basically a deranged psychopathic killer. It takes an incredible amount of effort to Alex to surpress that part of himself. Alex had to leave behind his loved ones, including Aimee his ex-lover and the child they made together. But he will have to come out of the dark when they are both in danger.

But a huge problem is that China and United States may start a global thermonuclear war because of the conflict arising from their altercations at the South Pole and a lost US submarine. In order to neutralize this conflict, Alex has to go find that sub. The sub search will put them in the crosshairs of an ancient and powerful beast, a creature of biblical fame, and a species that has adapted over millions of years to its sub-oceanic/sub-Antarctica environment.

This is not the second book in the series, but it's actually fine to read this after Beneath the Dark Ice. Stuff happens in the books before this, but the author does a good job of not letting that be an issue to understanding the events of this book.

The gore factor is fairly high and so is the gross out level. Some of the stuff in this place literally made my skin crawl. I'm a germaphobe, and this has plenty of triggers for folks like me. Like I said, this whole habitat is out to get the humans who trespass. To the environment and its inhabitants, humans are just prey. High body count, so be warned about that as well. I liked all the high tech gadgets. I am not a gun person in real life, but I enjoy reading about hardware in books. There is also plenty of excellent action sequences, of many kinds. Try going man to giant kraken and see how well that turns out for you. Generally not good. And don't think that you can hide from it. Oh no. There's no hiding.

Recommended to readers who like action/adventure with sci-fi horror elements.

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review 2016-12-26 16:55
Fungoid by William Meikle
Fungoid - William Meikle

 

With a pace so rapid it's hard to catch your breath, William Meikle's Fungoid destroys society.

 

Starting with an oily rain and ending with spore-releasing creatures it's hard to describe, mankind is suddenly struggling to survive. Even though that sounds far-fetched here in my review, in this book it is all too real. That could partly be due to Meikle's history as a biologist. I'm not sure where to attribute the credit, but I can verify the science-y bits in Fungoid sounded plausible to me and they didn't bog down the pace with a bunch of big scientific words.

 

There were a lot of characters here for such a short novel, but I found myself invested in them and had no trouble following each one to their destiny. I think the changing points of view were a great way to show all the different aspects of the fungi as well as the experiences of different citizens across the country.

 

Fungoid was a lot of fun and had the fastest pace of anything I've read this year. It moved along and carried this reader right along with it. I may as well have been a spore released from a big fuzzball and blown into the wind for all the control I had putting this book down. Christmas? Who cares? The spores are spreading!

 

Recommended for fans of fast paced, plague spreading, biological menaces!

 

You can get your copy here:Fungoid

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Darkfuse for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2016-11-07 18:11
The Night It Got Out by Patrick James Ryan
The Night It Got Out - Patrick James Ryan

 

 

The Night It Got Out was a fun creature feature!

 

The story is fairly standard as far as these types of stories go. This one has a military slant and I liked that portion of the story the most. I liked the imagination of the author as to how the creature was created and implemented. (That's as much as I can say without spoilers.)

 

Once the creature does get out, (as you might suspect from the title), lots of gory action ensues. These sections were fun, but got rather tiresome after a while. Lots of killing is pretty standard for these types of tales, but there was no real connection for me to most of the characters in this book, so I wasn't pulling for them and I really couldn't care less.

 

I thought the end of the story was well done, but The Night It Got Out didn't add anything new to creature features or the horror genre, in general, and for that reason I gave it 3 stars.

 

It was fun and fast paced, with a good ending so your mileage may vary.

 

You can buy your copy here: The Night It Got Out

 

*I received a free e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2016-10-28 22:05
Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, Full Cast Production
Alien: Out of the Shadows - Andrea Deck,Kathryn Drysdale,Ishmael "Mac"mcdonald,Corey Johnson,Rutger Hauer,Matthew Gregory Lewis,Tim Lebbon,Laurel Lefkow,Dirk Maggs

This was a full cast production offered for free at Audible and I enjoyed it!

 

You do need to set aside every movie in this series after the original and that puts some constraints on the author who has to work within those guidelines.

 

I'm not sure this would have worked as well for me in book form as it did in audio. The actress doing Ripley's voice was dead on, and Rutger Hauer as Ash's voice was also perfect.

 

Combined with the sound effects of the various ship functions, this production was a lot of fun to listen to: especially for free. 

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review 2016-09-25 19:50
Bats by William Johnstone
Bats - William W. Johnstone

Bats is a re-release:it originally flew free back in the 90's and that's one of my favorite periods for the horror genre, so I requested it from Net Galley right away. I'm sad to report that I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

 

You can probably guess from the title that this is a creature feature, so you know going in that's it's most likely not going to be a literary classic. (Which was fine with me, sometimes that's exactly what I want.) However, I do expect the writing to be of a certain quality, and I'm not talking Cormac McCarthy level here, but I wouldn't think that a James Herbert level would be unrealistic. Unfortunately, I don't think the Herbert level was reached here.

 

That aside, the story itself was a lot of fun. Most especially because these weren't just normal bats, they were mutants. Incredibly large with huge fangs, they were also capable of immense intelligence. That's all I can say, because this is where all the fun of the book is and you should read it for yourself. One thing that bothered me in the narrative itself, was the repetitiveness of "stupid people deserve what they get" mantra. Alright, we get it, they're too stupid too live. Move on.

 

Overall, Bats did deliver on the FUN its cover promised, but the writing itself and repetitive nature of a few viewpoints soured me on the book as a whole.

 

*Thanks to Kensington/Lyrical Underground and Net Galley for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review! This is it.*

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