Kronos Rising review

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Goodreads: “Steve refused to surrender. Even though he knew the creature was right behind him, he wouldn’t quit. He would make it. Just as that beacon of hope began to shine down upon him, the bright sun overhead vanished from view. Confused, he gazed wide-eyed as the daylight grew dim. Then he realized the ultimate horror: the creature had overtaken him, its jaws opened wide.”

“He was in its mouth.”

This was a fun book – so fast paced that it was over before I knew it.  I have to admit, the 546 pages was rather intimidating – most stories start to bore me by page 350 so I stopped reading longer books (other than the ones I really liked like Supernaturals (1100+) and The Shining (600+)).

But I decided to give it a go because the cover caught my interest.  Well written and full of interesting tidbits about marine life, I have been glued to it until my eyes started hurting and went blurry.

I enjoyed the book and wonder if the author has written any others that are as good.  I wish more authors wrote this kind of fiction – it is fun and while, yes, a little gory, well worth the effort.  This is one I could see reading again.  I give the book an A+.

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Well, I have nothing bad to say or complain about with this book. I started it at work and finished it last night. It spawned some amusing/scary nightmares which is always the mark of a good creature feature.

The writing was excellent – I had no trouble immersing myself in the story as if I was really there. The squid freaked me out sufficiently as well. Seriously, I don’t know that I will ever swim in blue water. Sharks had me freaked out enough, now I have to worry about squid too. 🙂

This book made it to my top ten for creature features. Great job! I will have to check out what else he has written. I give it an A+

The Totem review

Totem

Goodreads: Slowly, bizarre events grip the tiny mountain community of Potter’s Field, Wyoming. Cattle are mutilated. Animals become savage. Children go insane. Townspeople are found without faces. And one man must confront the evil behind the hideous events, an evil that is all too human and deadly.

Well, well, well.  I finished the book this evening – I couldn’t put it down.  The story reminds me of Dean Koontz’s Midnight thought this story originally came out 10 years earlier.

I have to say I liked Slaughter, the main character and his various band of cohorts.  The story starts out so well – lots of suspense that kept you at the edge of your seat.  I can’t say it was so thick that I was talking to the book – which does happen sometimes in the middle of the night when a character is about to do something irretrievably stupid.

Still, several times I did shake my head at Slaughter’s tendency to just jump in where angels (and animals) feared to tread.  I am a big fan of fear – not the subtle things people are afraid of like vampires and werewolves – but that gut wrenching fear a person gets when they are out walking at night and one of the dogs suddenly growls, arches it’s back and the fur stands up when looking into the darkness ahead.  I respect that reaction and turn around – maybe it is just a deer or raccoon but if the dogs are growling, I’m turning back.  That is healthy fear.  When I start feeling the hair on the back of my neck prickle – yes, I have felt that before – I know that my instincts are screaming to be heard so I pay attention.  I don’t dismiss those feelings as “just being a scaredy cat”.  We have those instincts for a reason.

So when I read about characters who dismiss their feelings or their dogs reaction, I shake my head and know that they are bound for disaster.  Slaughter barely escapes several of these incidents – you’d think he’d have learned after the first one.

The book was captivating – I hated to put it down.  However, having said that, the last several chapters were bogus and I hated how suddenly everything is wrapped up in a neat little package.  Survivors go home happy and life returns to a peaceful hum.  It is like the author got tired of writing so wrapped it all up quickly.  Stephen King did that with “the Cell” and I was so pissed.  Well, I am just as pissed this time.  I invested HOURS into this book plus money – how can they just wrap it up in a summary kind of way.  “oh we did this and that and everything was OK: – um, excuse me? You can’t have hundreds of these creatures roaming around in one chapter and have life be back to normal in the next – not without a lot more explanation than what is given.

So, in view of the ending, I give the book a B.  It was headed towards an A but the ending ruined it.  Still, if you like such horror stories, it is a fun read for the most part.  🙂

Terminal Freeze revisited again

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Goodreads: Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Alaska’s Federal Wildlife Zone, one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth. But for paleoecologist Evan Marshall and a small group of fellow scientists, an expedition to the Zone represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the effects of global warming. 

Everything about the expedition changes, however, with an astonishing find. On a routine exploration of a glacial ice cave, the group discovers an enormous ancient animal, encased in solid ice. The media conglomerate sponsoring their research immediately intervenes and arranges the ultimate spectacle—the creature will be cut from the ice, thawed, and revealed live on television. Despite dire warnings from the local Native American village, and the scientific concerns of Marshall and his team, the “docudrama” plows ahead . . . until the scientists make one more horrifying discovery. The beast is no regular specimen—it may be an ancient killing machine. And they may be premature in believing it dead.

I have to say, this is one of my favorite Lincoln Child book.  The action takes a little bit to get moving but the lead up is not boring.  The monster is gruesomely spectacular and the people aren’t as dumb as in some of the monster books.  It would make a great movie if it was done right.

I know I have many new books on my bookshelf to read but sometimes it is fun to go back and revisit a favorite.  This is an exciting sci-fi monster story – plus the information on ice trucking was terrifying all on its own.  You couldn’t pay me to ice truck.

A very quick read – I always finish it in one sitting because I become so engrossed with the story.  🙂

Ghoul review

  Goodreads advises:

No one believes Timmy when he and his friends discover that a centuries-old ghoul has been tunneling into fresh graves in the local cemetery to eat the dead.   When the ghoul starts attacking the living as well as the dead, Timmy realizes it’s up to him and his friends to stop him.

So here we are, ready, finally, to review the Ghoul.  It took me quite a while to get through the book – that isn’t to say the book is bad.  So what am I saying? Well, let’s see.

Timmy is the typical 12 year old in a small town.  He has friends and all the ordeals they deal with is a lot of what you would expect from small town boys – not wanting to mow the grass, tired of chores, etc.

What they don’t count on is a ghoul being awakened by a drunk who is then enslaved to the creature.  The idea of the ghoul is well explained – how it was cast down from heaven and how it was the last of its species.  It was buried in the grave by Timmy’s ancestors who sealed the tomb with a incantation and symbol (of course).  When the drunk accidentally breaks the seal, the ghoul is set free.

OK, a couple things I didn’t like.  I didn’t like how the preacher conveniently mentions the ghoul and curse in passing at just the opportune time which then makes everything fall into place for Timmy.  I wanted him to read about it or do some research rather than have someone just explain it to him…it was rather a letdown.

I also didn’t like how both of his friends had horrific home lives.  One, fine, but both? I think the law of averages would be against that.  I liked both of his friends but, of course, things don’t always work out.  I thought the ending was anticlimactic.  After all the buildup, I would have expected a bigger battle.  I was also quite disappointed in the Epilogue.  It went with the old idea that no matter how we try not to, we all end up more like our parents than we ever thought possible.  I would have rather been inspired by their ability to rise above but whatever.

The book was good – not great, but pretty good.  I think it could have been better in spots and other areas cut out completely – such as who is buried in what grave and how they died.  It didn’t matter to the story so that was a waste of space I thought.  We know the people are dead so what do we care how they died?

Anyway, I give the story a solid B-.

Ice Hunt pre-review

I am sorry to say that this book is very hard to get into.  Surely we will get to the actual ice station and monster at some point…won’t we? I don’t care about the politics that went into making the Grendal, I want to know what monster is on it and how soon is it going to start attacking people???  All this get to know the characters crap is boring – especially when half of them will probably die at some point.

I know, I know…write my own damn story if I think I can do better.

In the book they have found the Grendal but aren’t really doing much with the discovery yet.  A submarine full of military personnel from Germany is on its way to the ice station with orders to kill everyone who is in the vacinity because they want to keep their war secrets that are on the station.  The station was meant as a German military submarine station and what not back in the world war days.

Something terrible happened on the Grendal and it was abandoned.  Through the use of different sonars that they explain but I could care less about, the people in the research sub that finds Grendal can “see” dead bodies inside.  Then something moves so now they know there is something alive there.

The military has boarded the Grendal and disposed of the bodies but no one has seen whatever is alive down there yet.  As people rush towards the station, I expected bad things to happen to the boarding crew but so far nothing.  The military of different countries are working hard to kill the others headed that way in a volly to be the one to obtain ownership of it first.  Whatever.  The main male and female are still several hundred miles away and aren’t even aware yet that they are heading towards the Grendal.

I want more action – so far there hasn’t been that much.  The talk about governments and their corruption is an old story – we all know governments of every country are only out for themselves with very little regard for their own people.  I’d rather not read about it in my science-fiction book about monsters.  Sigh.

Dweller review

OK, it is official – I’m never reading another Jeff Strand book…EVER!  EVER!

There are specific requirements for monster stories – they strike fear in your very soul; they make you afraid to walk outside alone at 3am; you find yourself looking over your shoulder expecting to see the monster pressed up against the picture window in your living room glaring at you menacingly; you know that when you least expect it, the monster will pounce.

Monster stories DO NOT make you cry.  They don’t make you love the monster so that you cry like a baby when it dies.  You aren’t supposed to side with the monster over the humans – it is an intense survival of the fittest and the humans always win.   Hideous monsters aren’t tamed pets or best friends unless you are writing CHILDREN’S books or watching a movie like Monster’s Inc.  ARGH!

Well, I’m too emotionally exhausted to rant anymore.  If he makes the fire ants in Mandibles fun and loveable, I’m going to show up at his door with a hungry polar bear and then manically laugh as the bear explains that animals aren’t always cute and cuddly.  Whew – glad I got that off my chest.  Just kidding, Mr Strand…mostly… anyway I don’t have access to a polar bear…   🙂

Goodreads describes the book as:

Young Toby’s only friend is a humanoid creature who will do anything for him, including killing his enemies.

First off, I will say with that I didn’t like Toby – not from the get-go.  As I said before, he was bullied and all that but something is wrong with a person who lets their rage take so control of them that they can murder.  Such a person was never right in the head to begin with making it quite possible that the other children bullied him because they sensed the evil inside.  Toby went into the relationship thinking only of himself and continued to do so many times throughout the book. You will not get me to feel sorry for this character.

Owen is another story.  Owen is all alone in the world so he makes friends with the boy who offers him a chance to belong and be loved.  Owen is like an abused dog you rescue from the shelter – it feels so alone, so miserable and so unsure of its new owner’s love.  Will the person be nice or will they just add to the dogs misery? Toby added, in many ways, to Owen’s misery.

OK, I suppose not all of that is fair – Toby did love Owen but his was a destructive love that the monster probably would have been better never having.  Oh quit your fuming…it is my opinion and I told you from the beginning that I sided with the monster.  Not every relationship is good for a person even if it has a few good parts here and there.

The writing is well done, Owen is well thought out and easy to picture in your head as you read.  Having such a strong, negative reaction to Toby also means the author presented the story with enough flair that the reader was free to make that choice.  I’m sure there are thousands of readers who thought Toby was great.

Overall, the book was well worth the read though it does not top Wolf Hunt or Graverobbers Wanted.  I give the book an A – but remember to grab a box of tissues when you get close to the end.