An apocalyptic horror/thriller that has a parasitic insect at the core of the story.
Description: Trey Gilliard is a loner, a researcher who prefers his forays into the wilderness more than relationships. When the story opens he’s working for ITC – International Conservation Trust – in Senegal, West Africa. The horror begins when Trey hears screams and follows a trail of blood leading him to a local clinic.
He finds an examination room, where a local doctor and his headstrong daughter are guarding a dead soldier. The soldier’s midsection is a mass of shredded fabric and flesh. Although desperate to know what is happening, Trey is refused any information by the doctor and escorted out of the building. Later when informed by ITC that he’s no longer welcome in the area and told he must immediately report to Dakar, a city many miles away, Trey begins to believe that his encounter with the body must be the cause.
A man never to follow orders, Trey does the opposite and drives directly to an area in the local forest that caught his attention on his latest plane trip over the forest canopy, where he noticed unusual deforestation. He suspects that this may be the key to the apparent cover-up. There he has his first encounter with the bug.
With a heart-raising pace Trey and his team try to find other clues to this intelligent insect and what appears to be a grand global cover-up to a dangerous and world-altering threat.
Shellie’s thoughts: This is a well thought out and easy to follow read. It has great pacing and an interesting parasitic insect that will frighten most readers. It’s entertaining and is one of those nice small paperbacks with decent sized print that’s easy to read and carry, especially if you’re traveling. It fit easily into my carry-on bag and was easy to pick up and start reading where I left off.
I particularly liked that the story has some interesting science and has an in-depth take on what constitutes the concept of the insect hive-mind. So if you like biological thrillers with environmental themes and science fiction, this will probably interest you. Since it’s mostly action based with light gore and ends hopefully, the book will also intrigue readers looking for thrillers or mild horror.
My only quibble is that I did not get enough of the invasion. There just wasn’t enough information detailing the spread of the insect. It felt like the bug propagated all over the world in a matter of months, which felt unrealistic to me. But since I love science-based fiction and horror I enjoyed Invasive Species. A lot actually, so it comes recommended at 3.5 stars. (less)
John’s quick take: A dystopian tale about what happens when corporations and capitalism replace govern...moreReview originally posted at Layers of Thought.
John’s quick take: A dystopian tale about what happens when corporations and capitalism replace government and democracy.
John’s description: Charles Thatcher belongs to Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation, one of the biggest corporations in a near-future world where all governments have disappeared, to be replaced by businesses whose only concerns are making money and beating the competition. Generosity and free access to anything are believed to breed weakness and lead to laziness, so everything is for sale. Even air and rainwater have to be paid for. Image is also everything so perception is deemed to be far more important than the truth.
Charles is a Delta – not the lowest of the low but a mid-grade class. Along with many others he works in perception management, tasked with finding any information or news that might harm his employer, and spinning stories and messages that help to put his company, Ackerman Brothers in the best possible light. He is constantly striving to be promoted to executive, something which very few achieve.
Then he stumbles across some information about a woman charged with stealing rainwater and decides to embellish the story - accusing the thief of being a seditionist and revolutionary who believes in government. What he doesn’t realize is that his story might be close to the truth. Disgruntled by his life, his investigation leads him to become enamored by the woman’s cause and the possibility of life beyond the corporations. But such beliefs are deadly and dangerous as the corporations will stop at nothing to squash revolutionary thoughts and to keep the masses in line.
John’s thoughts: This is an interesting theme for a book. Already we live in a world where corporations hold far too much political power and influence, and Soutter extrapolates this into a dystopian future where corporations have become all powerful. What might a world look like where governments no longer exist? He paints a grim picture.
Everything has a price tag and there is no such thing as social rights. Individuals are only worth what they can contribute to company profits, and if they cannot contribute anything then they are worthless – considered a drag on efficiency and company morale. It is wrong to save money as it is only through spending that people contribute to the economy. Indeed, people are encouraged to trade their own “futures”, thereby maximizing their spending (and forever indebting themselves to the corporation which already owns them).
The problem for me was that the picture was too extreme. It’s a bit like when you read a politically oriented article or news story that has been written by someone with hardline extreme views – personally I tend to go glassy eyed rather quickly due to a lack of balance and reasonableness. For a futuristic novel to achieve maximum impact it has to be believable, even if it stretches credulity a bit; and to my mind this novel goes a little too far.
Still, it was an interesting and thought-provoking read. The story is well written and it built nicely to the climax. I have to say that the ending, though perfectly in line with the theme and the story, did leave me a bit dissatisfied. Overall I’d rate this three stars and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of futuristic, dystopian novels. (less)