It had an interesting premise
, a solid story, and truly excellent horror
elements…BUT it also had shitty characters
, and dialogue that grated
on my nerve clusters bad enough to leave me irked
with the entire effort.
Such a hope-dashing, bitter disappointment this was for me. After really enjoying Ancestor
some time ago, I was looking to Sigler to become a new staple for me in the realm of science-horror. Now, after this miss, it looks like his newest effort, Nocturnal
, will be the deciding vote on whether he and I have a future together.
And so it goes.
Undressing the novel down to its various components, I thought most of them were good to excellent. Sigler has a terrific imagination, and I was a fan of both the plot and the science fiction/horror aspects. It was just that giant, dimpled, 800 pound BUT
that ruined things by blowing stink all over the story.
First, the positives.The Good:
1. The premise...ET virus lands on Earth, finds warm, comfy humans to nest in, and turns these “infected” into paranoid, murderous sickfuckopaths. Me likely...thumbs up!
2. Intriguing backstory/details on the parasitic space invaders, complete with plenty of easily digestible science bits on how the nasties work once inside a their host. Again, I thought this was nicely done.
3. The laying out of the various stages of the viral incubation, and the increasingly destressing symptoms as the infection progressed was handled in a manner that kept the pages turning.
4. The “stakes raising” plot development regarding the virus not being “just” a virus really ramped up the tension and added a sense of freshness to what could have been a very pedestrian plague novel.
Disturbing amounts of blood, gore, and almost unmentionable dismemberments (I’ll simply mention “Chicken Scissors” and leave it at that). Just thinking of it makes me wince. Still, this was sick, graphic and wonderfully entertaining.
Unfortunately…disappointment lurked nearby...in the shadows.
The characters in charge of carrying the story were just horrible. I didn’t get along with a single one, and the only thing worse than their clanging internal monologues was when they opened their pie holes to speak. I’m not saying all of the dialogue was bad, but it rarely felt natural, and there were far too many wincing, eye-rolling moments to overlook.
In essence, that ruined this novel for me. I cared for no one affected by the virus, not just because they were two-dimensional and unrealistic, but because they were dumbass annoyasauruses.
Anyway, I don’t want to belabor the point, because I can hear “Baby Rage” just itching to make an appearance in this review. It wasn’t “Baby Rage” bad…the characters and dialogue were...but the rest of the story was a solid 3 star effort…parts of it even 4 star worthy as I really thought the premise was fun.
BUT....the negatives were too large and hairy to overlook.