Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Existential (Crucible #1)” as Want to Read:
Existential (Crucible #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Existential

(Crucible #1)

by
really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  924 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The Alaskan wilderness holds a nightmarish secret that threatens all of humanity in this epic sci-fi horror thriller. A book so scary that it requires a warning label, and a global phenomenon that is on track to sell over 1 million copies.

Looking for a blockbuster thriller that combines explosive sci-fi action with intense horror that will have you gripping the page with
...more
Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published January 4th 2018 by BookBaby
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Existential, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Amy Sorry for the late reply but figured you may still get this. The author infers that Gable dies after facing off with the alien. I assumed that the ali…moreSorry for the late reply but figured you may still get this. The author infers that Gable dies after facing off with the alien. I assumed that the alien "Alexis" and her crew had picked up the substance for research. Hope that helps- not sure if you knew but the author has another 3 in the series and one that's coming out in August or September!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  924 ratings  ·  97 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Existential (Crucible #1)
Asha Stark
Nov 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
This could have been alright but for the author's disregard of women as human beings.

Ryan, if you're reading this, there is no woman on this earth who, having seen their friend raped to death by an alien, would want to fuck the next man they laid eyes on.
...more
Joanne
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I just finished this book, and I am exhausted from the non-stop action and the nerve-wracking suspense. Buy this book. Read this book. Leave a great review so the author can keep on writing amazing books like this.

In a nutshell:

An off-the-grid group of commandos is hired by a billionaire to go to the site of her company's mining operation in Alaska to secure the site and find out why she lost communication with the operation. What they find when they get there is--not good.

What is good is t
...more
Jay
If you would like to read a phenomenal sci-fi thriller, one that has dynamite characters, rapid-fire action and multiple story-lines...This should be your next book!

This book debut by Ryan W. Aslesen will have this author going places, and take you on a fast-paced ride along the way!

Note: The characters in this book use very colorful language and dole out graphic violence, early and often! A warning on the book's description includes a reader discretion advisory.

I, like the author, am a veteran
...more
David Dalton
A pretty good sci-fi action thriller. Alien creatures deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Deadly alien creatures. A high bloody body count. I bought this book for only $0.99 (on sale) and will for sure pick up the next book in this series: Undead: A Max Ahlgren Novel (Crucible Book 2) . Book 2 is KOLL book which I will get to in another month or so.

If you love the movie Predator (the classic first one) or if you have read Hunter by James Huggins, then you will enjoy this thriller. The ending could b
...more
Yvonne
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2018
3.5

Good read, but not nearly as gruesome as some of the reviews led me to believe.
When the author stuck to the action, I was hooked. It was creepy and the buildup was fantastic.
Unfortunately, most of the 2nd tier characters weren't fleshed out enough for me to really care.

Rant:
There is one recurring issue I have with some male authors. Why do they insist on introducing female characters by their physical attributes. I don't care that the Lady Ph.D is super hot, lithe, stunning or giving the mal
...more
Ian Miller
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The basic story here is that Elizabeth Grey owns Greytech Industries, her son is dying of cancer, she somehow has located a crashed alien spaceship that is seemingly covered by a glacier, and in that the team she has sent there has found a mysterious substance that seems to have "interesting" biological properties. Then the team goes dark, so she hires Max and his team of mercenaries to find out what has gone wrong. She fears someone else is trying to steal her find. With one reservation, so far ...more
Joseph Fallon
Jan 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I've read scarier takeaway menus. ...more
Hayley
May 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. Narrator is terrible, book is boring, and I don't care what happens to anyone. ...more
Michael Collins
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because of the high number of good ratings and the premise: a group of commandos exploring a crashed ancient alien ship holding a dangerous secret. Sounded like a winning prospect to me and I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to the hype.

I know that it's really difficult to come up with a truly original story, but this story has absolutely no originality of any kind.

It's almost as if this story was created as an example of what NOT to do when tr
...more
Peachykeen
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read, but not for weak stomachs

This is definitely not the type of book I normally read, but the title enticed me along with the synopsis. I thought this book was well-written and it flowed from one scene to the next. There were a few areas that dragged, but it was mostly high energy that had you wanting to keep reading. It definitely fit the science fiction thriller genre that it was intended to.

I thought the characters were well developed and you could actually feel their struggles and pa
...more
Mark
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5/5. Writing quality was fair. The depiction of the only male-female relationship was bad. Completely unbelievable. That the boss of the "elite" mercenary crew would drop all of his leadership abilities the second an attractive female shows up was not believable. The alien depictions were ok. Most of the characters were flat. The plot was ok. The pacing was good. The action was ok.

Looking back at my review, I wonder what made me finish. As others have said, there are so many good unread books
...more
Tom
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The first few chapters were great. After that I started to get bored as the rest of the book was not as engaging. Most reviews either loved it or hated it. I was was just lukewarm about it.
Miriam
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Awesome read! At first it kind of reminded me of an upgrade of John Carpenter's movie The Thing. I wish they would make a movie out of this book! I would be all over it! ...more
Terrance Mulloy
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome start to the Max Ahlgren/Crucible series. Think Tom Clancy meets John Carpenter. Lots of action and suspense, coupled with great character moments. Highly recommended.
Paula
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Semper Fidelis
Existential: The Mission - To Survive by Ryan W. Aslesen, a former Marine and brother, is a neat sci-fi thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I didn't read "About the Author" before starting this book, so I did not realize that the author was a Marine until I began reading about the character Max Ahlgren and his KA-BAR performing silent sentry tactics and his use of his hardcore dialogue. For me, this well-diversified story seemed very familiar, yet it still held surprises fo
...more
Marisa
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is first and foremost just really good writing. I didn't expect a debut novel to be this expertly crafted. You'd think this author had been publishing for years.
A bunch of military guys running around with guns isn't normally the kind of story I would seek out, especially when i involves a lot of really gory deaths mixed in. But I was totally sucked in by the story line. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I was always anxious to see what was going to happen next.
By the end I will ad
...more
David
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This didn't grip me at any level. DNF @ 40%. 2.5* ...more
Brian Aird
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Mission That Is Out of this World

Existential: The Mission To Survive by Ryan W. Aslesen is a gripping science fiction novel that combines the savagery of alien life forces against the military prowess of a ex-military unit and their experience of successful and hardened combat scenarios.

Lured by a payout of big-money, this crackerjack team of expert military combatants sign on for a mission in Alaska. The employer, CEO Ms. Grey of Grey industries, is powerful, rich and beautiful. Her request i
...more
BookzBookzBookz
When I found the Crucible series, I figured I can do this! I can read a military horror and it not be by my absolute favorite author in the world! So I took on, not just book one, but the series thus far, Existential being book one.

This Sci-Fi Horror Thriller is about Max Algren, a special forces soldier who has literally given all he’s got for his country. He’s a hired gun, doing jobs no one else will do, both government and private. When he and his hand-selected team accept a job in Alaska, t
...more
Jessica Smith
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book! I just had to say that up front. This is especially important coming from me since I am not one that even likes science fiction novels, but I could not put this down.

So much happens, the plot is super fast paced. I will warn this book is very very gory, and I do mean very gory... the author spares nothing in the details when describing the carnage. Also never get to attached to any certain character since many, well pretty much everyone in the story ends up brutally kill
...more
Walter Scott
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Combat, Powerful Sense of Honor and Duty, Nerve-shattering Horror

Like those old sci-fi horror movies where scientists in the far north uncover a frozen alien body and thaw it out. People go missing or show up dead, and a security team or the army / marines are sent in to sort things out. It also brought to mind the Special Forces team sent to rescue hostages, led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the 1987 movie Predator.
In this case, the Greytech Company has found an immense alien spaceship embedded
...more
Toni Babuchiwski
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, please note the warning in the Amazon description of this book. It contains very graphic, bloody scenes that some viewers may not enjoy. While this book is very well written, if you are easily grossed out or get queasy quickly, it may not be for you.

With that being said, I am not the kind who finds gore or graphic violence disturbing. I found this book to be thoroughly engrossing. It had me clinging to every page. A true sci-fi thriller, this novel will keep fans engaged. The characters t
...more
Staisha
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for an unbiased review.


Max Ahlgren and his team of battle-worn, professional military contractors are called in by tycoon Elizabeth Grey, founder of Grey Industries, to secure an archeological site her team has discovered deep in the rugged Alaskan terrain, after the site has gone black and communication has been disrupted. At face value, the mission is a straight-forward, quick, and easy security job with a huge payout, but nothing is ever what it seems in contr
...more
R.C. Mulhare
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this up on a whim, as the summary intrigued me from the outset: it gave me a vibe of John Carpenter's "The Thing" (or its great granddaddy, H.P. Lovecraft "At the Mountains of Madness", and this book certainly delivered on its promises.

Be warned, though: the killer creatures lurking in the shadows have no definition of mercy, and the violence they inflict can get quite stomach-churning. The author pulls no punches, though later, this balances out with a surprising twist that takes the c
...more
Steve
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Straight to Hell

This is one of the most intense stories I've ever read .

The book starts with lots of bloody fighting and let's us know who the
Heroes are. And then they decide to take a very generous last mission.
Which is a mortal mistake.

There is not much plot here except deeply intense fights to survive. This is a story about a team whose job is sort of high class hired security. The book starts with their project. Then for their last project, they accept a mission from a beautiful and super ri
...more
Virginia
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really good story

Good story and really good writing. It was a little repetitive at times, but held a few surprises which is always welcomed. I really like the idea of the bad guys being from some other world, but as with other stories I've read that took place in space ships, the ships' descriptions don't help much in forming the scenes in one's mind as the story progresses from one area to another.. Most of our visuals come from Star Wars or Star Trek. Those help a little.
I found the book to
...more
Kevin J Hayes
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good quick read

The story surges along at increasing velocity, never a slow section, until the reader is almost out of breath. Characters are well developed over the course of the book and are multi-faceted (like real people). The writing is well done with only a few spelling errors - not enough to detract from the enjoyment of the story but might occasionally bring a small smile. The action is fairly graphic, but that's part-and-parcel with a story of this kind - and the book would be diminished
...more
Jimmy A Ford
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Try it, you'll like it..

Much more polished than you would expect from a debut novel. You can tell by the way he writes of close combat that he has really "been there and done that". His story brings home to you the chaos, unpredictability, fear, exhilaration and loss of combat as only someone that has truly gone through that grinder can do. I definitely do recommend this book to anyone that wants to get a feeling of what our modern day warriors experience on a sometimes daily bas
...more
Juliet N
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Teaching English to second or foreign language can be very challenging to non-native, one of young guys in my class requested some thrilling book which will leave yearning to turn each next page to sharped their skill. Having read most the recent novel I could not refer any other book than this.
Existential authored by Ryan W. Aslesen ASIN: B078TMP4SJ is the Book no.1 in the The Crucible series with 380 pages, the book revolve around mission to locate and get out an archeological team, a mission
...more
Richard Fanning
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic page turner! Once the action started (and it starts pretty quickly!!), I couldn't put it down. There was more character development in this book than one might expect from a sci-fi, action-adventure, horror story, and the action was nonstop. The characters acted in ways that were plausible and in keeping with their individual positions within the story. The bad guys seemed to be extracted from the pages of news stories, and the good guys all harbored their own demons as one w ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Claw
  • To the Center of the Earth
  • From Hell: Alex Hunter 8
  • Fathomless (Cate Granger, #1)
  • The Collapse (Arisen: Raiders #1)
  • The Siberian Incident
  • Return to the Lost World (Primordia #2)
  • Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter, #6)
  • Direct Fire (Drop Trooper, #4)
  • The City
  • Tribes (Arisen: Raiders #2)
  • Danger Close (Drop Trooper #3)
  • Satan's Gate (Extinction Survival #2)
  • EDIT
  • The Cavern
  • Dark Operator: A Military Science Fiction Special Forces Thriller
  • Nemesis (Arisen, #8.5)
  • The House of a Hundred Whispers
See similar books…
36 followers
Ryan Aslesen is a best selling author and security consultant based out of Las Vegas, NV. He is a former Marine Officer and a veteran of the War on Terror. His debut novel, Existential, is a highly-praised sci-fi/horror thriller. When not writing or out protecting the world, you will find him spending quality time with his family. He is currently working on his next novel.

Other books in the series

Crucible (4 books)
  • Undead (Crucible #2)
  • Apex (Crucible #3)
  • Nexus: A Max Ahlgren Novel (Crucible Book 4)

News & Interviews

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
41 likes · 25 comments
“Sleep, where our demons cavort.” 1 likes
“The bullets ineffective against the massive creature.” 0 likes
More quotes…