Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book

A remote, mist-shrouded island in the Russian Arctic.

Archaeology Professor Callum Ross makes the discovery of a lifetime: a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years by the sub-zero temperatures. Only, they didn't die of natural causes...

As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition, and he and his team are left stranded on the island. And they are not alone. Someone, or something, relentless is stalking them.

As the arctic mist descends and the death toll rises, the team is thrust into a nightmare fight for survival, involving submarines, cyber warfare and Spetsnaz. But none of this can prepare them for the real terror that survives deep within the island’s heart: a secret so ancient it's been overlooked by time itself.

COLONY is an edge-of-your seat action thriller that will appeal to fans of Clive Cussler, James Rollins and Michael Crichton.

496 pages, Paperback

First published January 28, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Benjamin Cross

7 books115 followers
Hello and welcome!

I'm an archaeologist and writer based in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK. I've been lucky enough to explore some of the world's most spectacular ancient sites, from the temples of Cambodia to the Andean cloud forest cities of Peru, from the burial sites of the Tibetan plateau to the Maori strongholds of New Zealand. I've excavated many fascinating archaeological sites across the UK and am now Principal Heritage Consultant at a global environmental consultancy.

I published my first work of fiction, a short story entitled 'The Changing Room', in the prestigious Mays Anthology, and followed-up with the publication of a second short story - 'Enclosure' - the following year (shameless brag alert: only a small number of authors have had prose selected for publication in the Mays two years running!). I was appointed Associate Editor the following year.

Colony is my debut novel, a fast-paced action-thriller set in the Arctic. It's due for publication in January 2021 and is available to pre-order now.

I'll look forward to sharing my love of reading and writing with you all!

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
235 (36%)
4 stars
213 (33%)
3 stars
140 (21%)
2 stars
33 (5%)
1 star
17 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 173 reviews
Profile Image for Zain.
1,379 reviews141 followers
July 9, 2022
Ugly Creatures!

While enjoying his time with his little son, Callum Ross is contacted by an old friend who is dying from cancer.

His friend Jonah wants him to replace him on a scientific research trip to the Arctic.

Callum wants to spend time with his son, but the trip is too important to miss, so he happily leaves.

The scientists and natives that he works with have heard many different rumors and folktales about strange animals that lived on their surrounding islands many years ago.

Despite disbelieving the old folktales, Callum, with his friendly guide, Lungkaju, makes a great scientific discovery.

They find the mummified fossil of an old folk hero, more than two thousands years old.

Before they can share their exciting discovery, they are stranded on an island with strange and dangerous animals, when their research boat is blown into tiny bits.

They feel that the animals are prehistoric, but the animals don’t care what they think about them. They just want to spread their stink around and eat everyone in sight.

My biggest problem with this story is trying to visualize what the animals look like. For some reason, based upon their description, l could only see in my mind, a crocodile with feathers. And that’s just not a good incentive to help me suspend my disbelief.

There were also some inconsistencies that l had a problem with, but I can’t go into detail and spoil the story for someone else.

For this reason the story gets three stars from me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews404 followers
January 30, 2021
It’s a creature feature!

I do believe that I just read a horror book! I didn’t know what to expect, thought maybe sci-fi but all good, I really enjoyed it. The style of the story and the writing reminded me very much of Matthew Reilly’s early books Ice Station and Temple. I loved those books too.

A bunch of scientists are part of a group tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment of Harmsworth Island in Franz Josef Land - an archipelago north of Siberia in the Barents Sea, well north of the Arctic Circle (I do love a book set in a cold climate). They are based on the icebreaker Albanov anchored offshore. A Russian company wants to start tapping into the suspected rich gas reserves around the island and, in accordance with the terms of the Arctic Council, of which thy are a member, requires this assessment before work can commence. The group includes, among others: Dr Callum Ross, archaeologist; Dr Ava Lee, vertebrate palaeontologist; Dr Daryl Lebedev, ecologist and Dan Peterson whose area of expertise is not made clear. But - as if the brutal climate is not enough to deal with, there is a secret plot afoot to sabotage the job.

And as if that is not enough, there are worse things than the cold to worry about on the island. Something stalks the unwary on this island. Among the scientists a groups Russian spetsnaz soldiers are along to provide ‘security’. Well there are polar bears around. After the sabotage, a small group of scientists, a large contingent of soldiers and the CEO of the gas company are stranded on the island - and that’s when the fun really begins. Something is out there! Something is out to get them!

There was quite a bit of blood, and gore so if you are squeamish this is probably not a book for you. It wasn’t deep and meaningful. The characters were only developed as far as necessary to tell the story. But what this book had in spades was action, drama, suspense, screams. If you want a fast paced story that has you on the edge of your seat - this book is for you!
Profile Image for Emma.
976 reviews976 followers
February 7, 2021
One of my favourite thriller tropes is dinosaurs who have somehow survived extinction events and are seriously unhappy about humans turning up to ruin their shit. This colony is pissed. They're happily living on their Arctic island, having baby monsters and generally living their best lives, when a whole bunch of greedy men decide to exploit the natural resources of the neighbourhood. Needless to say, there's lots of screaming and dying, which was lovely.

On the negative side, there's perhaps a slight stiltedness to the writing, a few things that don't quite gel, some scenes which could have been shown but weren't. Plus, the author kills something which should never be killed in fiction. That lost him a whole point.

Even so, Benjamin Cross author is one to watch. I'd pick up whatever he writes next with no hesitation.

ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for Juliet.
Author 92 books10.9k followers
February 9, 2021
Colony is a fast-paced, deftly written thriller set in the remote Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross is called in at short notice to join an expedition, and makes a stunning discovery - an ancient mummy preserved in the ice. A mystery surrounds this person, who did not die from natural causes. When Callum and his team find themselves stranded on a remote island, they face a threat not only from the harsh conditions and from human adversaries, but from a far stranger source.

I really enjoyed the powerful storytelling, underpinned by excellent research which made the narrative convincing even in the weirder parts of the story. Callum Ross is an engaging protagonist. All the characters are well-drawn and even minor players are given depth. The plot is full of twists and turns, keeping the reader on the edge of the seat right to the end.

Fans of Matthew Reilly should love this. I look forward to more books from this author.
Profile Image for Max.
288 reviews50 followers
February 9, 2021
I undoubtedly will be reading more books by Benjamin Cross in the future, his archaeology past really helps elevate the atmosphere and writing of this debut novel.

Colony is definitely calling for all lovers of The Thing to read, because who doesn't love a high tension Antarctica whodunit/creature feature? When you get to the action and the plot starts unravelling, you will not be able to put it down.

Where my problem lies is probably with our introduction to the story. While I love explosive endings where everything goes berserk it did take me a little bit to get into. I found myself picking it up and down a lot during the first quarter ish, and I think that problem could've been solved with a faster introduction to the bunker and other characters so we could jump right in immediately. But once you cross that mark, it goes absolutely insane from there on out.

Like I said, a lot of opportunity for future books with this author. With a similar concept to Colony but with a few more developed characters and a faster introduction it would be an easy five stars.
Profile Image for CYIReadBooks (Claire).
591 reviews88 followers
March 5, 2021
Colony is a work of fiction that packs in all the elements of the mystery, thriller, and horror genres. Set in the world's most remote Arctic archipelago, we follow Dr. Callum Ross as he journeys into Harmsworth Island to join an Environmental Impact Assessment team. On the island, the EIA team must conduct a series of studies in preparation for the most ambitious infrastructure project. But there's a traitor on board ready to sabotage the whole project for his own gain.

Also little known to anyone is that the island holds deadly secrets. Secrets born from myths and legends. Those myths and legends just may hold the answers to the mysterious disappearances of the crew and the discovery of a mummified corpse deep in the freezing wilderness.

Colony was a nailbiter of a read. Colorful characters along with a mysterious backdrop in the remote Arctic brought the whole story into a vivid thriller of cinematic proportions. Five thriller stars.

I received a digital copy of the book from Blackthorne Book Tours. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

Profile Image for Tristan Hutchinson.
Author 8 books69 followers
December 3, 2020
The Relic meets Jurassic Park.

A team of doctors, researching the Artic, what could go wrong?

Cross does well adding terror to the unknown. His characters are brought to their limits, struggling with the cold weather, the mysterious mist, and the increase of death tolls.

Who will survive?

I enjoyed reading Colony, its a fast paced read.
Profile Image for Helen Power.
Author 13 books467 followers
March 30, 2021

Colony is the ultimate genre-blender for fans of books by James Rollins and Michael Crichton.  It’s a compulsively readable science fiction thriller/horror, with hints of espionage and an undercurrent of romance. It’s a smart read that doesn’t dumb things down for its readers, and there’s something in this book for everyone.

Callum Ross is a captivating protagonist that has multiple layers that we peel back as the book progresses. We’re first introduced to him when he’s on a day trip with his son at Loch Ness. He’s making promises to spend more time with him, because ever since his divorce he’s realized that his work-centred life might not be what’s best for him or his family. Of course, more family time just isn’t in the cards, because he’s immediately called to the Arctic to take a job. Callum is intelligent and witty--even in the face of danger. He’s constantly thinking of his son, even when he’s thousands of miles away from him. He’s adorably obsessed with his work, but also able to take a step back to show interest in what others are doing. 

The rest of the cast of characters in this book are also quite compelling. The environmental assessment team has brought together geologists, biologists, archaeologists, paleontologists... all to evaluate the region before the natural gas company moves in. The team is diverse in where they come from, too, including those from the US, Scotland, Russia, Norway, and even Canada (represent!).  Among them is a beautiful Russian woman who just so happens to catch Callum’s eye.  The characters each have an interesting dynamic, and of course, some of them have ulterior motives. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll stop there!

The book is chock-full of little bits of science and history, including some lore and interesting tidbits of information that sated my curiosity. For instance, the narwhal tusk is part of what created the myth of the unicorn. I fact checked this (being a librarian I just had to before including it in my review), and according to Encyclopedia Britannica , “unicorn” horns were either narwhal tusks or rhinoceros horns. Interesting! The entire time I also felt like I was brushing up on the biology courses I took in undergrad, but in the most fun way possible.

While the chapters are long, they're divided into short sections. This had the effect of making me think “Just one more!”, resulting in my reading far past my bedtime. That said, a few of the scenes felt like they were repetitive or a little longer than they needed to be. Even then, the repetition added to the suspense.

This novel is gory at times, verging on horror, and there are parts that reminded me of other isolation horror/thrillers, like John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.  While this book has scenes that aren't for the faint of heart, it isn’t an outright horror. 

Colony is recommended to anyone who enjoys an intelligent book where espionage meets science and history.
*Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours and the author for the ebook to review*

This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/
Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter
My 2021 Reading Challenge
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
2,111 reviews76 followers
February 23, 2021
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Colony is an amazing, edge of your seat horror about Dr Callum Ross and a group of other scientists who are hired to go to Harmsworth Island in Franz Joseph Land far north of the Arctic circle. They are hired by a Russian company who hope to tap into the rich natural gas resources there and as such require an assessment to enable them to do so.
The main characters are Dr Callum Ross - archaeologist, Dr Darya Lebedev - ecologist, Dan Peterson and Dr Ava Lee - vertebrae palaeontologist.
Something is stalking the visitors to the island and picking them off one by one. This scary creature is just as intelligent as the humans and after sabotage occurs on the trip, the scientists and the Russian soldiers (who were hired to guard the ship and its habitants from harm) are left stranded on the island with nowhere to hide.
This book was a fantastic roller coaster of a ride and I couldn't put it down. There's many small twists at the end of the book and as I read it I could envision the scenery, the scenes and the action played out like a movie! The suspense was heart racing and the fast pace was fantastic and didn't let the story grow stale.
Benjamin Cross is definitely an author to look out for!
Profile Image for Phil.
1,624 reviews104 followers
July 9, 2022
Colony, the first novel by Cross, would make a good beach read, especially on a hot day as most of the action takes place in the Arctic. Decent pacing, but perhaps Cross tried to weave in a bit too much here. The story centers on Callum Ross, an archaeologist (Cross's alter ego? after all, that is what Cross does in his day job) who is contracted as part of a large team of international scientists for an environmental impact assessment waaay up in Russia; in fact, the most northerly island in the world. It seems a Russian Gas company has found signs of huge reserves there, but essentially wants to green-wash its actions via the impact assessment (the last Arctic island 'developed' by the company was a total environmental disaster...).

So much for the sitrep; I will not go into the plot more as this is a horror/thriller and much of the fun is reading it unfold. Obviously, however, just given the cover, the team will encounter some beasties and these are a beaut for sure. A good creature feature is always welcome in my book! Yes, Cross did give us that, but he also added in all kinds of cloak and dagger machinations, some love interests, family drama and so forth that bogged the novel down a bit. Like I said above, Cross just tried to do too much here. Nonetheless, it moves nicely for the most part and he does give us some interesting twists and turns along the way. I might have gone 3.5 stars except for the super cheesy ending.
Profile Image for Mr Chuck.
187 reviews6 followers
March 15, 2021
A great first novel.

This book has everything in it. Horror, thriller, murder, sabotage, monsters, science, and a not so annoying love story.
The fact the author used to be an archaeologist really shows in this book, with interesting details on archaeology and research that make it all the more real. Reminds me of Tess Gerritsen as she used to be a Doctor so the detail of the science stuff is really interesting.

Clearly, a fan of action thrillers and monster movies as this story was a mash of both which I really loved and craved to find out what would happen next.

So why four stars I hear no one ask. Well, I found the female characters a little weak, always crying out in the background while the men fought which got a little tiresome for me, and the monsters as amazing as they were became somewhat cannon fodder at the end without fully explaining how such a large dangerous ecosystem could live on such a small plain in huge numbers. Plus the whole hive scene gave me flashbacks of colonial marines storming the Aliens hive.

However, I would recommend this book for everyone to read. In fact, I'll make it 4.5 stars.
February 3, 2021
ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review
4.5 Stars
Visiting the Arctic is a perilous task all on its own. When prehistoric beings are thrown into the mix that against all odds have managed to thrive and survive, you’re in for one hell of a cold and bloody adventure. For this being the author's first book l really enjoyed myself. I don't have the highest standards when it comes to fact checking my fiction so I can't attest to the believability of all the ‘monsters’ in the book however all the creative liberties the author took worked for me. Early on I struggled a bit with so many characters but as the book went on and they were killed off one by one it mattered little who they were. 😳🤫 I was worried what the human connection would be in the end because let’s be honest, there usually always is one, sometimes even scarier than that of any monster. And so I’m happy to report this at least wasn’t some military ploy to weaponize the creatures or even the sending in of scape goats to scrutinize the situation. In fact it seems like no one including the military had a clue these beings even existed. Which is the one thing I questioned in the book since there was at one time a military base on the island, now abandoned and barely standing. There is of course a bigger picture going on that brings along its own obstacles but nothing to deter from the core of the story and the fight for survival. The book is told in multiple POVs but mostly that of the MC & archaeologist Callum whose addition to the exploratory team is a last minute addition. Poor him. Together he and a group of fellow scientists will go through many extremes from joy at the discovery of a lifetime to utter desperation as they fight for their very lives. If one thing is made abundantly clear, the mist is a sign of impending doom and only the lucky will survive. On an abandoned island in the middle of the Arctic though, there’s nowhere to run and even less places to hide. Really fascinating thrill ride and I’ll be eager to see what else the author has in store for us in the future.
2 reviews
January 18, 2021
I was captivated by Colony from the very beginning. The book is well researched and story is masterfully told. It's the tale of a group of researchers who are stranded in the Arctic and have to fight for their lives every step of the way. This heart pumping, adrenalin filled thriller takes you on a rollercoaster ride and makes you want to rush to the end so that you can take a calming breath but at the same time you don't want to miss a single word. It is hard to believe that this is Benjamin Cross' very first novel. Well done.
Profile Image for Benjamin Cross.
Author 7 books115 followers
January 29, 2021

'Indie Books We Love' award

Colony by Benjamin Cross is an action packed Arctic thriller that kicks off with a bang as we witness the death of a Neolithic hunter at the hands/claws of a mysterious creature. When Professor Callum Ross discovers the mummified remains he knows he must find out more, but there are other people out to stop him and something else seems to be watching.

I loved the descriptions of the setting and the work put into creating the backstory. Colony reminded me of an Indiana Jones / Nathan Drake plotline, as our archaeologist protagonist puts work before his family, and sets out against competition to uncover the truth. I liked the way that the author built tension throughout as well as the brief moments of humour to lighten the atmosphere as I read. There were lots of twists and turns and I was eager to find out what would happen in the end.

I would say that Colony is a great book for those who like thrilling adventures with elements of horror, as well as tension filled reads set in the Arctic. An entertaining book.

Reedsy Discovery
Rekha Rao

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5 Stars) Must Read

What a fantabulous thriller! Action-packed, bone-chilling, riveting thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fasten your seatbelts coz you are in for one heck of a roller-coaster ride!

Having read the blurb, I thought this story is all about 'innocent people caught between the fight of two powerful and rich businessmen'. But I was so wrong! A folklore, a sinister secret and evolution plays a major role in shaping whatever is hiding in the mist.

Our main character Callum is perfectly imperfect. His dedication to work has cost him his family. He was assigned to the mission when he was vacationing with his son Jamie. Callum had to leave immediately and Jamie is not happy. Nor is Callum's ex-wife. When Callum reaches Harmsworth, he's not sure whom to trust. The wealthy Russian business man who's in charge of this expedition seems a little shady too.

As days pass by, one of his colleagues goes missing and a search party is sent. Meanwhile, a rival businessman wants to destroy the mission and he has a man on the inside to do the job for him. As people go missing and their mutilated bodies are found later, Callum and his mates realize they are not alone on the island. Also, whatever is hiding in the mist is stalking them and ready to attack when the time is right.

The suspense and the tension are at an all-time high throughout the story. Character development is impressive and the plot to story development is superb. I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. An action-packed thriller with a dash of horror makes Colony an engrossing read.

As a debut novel, Colony is too good to be true. I absolutely enjoyed every bit of the story and I am certainly looking forward to reading Benjamin Cross' next book.

Readers’ Favorite
Jamie Michele

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5 Stars)

Colony by Benjamin Cross is a thriller that follows archaeology professor Callum Ross across continents as he chases a lead and ends up running for his life. The book's introduction takes the reader back to the 6th millennium BC and the demise of a Neolithic hunter as he is savagely attacked by an unknown beast. Fast forward to today, and Callum is skipping rocks in Scotland with his son. A bit further and Callum is telling his son on a video chat from a Russian territory that he has a secret: He's found an ice mummy. As Callum and his team work to uncover the who and the how of the dead, it soon becomes deadly clear that others may not be so interested in the information. To the horror of all those who are left behind, the danger of what killed the ancient body and was worth decimating bases to shut the work down is about to claw its way into what's left of their circle.

Colony is a brilliant novel that ticks all the boxes for a fast-paced and intelligent read. Benjamin Cross is able to create intrigue from the first page, hinting at what the dedicated academic might be up against, peeling back the layers with the measured hand of a great writer as the story unfolds, and allowing us to get to know the characters well enough to lean in for another chapter when it looks like they may be ripped away. Cross does inject brief moments of levity. The descriptions are gorgeous, perhaps enhanced by a backdrop of blood and fear, and even the characters with exactly zero redeeming qualities are bathed in prose they don't deserve.

This book is very highly recommended.
Profile Image for Angie Jenkins.
479 reviews8 followers
March 3, 2021
This is a story about exploration & the dangers of what might be found.

This was such a fun, scary read. I love a good creature feature! The less you know going in be better, but I would recommend this for horror fans, as well as action/adventure readers.

Thank you Netgalley & Matador Books for this e-Arc!
7 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2021
Wonderful distraction

I gave this read a five star rating. Very easy to follow,fast paced and unexpected turns..what a great way to spend a evening or two!
Profile Image for Emerson.
Author 3 books13 followers
March 31, 2021
Thankyou to Benjamin Cross, The Book Guild and #Netgalley for providing this copy of #Colony in exchange for an honest review

Ah, now this one I was super looking forward to.
Colony is about the discovery of something ancient and deadly on a remote island in the Arctic. The writer is an archaeologist. I was expecting a cross between The Mummy and The Thing. I got neither.
What I did get was more of an action type thriller rather than horror. Horror was what I had hoped for, but that’s not to say I was disappointed.
To be fair, the book is tagged as an action thriller, but the blurb would suggest otherwise. ‘Potaytoes, potartoes,’ you might say, and maybe you’re right, but part of me still wishes there had been more of a The Thing vibe about the place.
However, on with the review …
The book is well written, easy to read, and the story interesting enough to make it one of my faster reads (I don’t do speed reading at all), and the cover suggests there will be more books to come featuring the lovely Dr Callum Ross. I won’t give away what was ancient and deadly (though other reviewers may have already done so), but I will say that this was the only (and only slightly) disappointing part of the book for me. I had trouble visualising the creature that was laying waste to those who dared to step foot on the island of Harmsworth, and what I did manage to piece together in my tiny brain, came out just plain weird and not that terrifying – though I’ll admit, I wouldn’t want to bump into one whilst out for a late-night stroll (or anytime for that matter). But that’s just me, and as I noted earlier, I had hoped for more horror than thriller.
The book is reasonably fast paced, a little too much jargon (aka shit I don’t know about) for my taste, but not enough to send me off to sleep (as has happened too many times to mention – is Simply Red singing Money’s Too Tight to Mention in your head now?).
All-in-all Colony is a book I would recommend, and I for one will definitely be looking out for more Dr Callum Ross stories.
Profile Image for D.K. Hundt.
553 reviews20 followers
March 29, 2021
That. Was. AWESOME! Highly Recommend!

The novel centers around one of the many main characters, archeology Professor Callum Ross, who is asked by one of his colleagues, Dr. Jonas Olsen, to take his place on The Arctic Council to conduct a field survey in his stead, which means going to Harmsworth Island in the Russian Arctic.

As Ross and his colleagues survey the Island, Ross and his guide discover a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years—it’s evident the mummy did not die from natural causes.

‘As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition. He and his team are left stranded, and they are not alone on the island. Someone, or something relentless, is stalking them.’

Have you ever read a book that so profoundly puts the suspense and thrill in Suspense-Thriller, that keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation and makes you utter out loud, ‘Ooooooohhhh, I wasn’t expecting that!’?

For me, at this moment, that book is COLONY by Benjamin Cross. I am a fan of chapters that end on cliffhangers, which deliciously amps up the suspense and tension as you eagerly wait to see what happens next.

The one issue I have, though it does not factor into my overall enjoyment of the book, was the depiction of the women, at times, portrayed as damsels in distress.

Cross has another book coming out in 2022, THE ANACONDA TREE: A Ryan Miller Thriller, and I can’t wait to read it!!!

COLONY was unputdownable, a novel that I Highly Recommend!

Thank you, Blackthorn Book Tours, for providing me with an eBook of COLONY in the request of an honest review.

Profile Image for Indra.
48 reviews5 followers
July 7, 2022
In the tone of Stefon from SNL, this thriller had everything: evil corporations, ice mummies, budding romances, submarines, scary Russians, anthropologists, double-crossing, incapacitating mist, suffocating isolation in the arctic, all while being chased by something very dangerous and unknown. I would not call this book necessarily scary (if that's what you're looking for) but instead, expect a thrilling and heart-pounding adventure as it was fast-paced and incredibly entertaining. I loved, loved, loved, that it was written by an anthropologist author because the theories and explanations felt that much more plausible.

The beginning started off with a nice build-up of a chilling (no pun intended) atmosphere. The team has arrived to study a secluded arctic island in Siberia and must live on a ship with no civilization for hours by helicopter. The rest of the book can be summed up as largely an action-based rollercoaster that took the reader on an exhilarating ride and kept you guessing which way it was going to turn next.

If I'm being nit-picky (and I'm about to be), I would have loved to see the female characters written stronger and/or become more paramount to the plot. At times, it seemed to follow the old trope of women needing to be saved and they ended up as a sort of fodder to round out the cast. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Deanie Nelder.
1,131 reviews13 followers
March 26, 2021
Actually 4.5 stars

Archaeology professor Callum Ross isn't thrilled to be going to a remote Russian island in the arctic to join a multidisciplinary team studying the effects of drilling on the environment, but for his dying mentor, he agrees to go. There, he finds an ice mummy with a cause of death he can't quite determine -- until he meets the descendants of the creatures that killed the ancient warrior. Caught between saboteurs and predatory wildlife, the surviving scientists and military men have to try to escape the island back to civilization.

Colony is a lot of things -- a horror novel where animals attack, a thriller about people sabotaging an arctic expedition, and an adventure story about arctic survival (with a bit of romance mixed in). All of these blend together very well to create a wonderfully well-written novel.
Profile Image for Ann.
163 reviews7 followers
February 10, 2021
A good quick read. Fast paced thriller on the order of early James Rollins books or perhaps Greig Beck. Lots of savage beasts!
Profile Image for C.J. Fisher.
Author 1 book6 followers
February 2, 2021
Colony was an action packed arctic thriller that sucked me in within the first three pages and held my attention to the very end.

I've got to be honest, I read Michael Crichton at an impressionable age and told myself I'd never let myself get that freaked out by a monster story ever again. Well, I broke that promise, but it was worth it. Of course, I'd hate to give the impression that this is a purely monster driven book. With thrills and political intrigue, it shapes into much much more!

Cross is an excellent storyteller, with great descriptive writing. His personal experiences as an archaeologist really shines through in the character's backstories and development, breathing fresh life into familiar roles. I would recommend this story for all mature adventure readers!
Profile Image for Ericka Jade.
353 reviews1 follower
January 3, 2022
I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in the Arctic and is a fast paced read. There's greed, there's murder, there's archeological mystery with a little mercenary assistance. I can't wait to read more books from this author.
Profile Image for Angel (Bookn.All.Night).
1,425 reviews27 followers
March 27, 2021
Ok this was fun!! I love a good Sci-Fi. I love a good Thriller. Put the two together and you get ... Colony.

This has a strong resemblance of Pitch Black for me, but with an arctic representation instead of being on another planet with darkness as the creatures mode of movement and fear. THIS creature loves to move in the ice & fog and you'll never know it's there until it's too late.

The writing is very well done, fast-paced, and engaging. I enjoyed the characters and the setting and will definitely be reading more of this author.
Profile Image for Susan van der Walt.
86 reviews3 followers
November 30, 2021
I have received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review.

Colony is the first novel of Benjamin Cross, an experienced archaeologist. He was discovered by a literary agency and his novel soon made it onto the desks of the world's top publishers.

A group of scientists gathers in the Russian Arctic to perform an assessment of the impact that planned gas exploration will have on the seabed around the island. Harmsworth is a desolate place, with 24-hour days in summer and the mist creeping out from the sea without warning. The temperature can drop to minus degrees, causing frostbite and death from hypothermia without correct protective equipment.

When their ship is destroyed, the castaways need to stay one step ahead of the power behind its destruction. But at the same time, they are also faced with a fast and deadly creature, attacking them from the mist.

Will there be any survivors?

Through his descriptions, the author transports us to this cold, wild wilderness.

The plot keeps us guessing. Although we know early on there are plans to blow up the Albanov, we do not know who the culprits might be.

The author puts his archaeological experience to effective use, creating a formidable foe in the lizard bird.

If you are looking for a gripping suspense novel drawing you in from the beginning and letting you experience the cold desolation of the Arctic through vivid descriptions, this book is for you!

I recommend this book to fans of Kevlin Tumlinson, James Rollins and Ernest Dempsey

Trigger Warnings: Deity Swears | Profanity | Violence | Graphic Injuries | Death

Read my full review on my blog: https://readorrot.com/colony-by-benja...
Profile Image for Kelsey Josund.
Author 2 books43 followers
March 4, 2021
Thanks to the author for an ARC!

Rounded up from 3.5/5

Fast paced and readable thriller. Seems like there was a good deal of attention to detail that went into the different sorts of science the various characters practiced, though I'm not an expert in any of them so I can't say for sure. I did catch one of them exclaim "like evolution in reverse!" when talking about the dinosaurs, which is just...not how evolution works. But other than that, reactions seemed plausible. The motivations of the characters all made a kind of sense, which is important in a story like this one, where they're all acting and reacting constantly.

I wished the women could have been a bit more fleshed out; it felt like we really understood the protagonist and the villain(s?) but not the two women who also survived all the way through to the end. It's tricky since they weren't perspective characters, but I feel like it could have been done.

The concept was great. I'm always down for a good survival story, and the combination of things the characters had to face in order to survive was delightfully convoluted enough that the frequent deaths were believable. There were a couple twists that I did not see coming, but which made sense in retrospect -- the mark of a great twist!
Profile Image for Jovita.
2 reviews
February 13, 2021
First of all this book is the first novel this author has ever released and it ended up great, so congratulations to author on that.
I enjoyed reading this book, the descriptions were so detailed that I could almost see myself in the place of the main character, I also loved the fact that the author wrote about some of the very common problems in today's world.
It's also a very great book for people who like thrillers, I got literal chills while reading some of the parts.
So overall this book is awesome, and I recommend it to everyone that even has a slightest interest in thrillers.
Profile Image for thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich).
907 reviews42 followers
March 27, 2021
"The only difference between myth and history, Doctor Ross, is that we choose to believe history."

Oh wow. What an incredibly gripping debut by Benjamin Cross! Colony is an action-packed, eco thriller and horror all in one and I flew through this book! A well-crafted plot with characters you love and hate, this book was unputdownable!

Colony tells the story of Archaeology Professor Callum Ross and a group of scientists who are assigned to conduct an environmental impact assessment of Harmsworth Island in Franz Josef Land - a Russian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Dr. Ross would later discover a prehistoric ice mummy whose death may prove that the myth of monster Tansu Taibaa to be true. As Dr. Ross tries to unravel the mystery of this ice mummy, someone has sabotaged the expedition. Now they are all left stranded on this remote island and something is coming for them.

The first few chapters of the book is more about scene-setting which the author did an excellent job. It may seems to be a bit slow but I think these chapters added depth to the story. I enjoyed the atmospheric details of the place and the archaeology element in this book. Then, we meet all the team members and Dr. Ava Lee, a vertebrate palaeontologist is my favourite too besides Dr. Ross. I learned about bite radius identification and Lazarus Taxon and I'm happy about that!

Once the plot begin to unravel, it is a non-stop action at breakneck pace! I find myself rooting for these characters and just had to keep turning the pages. There are some bloody and gore scenes but not too overwhelming.

In a nutshell, Colony is one impressive debut novel and a solid five-star read for me! I can't wait to read the next book by this author!

***Thank you Blackthorn Book Tours and author Benjamin Cross for having me in Colony Book Tour, and for this gifted copy to read & review. ***
Profile Image for Londeka Shabangu.
70 reviews7 followers
February 16, 2021
Callum an archaeologist is asked to take the place of his friend and mentor on an expedition to a remote Arctic Island. A group of scientists led by a soldier named Koikov and a native man who acts as a guide...

What could possibly go wrong?

Not a single page had me drifting off to any other universe but the one the author has created. Everything about it felt more than real. I'm a total sucker for descriptions and the description of the island was a cherry. I'm in love with how it didn't take me two chapters to be transported into the novel. Not once did the author fail to suck the reader in at every turn.

A perfect mixture of action, adventure, thriller, horror, drama, you name it and most importantly interesting characters. It has a wonderful mixture of everything which in that case I'd like to believe almost every reader would be more than satisfied.

This was a wonderful read (I cannot emphasize this enough) I'd definitely read it again. I can't wait for the authors next adventure. Not only did I get sucked into this novel but I learnt quiet a few things and for that I'm more than greatful...

Thankful for the opportunity to read this amazing novel for an honest review. Grazie mille.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 173 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.