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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Colony was a quick read that kept me interested (and itching) the whole way through. I look forward to the next novel from this author.
Published 17 months ago by Burr

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drivel
There is a place for books like this... they are a quick read and fun, in a goofy way. If you don't mind wasting a few hours on mindless nonsense this is OK. I remember as a kid reading a book (I believe it was called Feral) about killer cats in Long Island (seriously- though I can't find this book on amazon anywhere). This is pretty much in the same league. Goofy...
Published 22 months ago by DWM


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drivel, March 30, 2013
By 
DWM "Engineer" (Freehold, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
There is a place for books like this... they are a quick read and fun, in a goofy way. If you don't mind wasting a few hours on mindless nonsense this is OK. I remember as a kid reading a book (I believe it was called Feral) about killer cats in Long Island (seriously- though I can't find this book on amazon anywhere). This is pretty much in the same league. Goofy stereotyped characters, evil military, evil corporations, illogical (and annoying) characters, bad dialogue, poor grasp of physics (using Neutron bombs as a way of killing underground ants?) all sum up to harmless fun- if you have nothing better to do (no friends, no dates, no better books to read like and encyclopedia) this ones for you. If you like movies like Armageddon or The Core, which cheerfully dump anything realistic, then climb on board.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Hollywood than Pulp Fiction, January 13, 2013
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for review.

Weaponized ants. Government secrets. A panicked, dying public.

And the scientists who can save them.

It's a sci-fi thriller that's more Hollywood than pulp fiction. To me it's more Michael Crichton than Stephen King because I wasn't afraid to sleep or wondering what sick mind came up with this nightmare.

My list of things to kill without mercy and to the very last one:

1.) Bed bugs

has now grown to include:

2.) Some species of ants

I wasn't scared of ants before or after reading. However, I wasn't aware of just how much damage fire ants were causing, which is a growing problem and actually threatening to our way of life.

The opening was really enthralling. Then I started seeing how it was going to go and interest waned. It really picks up again after 100 or so pages for me, making a great ride to the end; where instead of racing off the cliff into glory, it sputters and stalls in an anti-climatic huff.

I didn't have a problem with the dialogue or the writing. It's just Hollywood style. Of course, I can see how that's an issue for some people or not their style. There's not much depth, except what you can imagine seeing as flashbacks and information nuggets in dialogue like they do in movies. Usually, I'm all about character depth but this book works. It is what it is - an enjoyable, short, entertaining movie-like read. Best used as a guilty pleasure, simple escape for a couple of hours. Not really a must read or must own but I don't think you'll regret borrowing it or buying it on sale. It's not bad, just average. Nothing really stand out or outstanding here.

I do not like love triangles. This one actually didn't bother me for a couple of reasons. The love triangle isn't played up or or drawn out. It's relatively minor and felt more like a backstory/history to me than a current tug-O-war. It makes sense because how many myrmecologists are there? Entomological Society of America for entomologist and people in related disciplines only has more than 6,000 members and myrmecology is just one sect of insect specialists. So if you're looking for a partner that shares your field, there isn't that many to choose from. (Of course a similar argument could be made regarding high school love triangles but the difference is those come off as way more childish and melodramatic to me.)

I liked how it talked about the science. I'm the type to question and call bulls*** if something smells fishy. I literally stop to fact check. All the time. (I also stop movies to talk about things that just happened) This novice layman fact checker is happy. It worked for me. Of course, I'd be interested in what an actual scientist says on the matter but for the general public I don't think the science is too out there or too hard to understand.

Yelling for most of the book (like I yell at the TV) until the end,
"Y U SO STUPID HUMANS?"
"Y U NO SEE THE CLUES?"
"Y U SUCK SO MUCH HUMANS?"
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"
"About time!"
"Kill them alllllllllllllllllll."
"Wait, what? Huh? Ooh. Okayyyyy."

Entertaining but not really fear inducing for me. Certainly got reactions from me through. Not really sure how I feel about the character ending. Seemed rather pathetic, after all they go through. I wanted more vengeance than information digging. I wanted to follow Kendra as her company took off and replaced the pest companies. I wanted to cheer for her as she dominates her field, "Yeah, you show them! Let `em choke on it!" and instead got the sappy, rom-con happily ever after ending. Kinda took the wind out of my sails.

Of course, the driving off into the sunset would make a beautiful cinematic ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, August 28, 2013
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
Colony was a quick read that kept me interested (and itching) the whole way through. I look forward to the next novel from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ants !, July 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
A very fast moving book with a cast of characters and situations that may seem familiar to all. Evil military, bad scientist, unleashed monsters etc. The success is in the blend and Colucci does this very well. I found it entertaining and if you like mutated beings books so will you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Colony", June 18, 2013
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
The Colony, a debut novel from author A. J. Colucci, who has spent fifteen years working as a magazine editor and newspaper reporter, combines elements of styles of the horrific with the likes of Stephen King, along with the science and fast-paced thriller of a Michael Crichton novel. Slap a catchy James Rollins quote on the cover, and you've got yourself a creepy, terrifying, addicting read.

With books about things like killer ants, you want the story to get started right away, and not involve too much build-up. The Colony does just this with a contemplative prologue that sets up the story, and goes straight into some opening chapters of ordinary New Yorkers going about their daily lives, and then being attacked and overrun by millions of ants, as they are poisoned and eaten alive.

Our main characters are Kendra Hart, a brilliant entomologist working in the deserts of New Mexico, who is picked up by the US government and taken to New York to join the team, which includes her ex-husband, Paul O'Keefe who has become an international celebrity as "the ant guy" and made fortunes from it. Kendra also finds her ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, on the team, using his entomological and computer skills.

But the bodies are piling up, and things are turning into a national catastrophe. What all these talented scientists know is that the big invasion is coming too; trillions of ants of a new, murderous species have been growing and multiplying beneath New York City and will soon begin their attack. It's up to the ant scientists to come up with a plan to stop them, because they have the military breathing down their necks with the only sure and known way to kill these ants, but that will involve destroying Manhattan with a nuclear bomb.

The Colony is a gripping book that's hard to put down. While the quasi love-triangle gets a little heavy handed in the middle of everything going on, Colucci does a great job of mixing up action packed scenes with descriptively horrific moments involving a tiny, seemingly innocent insect. The Colony gives you shivers and sets your heart racing; just what every good book should do.

Originally written on February 6, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

For more reviews, check out the BookBanter site: http://www.bookbanter.net.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Ant-Antennae WAY-UP !, December 3, 2012
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is a va-va-voom 50s B-movie genre plot, revamped to interface with 21st century science with a hip B-52 band sound track. Up-front-and-center is an animated tripping-on-the rift sexy-doll, whom the author fleshes-out with literary aplomb; plus adds to this curvy bosum-blonde, a non sequitur high IQ. Her x is a good looking professor who was once her teacher. There's a boyfriend, who is the x'es academic competitor. There are the military testerone jocks, and the general whose empathy places him, all too soon in the crosshairs. And, of course, there's the fiercely-imagined ant super colony.
The reference to Crichton is well placed, in that the science is cutting-edge, and the themes of caution that Crichton addressed so well; are thankfully, superbly carried-on by author A. J. Colucci.
There are many hot bottoms in this scientific thriller: collective decision making; IPM, or integrated pest management, which involves sophisticated, biologically based methods of controlling insect populations; manipulation of insect pheromes; synthetic versions of a females mating order; the world's pesticide-dependent mentality; and much more. Plus the author goes into detail. For example, he tells of the six agricultural chemical giants, who were only to happy to push the next generation of toxic chemicals on farmers, as the insects became resistant to the old ones. Poison was the solution of choice, despite the fact that only 2% reached the intended targets & the other 98% ended up in the air, soil, and drinking water, while killing off beneficial indigenous insects. The novel is spiced up with interesting facts: in Texas, ants are the leading cause of traffic light failure; the largest super colony ever discovered streches through Italy, France, & Spain and then spans thousands of kilometers throughout Japan & California.
This stylish work has a hoodo mixture of many textures that make a cool-fast-breeze of a read; all the while becoming informed in an entertaining, and yet provative thoughtful manner.

Five-Ant-Antennae WAY-UP !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Crawly Craziness!, June 3, 2013
This review can also be seen at topoftheheapreviews(dot)com

I have a bit of an ant problem at my house this summer. This book didn't do anything to help that issue.

This is the first book written by AJ Colucci, and what a book it is. There are several factors that had me from beginning to end, not the least of which were the Driver ants, or Siafu.

Did I mention some can fly? Time to get scared.

These things have colonies in Africa that are in upwards of 20 MILLION ants. I thought the few that I'm killing every day in my kitchen were a lot!

Now imagine that someone has genetically altered them to be a little larger, attack humans, and inserted a queen into a colony in New York. You now have the perfect killing machine. These things will attack, sting, and liquify you from the inside out all in about 10 minutes. It's painful, and I'm sure watching the ants literally crawling under your skin in the last paralyzing moments of your life isn't too wonderful either.

The ants have essentially started eradicating humans from New York, and the Mayor has sent for the top two ant entomologists in the world to help figure out how to kill these things. Pesticides don't work due to the way their exoskeleton has been evolved, and you can't step on them and squish them...have you tried to kill 2 million ants with your foot at once?

The two entomologists, Paul and Kendra, just happened to have been married at one time and are now forced to work together again. Throw in someone whom Kendra had an affair with to help and you have a bit of a love triangle mixed in with the ants. The ants were more compelling. The biggest problem this book had was characterization. The love triangle just didn't hold any weight, you didn't care one way or the other. The focus was entirely on finding the cure, who did it and why. That's not really a bad thing, just expect to care more about the victims of the ants than the central characters.

That being said though, the ants are the real stars of the book. This is more of a "monster movie" at it's heart, but it's plausible that this monster movie could happen. Everything here is well researched, it's well explained, and based in fact. You will learn quite a bit about ants, how the colonies are constructed, and how they interact with the queens. The ants are gruesome, and provide enough of a gore factor to satiate the appetite of someone looking for gruesome deaths, but it's restrained enough that your imagination will take you places you don't really want it to go.

You get the feeling through reading this that this could be written for the big screen, and probably (should be) at the very least be a SyFy adaptation at some point. It has all the makings of one. Taught suspense, high action, gore, several different climaxes, a little bit of government conspiracy, and a large twist (you'll either love it or hate it, no in between).

The Bottom Line: A first novel you say? Well done. I enjoyed this quite a bit despite my qualms with the characterizations. These monster siafu ants stole the show, and are creepy as hell. If you want something that is based in fact, well researched, exciting, fast moving and has Hollywood style, blockbuster events, then this book is for you. If you want something that is creepy, and will make you think twice about the ants you see, this book is for you. If you want something that has a bit of gore but leaves a bit to the imagination, again, this book is for you. I have a feeling you'll move a little quick to get an ant off of you from here on out after reading this book. I bet you'll even feel them crawling on you, and look and see nothing there.

Sleep tight!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, May 31, 2013
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A.J. Colucci makes the possibility of an eco-terrorist releasing genetically modified killer ants upon New York City believable and weaves in a love triangle between the entomologists that have the knowledge to derail the insects before they destroy the human race. Well-researched and well-written with excellent imagery and a movie worthy premise.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Done before, and much better, May 26, 2013
This review is from: The Colony: A Novel (Hardcover)
I hate writing bad reviews, mainly because I know how hard it is to write a book. But unfortunately there are some bad books out there - The Colony being one of them.

I picked up The Colony because of the great title and cover art. I love all kinds of disaster books - man made or natural - and a book about a major bug infestation is right up my alley. Maybe I didn't like The Colony because I've read so many other books of a simimlar ilk, including the granddaddies of the genre. Think The Rats. In comparison to them The Colony just doesn't hold up. Yes, killer ants are a cool idea. And the author does a good job describing the yucky buggers (HUGE yucky buggers), but the drama is rote, there's nothing new in terms of ideas, and definitely not enough suspense or drama. Too bad.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It has all been done before, May 23, 2013
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As a first-off thriller by the author, this is not bad; but I think the story lacks in credibility, character definition and simple suspense writing technique.

Although the premise for the story (NY taken over by killer mutant ants) is intriguing, I find the narrative on the human response lacking. It's a bit like reading something by Dan Brown: the hero of the story is just too lucky and too bright to be credible. And the end plot which stakes the single hero with The Truth against The Man with the power is just clichè.

I was a bit dissapointed with my purchase; but the story shows promise and I will keep an eye out for new books by the author.
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The Colony: A Novel
The Colony: A Novel by A. J. Colucci (Hardcover - November 13, 2012)
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