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The Specimen: A Novel of Horror (The Riders Saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Pete Kahle
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Book Description

WINNER - 2014 KINDLE BOOK AWARDS (Horror/Suspense) - The Kindle Book Review

From a crater lake on an island off the coast of Bronze Age Estonia...
To a crippled Viking warrior's conquest of England ...
To the bloody temple of an Aztec god of death and resurrection...
Their presence has shaped our world.

They are the RIDERS.

One month ago, an urban explorer was drawn to an abandoned asylum in the mountains of northern Massachusetts. There he discovered a large specimen jar, containing something organic, unnatural and possibly alive.

Now, he and a group of unsuspecting individuals have discovered one of history's most horrific secrets. Whether they want to or not, they are caught in the middle of a millennia-old war and the latest battle is about to begin...

Editorial Reviews


WINNER - 2014 Kindle Book Awards (Horror/Suspense) - The Kindle Book Review

"I do not recall reading such an epic debut novel, since I first discovered Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule... I am so glad that [Kahle] decided to finally unleash his twisted mind upon the world. Fans of Brian Lumley and Richard Laymon will be all the better for it!" - The Mad Ravings of an Entertainment Junkie.

"For a first time novelist, Pete Kahle certainly does not lack for ambition. He boldly goes right for the jugular in constructing a millennia-spanning tale... This interesting riff on Invasion of the Body Snatchers - which also shares some attributes with Richard Laymon's novel, Flesh - is epic in length for a horror novel... By the end of the novel, there's much to like about The Specimen. It crosses the divide between sci-fi and horror (with plenty of thriller elements thrown in) very well."  - Horror After Dark

"[Kahle] ...does a good job of crafting scenes. Each one is well written and really puts you in the middle of the situation. The creatures are plenty creepy, otherworldly, and disgusting as they burrow into a person's back with their spiny tentacles. The Specimen is an action-filled story... [that] will hold your interest and keep you entertained." - Horror Novel Reviews

About the Author

Pete Kahle has been dreaming and talking about writing novels since his teens, but after flirting with the idea in college, he spent 25 years working in a variety of careers before he finally stopped voicing his wishes and started putting pen to paper and fulfilling his dream

He has lived in New York, Arizona and Spain, but now he resides in Massachusetts with his beautiful wife Noemi, his two amazing children Zoe and Eli, one dog, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and two frogs.
Pete is a voracious reader of horror, thrillers and science fiction novels and he writes in the same vein. He is also a rabid fan of the New York Jets, despite living deep in the heart of enemy territory near Gillette Stadium.
His first novel, THE SPECIMEN, is an epic tale of unrelenting alien terror. Recently, Pete also solicited the contributions of 47 other authors and put together WIDOWMAKERS: A BENEFIT ANTHOLOGY OF DARK FICTION to help fellow scribe, James Newman, in a time of need.
His next novel, BLOOD MOTHER, is due out in the spring of 2015, followed by THE ABOMINATION, the 2nd novel in the Specimen Saga... and that's just the beginning.
There are many other twisted tales percolating inside his head, and now that the dark closet in his subconscious has been opened, the monsters are clamoring to come out for a visit.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1852 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1495230007
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: PK Horror; 2nd edition (April 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,542 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Pete Kahle's The Specimen. I tend to dive into the rankings of sci-fi books (and sometimes horror, in this case) to find some sort of new idea. I love sci-fi. I found Kahle's new book somewhere in the bowels of the rankings (understandable, given it's a debut novel coming from an independent publisher).

Holy crap, can this dude write a compelling and entertaining horror/sci-fi novel. The amount of research alone to knock this out is quite impressive.

Though I expected this to be mostly a horror book, The Specimen very much exceeded my expectations on every level. Kahle paints such a descriptive picture of every scene, and I absolutely adore the variance of his characters. One moment I'll be squeamish, the next moment feeling anxiety due to the suspense, and suddenly I'm laughing at something just completely wild. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to try something new. It's a real page-turner.

This is a must-buy. I'll be diving in again shortly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read May 25, 2014
By Sheri
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a copy directly from the author on this one, and I had it flagged on my to read list for a while as the premise sounded interesting. For a first time author, this rocks! Thanks Pete, looking forward to another installment there. Important note - this is NOT a cliffhanger ending, just leaves room for future expansion.

Some of the scenes were exceptionally graphic and not for the faint of heart. I was not expecting such vivid detail.

The interludes showing the past history of the riders was interesting and handled well when merged into the 'today' story. There was a lot of jumping between the characters, which made it exceptionally hard getting a handle on the them and caring about them til over the mid way point. Be warned though, at the 3/4 mark there is no way to just set this down.

There are a few unanswered questions left there for me, such as how the riders, Elders especially, have not been truly discovered when they are really out there in plain sight. I would also like to know more about the Cluster, and how it was able to evolve the way it did.

As an avid sci fi horror reader, mark this author as one to keep an eye on.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised... May 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't know exactly how I found this book, but the summary sounded good. Since I wasn't sure about it, I borrowed the book from the Kindle Library. I knocked it around for a couple of days, then started reading it. Once I started reading, I honestly could not stop.

Surprised doesn't even begin to describe how I felt about this book, especially since I found it to be the author's debut novel. The plot was strong and interesting and very exciting. I didn't want this book to end! The characters were well drawn, and the list at the beginning of the book, telling who was what and when they were, made me feel like I knew each character just a little bit as they were introduced into the story.

The only drawback was the way the book was edited, or not edited. There were points where I was bumped out of the story because a word was wrong or missing or words ran together, but these bumps were few. Most of the time I just absorbed it and kept reading because I found the story so interesting and exciting.

Though I borrowed this book, I will be purchasing it when I return it. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially fans of horror and sci fi.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! April 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't stop reading this book. The more I read the more freaked out I got. This is a smorgasbord of everything you love in one book. You can stuff yourself on horror, suspense, thriller, and a lot of sci-fi. The characters are so amazingly developed they become as familiar as your family. Not once during this book will you yawn in boredom because the moment you open the cover and slip inside this book, the ride never slows down. I loved this book and enjoyed ever surprise and twist and horror that I stumbled on. This is one book you won't regret buying nor is it a book you'll easily forget. The hard work and time the author put into writing this novel was well worth it for the readers. If I were asked to say one negative thing about this book it would be- the ride had to end. But I look forward to more great novels from this writer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner May 24, 2014
By Terri
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being a scientist and engineer I typically have trouble with horror novels. This one had an aspect of authenticity that helped me suspend disbelief and get lost in the story. I was worried it would be too long to finish because I never read in long chunks (kids never leave me alone), but this one was so engrossing I felt sad when I finished!! The book has deep layers of description and complexity that kept up pace by capturing you with something interesting at the beginning of every chapter. This results in an incredible page turner. Can't wait for the next one Pete Kahle.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Full disclosure: I received my copy for free, but I do not personally know the author, and I am not getting paid for this review.

"The Specimen" is a decent first effort from a new indie/self-published author. The plot is quite interesting, borrowing from the alien possession trope (think Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters") while still providing a fresh take on the subject. Much of the writing is quite good, with entire chapters being of the quality you'd encounter from well-known accomplished authors. So Kahle definitely shows promise as a new novelist.

But he could benefit greatly from an editor and better proofreading. There were way too many plot threads and characters to track, and far too many "mechanisms" by which he tells the story -- not only direct third person omniscient narration (which he should have stuck to more), but also telling parts of the story via newspaper reports, a character's personal journal, another character's lab notes, and a few others. He gets a little carried away bouncing back and forth between these mechanisms.

He also commits many of the errors common to newbie/indie authors -- although not as bad as most of the indie authors whose novels I've reviewed here. There is the occasional awkward wording choices (example: "... as the agony of his wounds slammed into him..."), and a few analogies that border on Dan Brownesque levels of painfulness (example: "The flashing red and blue lights cut through the rain like neon lights at a club"). There were some punctuation errors that should have been caught in proofreading, for instance forgetting to close dialogue with ending double-quote marks in several places. Also, a few inconsistencies: for example, "... as he pulled open the shop door to a blast of cold air ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Host" with much more horror and a lot less love
THE SPECIMEN is a uniquely written new take on the "intelligent alien parasite uses human beings as host" trope first popularized by Robert Heinlein in THE PUPPER MASTERS in a 1951... Read more
Published 3 days ago by James Tepper
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done!
What specifically sets this novel apart is the comprehensive patchwork style that challenges any notion of what a story can be. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Mike Norris
1.0 out of 5 stars DISGUSTING
This is the Worst book I have ever read it has several pages of cats having their brains smashed out guts ripped out bones crushed in the most disgusting and cruel way I will NEVER... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Marilyn Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I was hooked from page one!!.. Can't wait to read more from Pete Kahle...
Published 7 days ago by June Schramm
1.0 out of 5 stars BREAKS EVERY RULE IN THE BOOK
I like the story, it's 5 star. Exactly the sort of thing I really want to read. It features "demonic possession by attachment of a secondary intelligent entity" so it almost... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mathew Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Sci-fi Horror read
One of the best sci-fi horror fiction that I've read in recent times. Can't imagine a first time author writing such a detailed, well balanced and enthralling book. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Shankar Mukherjee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read - Recommend to all
It was a epic novel. It was a good mixture of science fiction and horror. Nice and long. A lot of characters that were well developed. Just enough gore to make it interesting. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Susan
1.0 out of 5 stars Disorganized and hard to follow.
With all the vomiting, pain, torture, dismemberments, and other bizarre s***, I found the most WTF moments came from the inability to call a man's genitals anything but "man... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Alien creature is awesome, but no main characters??!
I searched for and found Pete Kahle's The Specimen when I told Amazon I wanted a story like Peter Benchley's Jaws. Read more
Published 24 days ago by rizaroza
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Blend
This is the first thing I've ever read by Peter Kahle, but it won't be the last. The book has great pacing, believable characters and the story as a whole is great. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Pete Kahle has been dreaming about writing novels since his teens, but after flirting with the idea in college, he spent 25 years working in a variety of careers before he finally stopped talking about it and started writing.

He has lived in New York, Arizona and Spain, but now he resides in Massachusetts with his beautiful wife Noemi, his two amazing children Zoe and Eli, one dog, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and two frogs.

Pete is a voracious reader of horror, thrillers and science fiction novels and he writes in the same vein. He is also an insane fan of the New York Jets, despite living deep in the heart of enemy territory near Gillette Stadium.

THE SPECIMEN is his first novel, but it certainly will not be his last. He is currently working on BLOOD MOTHER, a stand-alone vampiric novel - without vampires - due out in the spring of 2015. On the horizon is THE ABOMINATION, Book 2 in the Riders Saga, and most likely a 3rd book in the series with the tentative title of THE HORSEMEN.

Pete most recently organized and edited WIDOWMAKERS, an anthology of dark fiction and poetry to help fellow author James Newman in a time of need.

Now that the dark closet in his subconscious has been opened, the monsters are clamoring to come out for a visit.

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