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The Hematophages Paperback – April 1, 2017
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The protagonist, Paige, is the source of the book's humor as she's a snarky, somewhat off-kilter graduate student born and raised on a station (or "station bunny"). The opportunity to find the lost starship Manifest Destiny is an irresistible chance for her to escape a life of mundanity. Of course, with a title like Hemophages, you know you're going to encounter something horrifying on said starship. Even so, the anticipation takes awhile to get to the monsters and the story is all the better for it. The crew of the RV Borgwardt, by contrast, are a cynical bunch of women who are just barely able to keep from shooting each other on a good day. Manners has not transferred to the new century and everyone only cares about their bonus. It's the perfect sort of environment to add brain-eating mind-control worms and, really, they only tip things over into full-blown mutiny. Poor Paige is probably the only one with any sensible views on the situation and even she is routinely tempted by greed.
This book is a lot funnier than it has any right to be while still remaining squarely in the horror genre. If you're willing to enjoy some not-entirely serious science fiction then this is the book for you. The ending is a lot bleaker than I expected given the subject matter but it still has a humorous coda.
Fishing for fauna in a sea of blood, lampreys up the vajayjay, Breaking Bad arm bands, Nia the Skin Wrapper pirate, an eye-popping good finger, and insane in the eel brain.
I’m not much of a sci-fi guy, but there were enough horror elements here to keep me satisfied and engaged, even though it really didn’t get rolling until about 60%. Once it did get rolling, it took off. A nicely done and appropriately bloody tale. 4.5 Amazon Stars!
In his latest novel, set in the distant future where men are inexplicably not part of the equation, a matriarchal , corporate-driven space world is exploring the far reaches. Our protagonist, Paige, a station bunny, is about to embark on her first voyage "into the ink." But those aboard the Borgwaldt are seemingly unaware of what they will ultimately encounter as they explore what they believe is a fleshworld...an entire planet that's a living organism. However, upon reaching the planet, Paige and crew discover the fabled, crashed ship The Manifest Destiny, long thought to have vanished with no survivors. But there have been survivors, decades ago, and their offspring. And their hostility is the last thing the crew of the Borgwaldt should be worried about...
Fans of Alien, and the like, will enjoy this cleverly written novel, but it does take a bit for the action to kick in. But when it does, watch out! And the world building Kozeniewski does within the scope of the book is impressive.
She is a researcher and is offered the job of a lifetime, researching everything remotely available on seed ships and becoming an almost overnight expert. In return she will ship out on the RV Borgwardt, made for deep space salvage and Rescue.
She surmised that a derelict seed ship has been discovered and they want someone knowledgeable about all aspects of it before going to salvage it. She quickly realizes it's the lost seed ship The Manifest Destiny that has been discovered after being lost hundreds of years ago after taking off from Earth.
Okay, so far I'm mostly good with the story. Note that the reader learns all of the above information in the very first part of the book.
But, while character development is done well by the author, I was disappointed in his world building. This story supposedly takes place hundreds of years in the future and, to me, there wasn't a lot of details on how the future differs from current day. Yes, there were a few things thrown in to make you believe it was the future but the story was definitely not an immersive experience.
It is a horror story and there were some good horror parts but I really felt like they could have been happening on modern day Earth and might have fared better and seemed more believable if they had.
Oh, and the big question to me that popped out almost from the beginning of the story is given a couple of sentences and is never fully addressed.
I have read other books by author Kozeniewski like BRAINEATER JONES and enjoyed them. I'm glad I read this one but don't see myself ever re-reading it.
Most recent customer reviews
I appreciated how much time Mr. Kozeniewski spent on the world building and character development before the plot sped up.Read more
A unique and entertaining science fiction horror novel with some good ideas that mostly pay off.Read more
But this is no ordinary mission...Read more