Top critical review
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Bad retelling of "Island of Dr. Moreau", with cast who pratfalls into peril every page and dies gruesomely.
on April 5, 2016
I purchased based on the multitude of positive reviews on Amazon and was disappointed at how amateurish this novel turned out to be. I love sci-fi and the new weird fiction, and this seemed a good blend of the two at first glance. It is unfortunately just a poor retelling of "The Island of Doctor Moreau", with some poorly written cinematic-style scenes and every bad horror trope thrown in for good measure. We had some Jaws in there, a fair amount of Alien, Jurassic Park, Congo, X-Files, etc etc etc.
The characters are about as 2-D as you'd expect: A ranger, nicknamed "Ranger" (sigh) who was taught by an Indian scout; A smart, plucky, cute Biologist Lady as the love-interest; The Writer From Bahstahn (That's Boston, hurr hurr!) who happens to know all about the backstory from a book he's researching; and Some Other Dumb Archetypes like The Kid, The Coward, The Engineer, and The Captain. Oh and the Villians, who are the next generation of Mad Scientists modeled on Dr. Mengele and the Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Military.
Besides the awful character non-development, hackneyed plot and butchered retelling of an HG Wells classic, the characters perform all the hokey self-inflicted idiocies of bad horror films: Miss their shots, drop their keys/ammo/guns, take stupid routes through dangerous areas, repeatedly split up (The hero always insists on going alone, everywhere, and makes some of the worst decisions in horror history, against his outdoorsman heroic background type) and generally drop about 500 collective IQ points while the monsters that populate the island are just ridiculously omniscient and super-powered through the dumbest non-science in a science-fictiony world I've ever read. Might as well be magic. Oh and every character can and will slip on a banana peel if it lands them inches away from the beakmouth of a croco-squid.
If this is how the rest of the author's works go, I'd say there's some crazy grade inflation going on his reviews, and leave it at that.
I won't be reading anything by this author, ever again.