If you’re a fan of big monsters, this is definitely a story for you. Max Hawthorne’s “Kronos Rising” takes readers on a roller coaster ride of gigantic scale. We’re talking prehistoric big.
The heroes of the novel are Jake Braddock, the sheriff of a small coastal Florida town, and Amara Takagi, a marine biologist.
Then there’s the monster. The first clue readers get about its size comes from Amara researching a fragment of the creature’s tooth. According to her calculations, the whole tooth would weigh about 8 pounds. The approximate size of the monster, when we finally encounter it, is more than twice the length and width of a typical city bus. This titanic beast is fast and vicious — at one point it takes down a massive bull sperm whale with little effort.
However, the greater monsters in the book are the humans who want to hunt the beast down and kill it. “Kronos Rising” is a solid read. Hawthorne is good at writing action sequences and keeps the story moving at a brisk pace.
Reminiscent of “Jurassic Park” or “Jaws,” “Kronos Rising” shows Hawthorne really did his homework to bring the creature to life in the story. He occasionally writes from the viewpoint of the monster in a way that pulls readers in. It’s a good adventure story and a pretty easy read, which doesn’t slow down or bore the reader.
By Toledo Free Press
"A word to the wise: if you bite your nails, you'd better wear oven mitts when reading Kronos Rising. It will drag you down to the depths of fear and take you back for a breath of air as fast as you can turn the pages. Readers beware: a new master of marine terror is in your bookstore, and his name is Max Hawthorne!"- Stan Pottinger, NY Times Bestselling author
"The entire horror universe now has a new writer. Kronos Rising, by Max Hawthorne is a delightful edge-of-your-seater, guaranteed to leave readers wanting to keep the lights on . . ."
"Congratulations to Max Hawthorne (author) and Davide Bonadonna(illustrator) for winning the Silver Medal in the 2016 AUTHORSdb CoverArt Contest for Hawthorne's horror novel, KRONOS RISING."-AUTHORSdb
"Kronos Rising tells the story of a prehistoric marine reptile which has inexplicably shown up in modern times and started terrorizing a coastal community. At first glance, said plot isn't a whole lot different from Peter Benchley's Jaws. However, the old saying, "It's not what you have, it's what you do with it" springs to mind in relation to writer Max Hawthorne's novel. Hawthorne uses a wide variety of techniques to help Kronos Rising stand out from the crowd.Throughout the course of the book, we are treated to intermittent 'flashback' chapters which take place during the time of the dinosaurs,which gradually reveal clues as to how and why the mighty pliosaur has suddenly appeared in the 21st Century. As far as the human element is concerned, the roster of characters contains a varied assortment of people with all sorts of goals and agendas in order to keep things interesting. Of course, all the well written character development in the world would be of little use in a book about a prehistoric predator run amuck if not accompanied by exciting set pieces. It is in this department where Kronos Rising excels. Between high speed chases, fistfights, shoot outs and underwater battles between giant denizens of the deep, there is no shortage of action sequences. What sets Max Hawthorne's novel of maritime horror apart from most modern creature features is that the author displays a sense of respect for the source material. While the concept of a pliosaur surviving into the modern times is unlikely at best, Hawthorne lays out his case for it in such away that everything seems plausible within the context of the book - a master class in the suspension of disbelief. Kronos Rising is reminiscent of the work of Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Congo) in that it weaves together an exciting and gripping yarn which, despite depicting fantastical subject matter, doesn't insult the reader's intelligence by appealing to the lowest common denominator."
Sean Markey Krank.ie
KRONOS RISING By Max Hawthorne
Far From The Tree Press, LLC, 562 pages
The book Jaws by Peter Benchley was published in 1974 and became an international bestseller, followed by the movie adaptation that became an instant cult classic and a favorite of many. Since then, some sequels have been made and many knock-off novels that play on the whole idea of a sea monster on the loose terrorizing a small town and its people. I thought Kronos Rising would be another unrealistic example of this genre: predictable, over the top, and simply inaccurate, but the book was, in fact, a complete surprise.
The characters in Kronos Rising are well developed, each with their own complicated backgrounds that have a strong bearing on their current lives. The key to a good story is conflict, and this book is full of it, as the characters come into conflict with each other, which, at times, feels a little contrived, but nevertheless makes for addictive, page-turning reading. Max Hawthorne has also done his research into marine biology and ocean life, which all helps make his characters more knowledgeable and interesting and the whole world more believable, even if there is a giant monster eating people in it. The writing is compelling and action-filled, so even though the book is well over 500 pages long, it is still an addictive read. While the last third of the book goes off the rails a little, and some of the characters become almost caricatures, overall the book is a great addition to this genre, worthy of sitting on the shelf next to Peter Benchley's Jaws.
San Francisco Book Review
Star Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
"Freed by chance geologic events from the refuge that saved its kind 65million years previously, a Mesozoic horror rises to engulf a quaint East Coast Florida town. An 80-foot eating machine that's neither fish nor mammal, the relentless beast wreaks havoc in the already-complicated lives of several disparate people: a former Olympic fencing champion turned small town sheriff, a conservationist/marine biologist and a psychotic politician. Some other Mesozoic dietary staples of this monster make cameos along the way, as well as some familiar "sea monsters" of modern oceans.
In addition to the horrific predations of the unstoppable beast, several interesting themes are explored in the human drama: post-traumatic stress related to domestic abuse and alcoholism, strained family relations when members are on opposing sides of marine conservation issues and too much power leading to megalomania. This is a fun, entertaining thriller in the tradition of so many greats before it: MOBY DICK, JAWS, BEAST, the writings of Steve Alten.
However, it is not derivative of those works and stands on its own merits. At 562 pages, it is not just a pulp novel,either. The characters are well-realized and help carry the story in a compelling fashion. Portions of the novel also carry you back to cataclysmic events in the Age of the Dinosaurs that are as exciting as the modern day drama. I highly recommend KRONOS RISING as a great summer read, just in time for "sea monster" season at the beach! Max Hawthorne's debut novel is hopefully the beginning of more, equally compelling work in a similar vein in the future."
- Scott Mardis on April 28th, 2014 (Cryptomundo)
Dragons, dinosaurs, huge killer sharks - I've always loved monsters. It's one of the reasons I enjoy the "Meg" books by Steve Alten. Meg stands for Megalodon, a giant shark that lived during prehistoric times. It was huge, the largest carnivorous fish known to exist. It wasn't, however,the only predator of the deep. There was Kronosaurus, a marine reptile characterized by a thick head, short neck, and outsized flippers. Its ecological niche appears to be the similar as the Great White Shark. It ate squid, turtles, fish, and smaller dinosaurs, anything that swam into its path.
Kronosaurus ruled the seas during the Cretaceous Period, but that was millions of years ago. It couldn't possibly exist today. Or could it? The oceans' depths still remain mostly un-mapped.It's said we are more familiar with the surface of the Moon than our planet's oceans. Maybe, just maybe, something has survived from long ago.
Max Hawthorne wonders this very thing. In KRONOS RISING, a small, breeding population has survived. One of these prehistoric predators rises from the depths to terrorize a coastal community that won't be idyllic soon. A series of disappearances and horrific deaths sends waves of panic through the small town. The local sheriff begins to investigate what might be murder, but when a full-grown whale carcass surfaces, the true terror begins.
Marine horror isn't new. Peter Benchley started the modern trend with JAWS. Steve Alten gave us Meg, and now we have giant lizards gnawing at our fears. It still works. I love the genre, but it's hard to do anything new with it. Max has managed to give me a couple surprises. Kronos Rising is a well-written story, better than it had to be to deliver its biting horror. There are flawed heroes that are likeable. Villains that I looked forward to being eaten, and a back story that's both feasible and well researched, and most importantly, it's fun.
- Kevin Coolidge, Blogger: From My Shelf Books