If you were pitching your book idea to me — not sure why you would, but go with me on this, okay? — and you proposed “killer ants,” I’d probably chuckle and say, “Good one,” then ask what your idea really is. Naturally you’d then clarify: “No, really: killer ants.” And I’d chortle (politely, obviously) and say, “Mate, that’s bloody audacious!” (but probably without the ‘mate’, or indeed the ‘bloody’) and wish you luck, but probably never read the thing, because the whole thing, conceptually, seems a little out there.
But here I am: just got done with Chuck Wendig’s Invasive, thanks to Jon Page’s recommendation, and I’ve revised my opinion. Killer ants are freakin’ scary, man. And they make for a rip-roaring, relentless techno-thriller; the kind that’ll leave you white-knuckled and goosebumped.
Hannah Stander, a consultant for the FBI specialising in apocalyptic scenarios and bleeding edge technology, is called to a crime scene at a lakeside cabin in upstate New York. It appears a genetically modified species of ant have been used as a murder weapon. Yup: these ants have been engineered to kill. And their genetic markers bear a striking resemblance to those employed by biotech billionaire Einar Geirsson, whose special projects operate in a secret lab off the coast of Hawaii. So Stander drops by to ask some questions. . . and all hell breaks lose.
Michael Crichton made these kinds of science-thrillers an art form. Nothing beats Jurassic Park for its sheer scope and thrills — but Invasive comes closer to matching Crichton”s brilliance than anything I’ve read over the last decade, simply because it’s not a pastiche; it’s laced with Wendig’s own ingenious spark. Invasive is packed with hairbreadth escapes, a tough-as-nails, likeable, but damaged protagonist, and the requisite commentary on the uses and abuses of science in this time of unparalleled discovery and invention. And it’s scary as all hell. You’ll feel the prickling sensation of ants crawling up your skin!
Classification: Fiction & related items » Thriller / suspense » Political / legal thriller
Format: Hardback (229mm x 157mm x 30mm)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2016
Country of Publication: United States