A single-sitting thrillerish read…
The formidable prehistoric monsters wreak havoc in Burke’s shocking and enormously clever latest Sci-fi action thriller. When planetary geologist Dr. Micah Clarke is abducted with his nine-year-old daughter Faye and his assistant Catalina Abril at gunpoint to join a megalomaniac’s paramilitary expedition down an Amazon tributary ruled by murderous pirates and cannibal tribes, he has no idea his life about the danger lying ahead. With an insane, ruthless pirate queen on his trail, Micah must battle deadly monsters, sinister cannibals, and dangerous criminals while getting ready to face an ancient force possessing the power of total destruction. The premise is promising, and an ancient force possessing both the power of creation and total destruction makes for a fascinating concept. Burke’s appreciation of the great Amazon River, and its harsh beauty, is obvious. The direct conflict in the story is between humans, but it’s the deadly set of prehistoric creatures who gain the spotlight: there are six inches long Titan ants who can kill a person within second; the ancient Mega Piranhas who have stalked the waters millions of years ago; the fearsome Titanoboa, the seventy-foot serpent with a deadly appetite that weighs over a ton. A hefty part of the narrative consists of lethal prehistoric creatures stalking, ripping, and eating the cast in fast-paced set-pieces. The narrative spins out into numerous story lines, switching between the perspectives of a large cast of thoroughly developed characters, including regular hard-working people, powerful criminals seeking to control precious Amazon elements, bloodthirsty pirates, with their sinister agenda, and formidable cannibals looking to protect their territory. Micah struggles to protect his daughter while fighting horrendous forces. Faye and Catalina hold on their own. The intimidating Batista does justice to his role as the power-hungry criminal. But it is Queen Caveira who steals the show: powerful, dangerous, and slightly lunatic, she outshines other villains, be it the sinister Batista or deadly prehistoric creatures. As all of the characters’ paths slowly converge, Burke plunges readers into a layered world of mayhem and ancient mysteries. Bolstered by brilliant cinematic descriptions, Burke’s high-intensity storytelling shines, and pulse-pounding action, life-and-death maneuvers, and hairbreadth escapes keep the pot boiling throughout. The expert combination of immersive storytelling, strong characters, and well-woven mixture of high tech and speculative prehistoric elements makes for an unforgettable experience. The novel deserves a big screen adaptation.
By William Burke
Pub date August 5, 2021
Price $11.99 (USD) Paperback, $4.84 Kindle edition