A nonstop roller-coaster ride…
After the initial stage setting, the heart-racing, action-packed latest thriller by Burke that began with a drilling operation gone awry and a colony of gigantic, prehistoric creatures coming to life never slows. A drilling team headed by Zander Kotze, the drilling engineer for Graff Engineering, unearths a pocket of mysterious, life-preserving gas, and the monstrous creatures hibernating within—a colony of ten-foot prehistoric scorpions, Scorpius Rex. After 400 million years, the terrifying creature is ready to reclaim its throne as Earth’s apex predator once again. Dave Brank and his security team under the command of Ruby Flynn, a US Aid Officer on a humanitarian mission, arrives at the location only to find themselves trapped inside the drilling complex’s electrified perimeter. Locked in a life or death battle against the flesh-eating creatures, Brank and his team’s worries increase as a group of dangerous mercenaries come out with their own barbaric plan to fight the monstrous creatures. Now it’s up to Brank and his team to stop the slaughter and save the world. Burke deftly combines the best elements of military thrillers and hard SF novels, and his own military and film expertise add flavor and heft to the action plot. Despite its tense action sequences and a hefty dose of bloodshed, Burke skillfully portrays his protagonists’ complex inner struggles. His characters offer enough flesh and blood to be relatable and convincing; Brank with his inner turmoil and scarred past is sketched with perception and sympathy. Although Ruby’s self-assurance sometimes veers into smug arrogance, she’s a courageous and intelligent protagonist. Emily makes for a nice distraction among the hard-core weaponry experts. Depictions of callous battle-scarred mercenaries who kill for a paycheck and those on a humanitarian mission with a conscience have depth and nuance, coming across as real-life, flesh-and-blood characters. The terrifying world of prehistoric scorpion colony set against the backdrop of the Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe is both scary and believable. The twists and revelations come at breakneck speed, keeping readers turning pages nonstop. Wildly imaginative worldbuilding mixes well with a gripping narrative, and Burke keeps various plot threads thrumming and action high. The extreme scenes of graphic violence make the book unsuitable for the faint of heart. The blood-splattering, violent play of flesh-eating scorpions, high-tech weaponry, unforeseen catastrophes, and death-defying escapes makes the book as over-the-top and satisfying as a wide-screen Hollywood blockbuster. This is a thoroughly terrifying, creepy, and spellbinding techno-thriller.
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.
By William Burke
Pub date July 8, 2020
Price $3.82 (USD) Kindle edition, $11.95 Paperback