SciFi, horror, adventure

Subhuman (Unit 51 #1)Subhuman by Michael McBride
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Crichton, Matthew Reilly and Erich von Däniken walk into a bar…

It was reasonably entertaining, although it was one info dump after another in the first half of the book. Great tour of all the unexplained megaliths, massive stone henges, temples, pyramids, crop circles and the wild theories surrounding them. I felt very educated. The odd submersible, diving, pyramids, Antarctica, possibly monsters and little grey men kept me reading.

In the second half of the book the action finally picked up and the book developed into a pretty classic horror scenario. The writing wasn‘t terribly good though. I had difficulties to visualize the settings and by the twentieth time someone shined a flashlight at something in the span of a few pages, I was a bit fed up.

So, a book with about 60% of build-up, incessant info dumps on all kinds of topics, mostly telling with very little doing and then a frantic 40% of monster horror in a closed space.

The beginning also had an over-abundance of head hopping. I gave up pretty quickly to try and keep all the characters straight. In this case less would probably have been more. There was just no way to keep up with the myriad of interchangeable characters. In the second half of the book I was still thinking „who‘s that?“ and „have I met that character before?“

If you cut out most of the info dumps, this would make a pretty good horror movie script. Think „The Cave“ or „The Descent“ in the Arctic.

Normally I wouldn‘t give something this unevenly paced more than two stars, but despite that it was still a fairly fluid read, so three stars it is. It is very unlikely though that I will pick up anything else by the author, although this is very clearly the set-up of a series, especially considering the epilogue.

I want a Euro for every time the word „shined“ is used in the latter half of the book.

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

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