Jimmy Hayes had a bad feeling the moment he arrived at Kharkhov Station, and it had nothing to do with the cold, the snow, and the four solid months of darkness at the South Pole. But when mummies were discovered in the mountains, Hayes knew the cause of his bad feeling. Only he didn’t know what would happen when the ruins of a pre-human civilization was discovered in a series of sub-surface caverns. That was when the real trouble at Kharkhov Station began…
Review by: Kais
This is especially hard to review for two reasons: 1) I’ve never read Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness, and this apparently acts as an unofficial sequel to that work, and 2) I bought and read the extended edition from Kindle that is about 170 pages longer than the original edition. The first reason means I was blown away by how awesome the first third of this novel was. Those familiar with Lovecraft’s universe likely wouldn’t have been filled with the sense of amazement and wonder that I was reading Curran’s work here. As a huge fan of Carpenter’s The Thing, Hive ticked every thing I love about horror apparent in that film – from the isolated environment to the incredible menace waiting to take down the characters one at a time. And Curran was able to tell his story in incredibly descriptive prose that painted each scene in amazing detail.
But then the first interlude comes along, which if not in its entirety a part of the additional 170 pages exclusive to this edition, then a large portion of it must be, because the pace of the story grinds to an emphatic stop. The same can be said for the second interlude, as the reader gets exposed to what amounts to the same story at least three – and arguably four – times over. Characters come across the constructions of the Elder Things, a sense of menace grows, they find things humans were never meant to see, and then they either go mad or are picked off by some of the denizens of said constructions. Of course, there is some degree of variation in this each time, but overall, the version of Hive I read was far too long and far too repetitive. I suspect I would have enjoyed the original printing a great deal more.
Nevertheless, I remain eager to read more of Tim Curran and already have a couple of his other works in my TBR pile (including the sequel to this novel), because that’s how much I loved the first third of this.
So, overall, a complex 2.5 Shoggoths for Hive.