Series: A Unit 51 Novel (1)
Published by Pinnacle Books on October 31, 2017
Genres: Alien, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Psychological Horror, Thriller
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THEY ARE NOT HUMAN.
At a research station in Antarctica, five of the world’s top scientists have been brought together to solve one of the greatest mysteries in human history. Their subject, however, is anything but human . . .
THEY ARE NOT NATURAL.
Deep beneath the ice, the submerged ruins of a lost civilization hold the key to the strange mutations that each scientist has encountered across the globe: A misshapen skull in Russia. The grotesque carvings of a lost race in Peru. The mummified remains of a humanoid monstrosity in Egypt . . .
THEY ARE NOT FRIENDLY.
When a series of sound waves trigger the ancient organisms, a new kind of evolution begins. Latching onto a human host—crossbreeding with human DNA—a long-extinct life form is reborn. Its kind has not walked the earth for thousands of years. Its instincts are fiercer, more savage, than any predator alive. And its prey are the scientists who unleashed it, the humans who spawned it, and the tender living flesh on which it feeds . . .
Praise for Michael McBride
“A fast-paced and frightening ride. Highly recommended for fans of creature horror and the thrillers of Michael Crichton.”—The Horror Review on PREDATORY INSTINCT
“McBride writes with the perfect mixture of suspense and horror that
keeps the reader on edge.” —Examiner
SUBHUMAN is A Unit 51 Novel, by Michael McBride. I’ve frequently been impressed by this author’s attention to even the most minute details, his all-consuming atmosphere that makes you feel as though you’re actually “in” the novel instead of merely reading it, and the thorough research he presents that make even the most improbable of scenarios seem possible. In SUBHUMAN, he takes all of these elements and combines them into an all new high.
A new discovery is made in the inhospitable region of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Entrepreneur Hollis Richards–along with his best friend and body guard, Will Connor–begin to assemble the best open-minds in their respective fields, to assist in their revolutionary find. Richards is a man that instantly garners your respect. Unlike your “typically portrayed” rich-man-out-for-himself, McBride gives us a sympathetic, friendly leader of this mission–along with a brief bio of his childhood to back it up.
“. . . He figured the best measure of a man was how he treated those whose station in life didn’t always command the utmost respect.”
The reader is treated to the backgrounds and specialties of Dr. Cade Evans, Dr. Jade Liang, the enigmatic Martin Roche, Kelly Nolan, and Dr. Anya Fleming–among some of the other specialists on site. The characterization here leaves nothing out. I honestly found myself able to distinguish between, identify and/or sympathize with, each member brought on board. With few exceptions that make the situation seem even more realistic, this recently assembled group becomes “family” in a sense, each reaching out for a common goal, ready to discover something completely “new” to the scientific community.
“. . . there was nothing fictional about this . . . “
We are taken through many exploratory “guesses” as to exactly what the scientists are going to unveil, but the reality is that we have as much insight into this mystery as they have, themselves. This is perhaps the aspect that I enjoyed most in SUBHUMAN–while each scientist had an idea and a “hope” on what they will ultimately uncover, nobody was “certain” of anything. In this regard, we are discovering alongside them.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” (Carl Sagan).
The frigid temperature and overall remoteness of Antarctica provide the perfect and essential background to harbor a new discovery of such magnitude. This difficult–almost hostile–location is described with such vivid detail that the reader can feel the cold winds blowing, and actually believe that if a new scientific discovery was to have remained undisturbed for so long, THIS was the place it would be.
The atmosphere alone may have been enough for some authors to go on, but McBride takes that extra step with his detailed descriptions. In this approach, he allows for the reader to “discover” the mysteries beneath the surface as the main characters do. In SUBHUMAN, we have a novel that makes us a “part” of it–one that I found impossible to leave until the very end.
From a “safe” scientific venture, the action begins to morph into something much more sinister by planting subtle suggestions and clues along the way. Even knowing ahead of time that things are not quite what the scientists are expecting, this book still had the power to shock me with the new revelations as they came about. When a reader is so immersed in a novel for that to happen, you know you are reading something truly spectacular.
“. . . That’s not a hallmark of superior intelligence; that’s a predatory instinct.”
SUBHUMAN is an easy contender for my number one read of the year. I sincerely hope to be seeing more from this author in the future.