I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.FORSAKEN by Michael McBride
Series: A Unit 51 Novel (2)
Published by Pinnacle Books on April 24, 2018
Genres: Alien, Creature Feature, Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Horror, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller
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“McBride writes with the perfect mixture of suspense and horror
that keeps the reader on edge.” —Examiner
IT HAS SURVIVED
At a research station in Antarctica, scientists discovered a strange and ancient organism.
They thought they could study it, classify it, control it. They couldn’t.
IT HAS THRIVED
Six months ago, a secret paramilitary team called Unit 51 was sent to the station.
They thought the creature was dead, the nightmare was over. It wasn’t.
IT HAS EVOLVED
In a Mexican temple, archeologists uncover the remains of a half-human hybrid. They believe
it is related to the creature in Antarctica, a dark thing of legend that is still alive—and still evolving. They believe it needs a new host to feed, to mutate, to multiply. They’re right. And they’re next. And the human race might just be headed for extinction . . .
“Highly recommended for fans of creature horror
and the thrillers of Michael Crichton.”
—The Horror Review
“Thriller powerhouse McBride begins his Unit 51 series . . . neatly executes a sudden shift of mood and tone toward frantic horror when the story flips into a race to escape from savage human-alien hybrid predators in a confined space, evoking feelings of shock and terror.”
—Publishers Weekly on Subhuman
FORSAKEN, by Michael McBride, is the second novel in his Unit 51 series. Six months earlier, a clandestine team of various scientists and archeologists put into motion events that triggered an ancient organism to re-emerge from the depths of Antarctica–with deadly consequences. After the events in SUBHUMAN, those that survived went back to their various fields, vainly trying to put the recent past behind them, thinking the worst was over.
They were wrong.
“We . . . know . . . you . . . We . . . still . . . live.”
The different groupings, consisting of Dr. Cade Evens and Dr. Anya Fleming, Martin Roche and Kelly Nolan, and Dr. Jade Liang, believed that Cameron Barnett–the “silent partner” of Richard Hollis, the man who assembled them together in the first place–had eradicated the threat. However, that was only the story he chose to let them comfort themselves with.
“. . . an open mind was critical when it came to rationalizing the inexplicable.”
After the station in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, is back up and running more securely than ever, our previous characters begin to notice signs in their current work that dredge up memories of what they encountered previously. Here, McBride does a phenomenal job in getting the readers intimately reacquainted with those first “met” in SUBHUMAN, as well as introducing some all new personalities into the mix.
One of the best things about this author’s style, is that he can take even the most complex aspect of jobs and theories, and get them across to his readers in a way they can understand and relate to in some manor. He gives enough information for us to assimilate and process without bogging us down with too much intel, that would be unnecessary to the momentum of the novel.
“. . . When has mankind ever been content to merely observe? . . . “
What starts out as more of a suspense/thriller novel begins to escalate in terms of apprehension and anxiety as each of the different factions uncovers “clues” leading back to their fateful discovery in Antarctica. Their combined finds quickly morph this narrative from thriller, to outright relentless horror that refuses to abate, never letting up long enough for the reader to disengage from the storyline.
“A cornered animal is infinitely more dangerous.”
The pace that McBride moves toward is more than simply frantic, it’s all-consuming and inescapable. I found the last two-thirds of this novel nearly impossible to put down for even a moment. Mentally I was still “with” the characters even when not actively reading.
“. . . Never in his worst nightmares had he imagined that something like this could happen . . . “
The variation in locations utilized here were written in such a way as to emphasize the stark differences, and yet simultaneously showcase the intrinsic similarities that connected everything together. For example, from the frigid wind and ice ravaged station in Antarctica, to the sweltering humidity and heat in a subterranean tunnel system located 25 miles from Mexico City, McBride manages to paint each area in a way that places the reader right in the center of it all. His descriptions have the power to make you shiver with cold while reading of the events in Queen Maud Land, and feel like mentally swatting insects and wiping off the perspiration dripping from your brow in the underground mazes in Teotihuacan.
“. . . he knew all about curses, which tended to be a whole lot more bark than bite, but this one was oddly specific . . . “
In FORSAKEN, McBride incorporates a variety of historical legends and some mythology, giving a certain amount of credence to what would, on the surface, be too fantastic to believe. This tactic of blending some of the past beliefs with our current scientific knowledge encourages the notion that this situation could be plausible.
“Nature abhors perfection. At its most basic level, nature’s essentially an agent of chaos . . . “
Of course, the realistic characters and the decisions they make along the way, contribute greatly to bringing this novel “alive” in the readers’ minds. When people behave in a manner consistent to what we would expect of them–under any circumstances–a plot becomes that much more grounded.
“You have a talent for stating the obvious.”
“As you do for overlooking it . . . “
Overall, an incredible follow-up to the phenomenal SUBHUMAN, from an author whose imagination knows no boundaries. Michael McBride just keeps getting better and better with each new release. I expect to see his name at the top of the “bestsellers” list!
“We are . . . not . . . done with you . . . yet.”