This book had a lot of interesting characters and I was never bored with it. I also enjoyed the setting – watching these folks traipse around in small towns, rural areas, and out and out wilderness. Some were equipped for it, others were not. Rachel’s character was probably the most interesting for me as she is a biologist (same as me) and I instantly related to her.
The pace is very fast, with the narrative quickly flipping from one to another. In some instances, we just get to know a character before they are killed off. So if you are concerned you would get stuck on the biology passes, don’t worry. You won’t as they are brief. I especially liked the descriptions of the animals behaviors (both normal and aberrant) and of the mutated animals and what the consequences could be.
While Rainey could be thought of as the main character, I felt he took a back seat as the story progressed. Jesse as the master mind villain took center stage with Rachel flying a close second with her bear knowledge. While some of the characters find Rainey to be a very interesting character, I did not. But that’s OK.
My few criticisms for the book reside with characters making choices that either don’t fit their characterization or those choices not being believably explained. early on, there is a car explosion, with someone in it, and I didn’t feel that the reason behind this was fully explained. Also, Jen the cop comes onto the scene via a snake-infested suitcase. This seemed like a very odd thing and I never really bought into it, especially since Jen doesn’t show much outdoors or animal knowledge later. Also, Jen has been trying to get her son back from her divorced husband. But then she leaves him in the hands of strangers while she goes camping on this adventure, with her new beau. Either she is a questionable parent and that was intended or the character had a great need to leave her traumatized child and the greatness of that need didn’t come across.
Still, in the big picture, these small things did not deter me from simply shaking my head a little and continuing to enjoy the mystery and the thrill. Oh, and there are Irish Elk. This was a new one for me and I enjoyed learning just enough about them to have me go digging for more info.