Jon Hudson, a lead investigator with the Paranormal Fusion Center of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), finds himself sent to Maine to check out yet another Big Foot sighting. He meets the local sheriff, Ashley Collins, while he is hung over, clueless, and dressed only in black underwear. There had been a noise complaint and Collins thinks Hudson is the source of that disturbance. Meanwhile, at a secret research site in the Maine woods, former military personnel work hard to perfect growing brainless adults in a short amount of time in order to harvest their organs. However, things are’t going well, at least not until some mystery DNA is added to the mix. Then things go from ‘not well’ to crazy freaking bad! And that is just about the time Collins and Hudson decide to go for a stroll to check out the Big Foot sightings.
Pretty soon they are running from this monster and also the heavily-armed people trying to keep it under wraps. Hudson contacts his team to call in reinforcements. Things continue to get crazy when a helicopter arrives on scene to fly them about. Collins is quite comfortable with the big gun mounted in the helicopter while Hudson continues to feed info back to Washington DC. The monster continues to eat and grow. A single helicopter, a big gun, and two determined humans just aren’t enough to stop this thing. More agencies are pulled in and more resources. Of course, folks have trouble believing in the monster until they see it, which just adds to the tension of the book.
Hudson and Collins make a great team, keeping each other safe and also finding time for some banter. This was a very fun monster romp – plenty of action, lots of weapons, some cat and mouse hunts early on, and then the US finally ends up with their own kaiju. Hooray! OK, maybe ‘hooray’ is the wrong word, but from a purely entertainment perspective, this was a great read and one of the best monster books I have read in some time.
The fun and action are balanced out by a few darker scenes, many of which deal with a young girl name Maigo. The book opens with her and right away I was on her side and wanted to make things right for her. Alas, I don’t think things will ever be OK for her again. As the body count grows, the author tosses in some specific people here and there which made me connect with the victims instead of just reading a body count number at the bottom of a game screen.
The bad guys were interesting too because they came in different flavors. The main bad guy is ex-military and he came across a mystery at some point in his career and this mystery was at the center of many of his actions which lead up to the American kaiju. Then we have the lead scientist who was developing brainless bodies for organ harvest – she’s got some dark past that is being used against her. I also found the body guard to the main bad guy very interesting. He does have a code of honor, it’s just one that depends on him following a worthy leader. Toss in the interdepartmental bickering, and you have lots of people willing to set up road blocks for our heroes. Excellent! It was pure enjoyment to watch Collins & Hudson maneuver around, over, or through so many obstacles!
The Narration: Jeffrey Kafer did a great job. I like his attitude for Hudson, especially early on when the character believes he’s just off on a wild goose hunt. His female voices are believable. He’s great at getting the excitement or seriousness of a situation across.