Read Book 1 First… And Be Glad You Have This Book On Hand. This is one of those sequels that picks up from the first book and directly uses its base to tell this book’s story. So if you haven’t read Book 1 (Subhuman) yet, start there first. But go ahead and buy this book so you have it on hand when you finish Subhuman.
If you like classic horror/ scifi tales along the lines of Aliens, The Thing, or even Jurassic Park… you’re gonna want to pick up this series. If you’re looking for a Crichton-esque technothriller or a Preston/Child-esque dark mystery or a Brett Battles-esque tale of global peril… you’re gonna want to pick up this series.
Indeed, my *only* quibble here, and I happen to be in somewhat of a rare/ possibly unique position to have it, is that here, in this ostensibly horror/ scifi tale, McBride creates a bigger and more ominous global threat than his alter ego Michael Laurence has created by the end of his own Book 2 in the Exinction Agenda series (which is still awesome in its own right, as more of a police procedural/ scifi action thriller). That noted… I happen to be glad I have an ARC of the next book in this series, Mutation, which releases in just 10 days from the time I write this review. Very much recommended.
This review of Forsaken by Michael McBride was originally written on September 20, 2020.
More Police Procedural Than Apocalyptic. This was a strong book in a police procedural vein that opened up the possibility of looking at a more apocalyptic scenario. If you go into this one expecting a truer Apocalypse threat ala Brett Battles’ PROJECT EDEN or Michael Laurence’s EXTINCTION AGENDA series… you’re going to be disappointed. But if you’re looking for a more police/ detective story that happens to include *elements* of Apocalyptic threat, you’ve found an *amazing* book that is *exactly* what you’re looking for. This was my first from this author, and will not be my last. I’m truly looking forward to the next Jack Parker book at minimum. 🙂 Very much recommended.
This review of Containment by Nick Thacker was originally written on September 1, 2020.
Great Setup. In this book, Laurence does an excellent job of telling a complete tale that winds up setting up a compelling overall mythos. There are a couple of issues that others may criticize more heavily than I will, but I thought that at minimum these issues didn’t really detract from the overall story. In fact, the one most likely to be criticized actually serves as a plausible motivation generally, that Laurence works to great effect in his telling of this tale. Action fans will love the sequences in this book, which can be very inventive.
Overall truly a strong tale, but unfortunately for me the entire series will be compared to another that wrapped up last year and had a very similar premise (and was astounding) – Brett Battles’ PROJECT EDEN series. This particular effort does well in differentiating itself in key ways from that effort, and I look forward to seeing how this series progresses. Very much recommended.
This review of The Extinction Agenda by Michael Laruence was originally published on September 7, 2019.
Go Right! For a Fitting Conclusion. OK, so the “Go Right!” bit is somewhat of an inside joke you’ll get to when you read this book. Overall, with this book Battles once again collapses the global to the personal, and in so doing gives us a very fitting end to the series – while allowing other tales in this world. We get answers for one central character somewhat early in this book, but overall the arc of this book truly is Captain Daniel Ash’s final revenge against the organization that took nearly everything from him before he even knew they existed. The ending, in particular, was a bit mind bending in a very cool way that is not unique, but is fairly rare. Absolutely a fitting end to an excellent series, and one that leaves the reader with an adequate sense of closure.
This review of Down by Brett Battles was originally published on July 30, 2018.
The End Begins. In this longest book of the PROJECT EDEN series so far, Brett Battles does a superb job of taking us from the shocking ending of EDEN RISING, bringing the key players back together briefly as they figure out the enigmatic message that ended that book, and setting up a truly global endgame. Fraught with taut sequences that fill the reader with dread about the possible survival of characters you’ve been following for several books now, this book is arguably the single best book in the series of leaving the reader desperate to dive into the next book. Fortunately for those of us late arrivers to this series, the next and final book in this saga has already been published. But I had to write this review before I can allow myself to go to the next book, so goodb
This review of Dream Sky by Brett Battles was originally published on July 28, 2018.
Solid Succession, Surprising Ending. This book superbly continues the tale of PROJECT EDEN, the Sage Flu, and the Resistance. Battles does a superb job of illustrating just how shocking such a world would be to any survivors, and even manages to introduce some things most would likely not consider. And that ending… with very nearly the very last words of the book, the storyline is irrevocably changed. Superb.
This review of Eden Rising by Brett Battles was originally published on July 27, 2018.
As The World Burns. Here, Battles adjusts the style of the tale slightly again. We still get a sense of a global Apocalypse through the reports from India, a new island in Costa Rica not in the prior books, California, Wisconsin, and Colorado, but here the countdown – fairly ineffective in PALE HORSE – really drives the point home. Meanwhile, instead of the shotgun “let’s go to all kinds of places” approach that seemed to drive PALE HORSE, we get just a few threads to follow here. Most of the tale winds up focusing on efforts to locate Brandon Ash, and the other two dominant threads are the Costa Rican island and the Ridgecrest survivors in California. All told, the story is yet again done superbly, and yet again I’m glad I waited to read them so that I can read all of them at once without having to wait for the next one to be written.
This review of Ashes by Brett Battles was originally published on July 22, 2018.
Baited Breath. This book picks up immediately where EXIT 9 left off and covers just the next two days – the first two days of the Apocalypse. Another global tale, yet Battles also manages to weave in three distinct families – the Ashes, obviously, but also one in India and one that we met during SICK – to make this tale both global and personal. The countdown isn’t as effective in this book as it was in EXIT 9, but the overall tale is arguably a bit stronger even without it, due to giving an even wider global scale while also making it, as noted, so intensely personal. The very last paragraph, well… Excellent book, and looking forward to diving straight into ASHES.
This review of Pale Horse by Brett Battles was originally published on July 20, 2018.
Personal Goes Global. With SICK (Project Eden #1), Battles set up the coming global conflict but used one man’s struggle to save his family as the primary story, with just the barest hints that it could become much bigger. With this book, we spend much more time at the Global scale, with the clock ticking down to the moment the human population is ordered nearly extinct. Particularly in the later chapters, short chapters and an ever decreasing clock ramp up the adrenaline. Very effective book, and you’ll be glad you hadn’t read it yet by the end – with the series completed now, we can go straight into PALE HORSE (Project Eden #3) – something those early readers couldn’t doo, and which would have been frustrating, given the ending.
This review of Exit 9 by Brett Battles was originally published on July 19, 2018.
Sick In The Best Ways. This is one wild ride, that starts with a man’s daughter screaming only for him to realize moments later that his wife is dead. Soon, he and his kids are kidnapped and separated. It turns out, they unknowingly have something that is extremely valuable to some very… sick… people. This introduction to the PROJECT EDEN series is more TAKEN than Apocalypse, but the tease of a coming Apocalypse is very real and very visceral. By the end, you’re glad the entire series is already written, because you’ll immediately want to jump into Book 2.
This review of Sick by Brett Battles was originally published on July 17, 2018.