Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

REVIEW - Subhuman (Unit 51 #1) by Michael McBride


After we enchanted our soul with the poems from the last book I reviewed, we are back now, with this book, to what we like most: adventure. So: thrilling, suspense, horror, situations in which everything goes haywire, cliffhanger resolutions, strong characters, oh my, everything we all like in a story full of more and more spectacular events.
So… let’s pull out the big guns!
At least, that's what I thought. Provided that I started with metaphors that smell of gunpowder, I could say that when I started to read this novel, I thought I will end up with a machine gun. Instead, it looks like I got a musket. You know, one shot, one chance. And you cannot be sure of this either. Okay, that doesn’t mean we have a poor novel. Away from me this thought. Today's book has all the features to be a successful one. The story starts as and follows the template of the adventure novels that were best-sellers in their time. However, there would be some elements that might clip its wings of success. Let me explain...
Without the worry of giving you spoilers, taking into account the synopsis or simply by looking at the cover, I think I could share some of my opinions. The story is stuffed with scientific and pseudo-scientific elements and details. The pseudo-scientific word has nothing insulting in it; using it, I wanted to refer to unverified data or suppositions on a subject that is reinventing since the man is on Earth: the gods, the deity, or even the ... aliens. At least for me, the first half of the book was like if I have binged with the Ancient Aliens TV series. I do not know how many of you have watched the series on the History Channel, but if so, then you will find in the book Erich von Däniken, David Childress, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos or George Noory’s ideas about humanity and intergalactic visitors that seem they stuck their tail into humans’ business.
April 2018
Of course, these theories can be seductive, but as love could fool you too, also some ideas can do it at some point. They are interesting, attractive, but only that much ... they will remain only at the supposition stage. I would like to stop here because I have spoken many times in my reviews about the myth of Creation. So, let’s surpass the fantastic realism and step into actual realism: the scientific elements. If 150 years ago, Jules Verne filled his books with scientific explanations, that was due to the time he wrote them. It was an era in which all of the branches of science were in full swing of discoveries, and the world was avid for new information. Now, any dumbass has a smartphone. I’m not saying that there is no need of these explanations, they give credibility to the story, but when they are too many or too complex, some readers may get easily bored. Or if they are too frequent, they could break the flow of the story.
Action. The action of the novel actually starts at about half of it. I don’t want to criticize, but in the novel, there is an inflation of main characters, and this can cause some small inconsistencies or delay of the main story. I am a fan of nonlinear stories, but here is not the case. I understand the author wants to start a series, however, the current subject ends in the pages of this volume. Be happy, there’s no cliffhanger.
As I told you, the novel is based on a successful recipe. That doesn’t mean it's lacking personality. You will get all the elements shown in the first paragraph. Sounds a little negative? Relax, I didn’t want to slam the book. I just wanted to present all in a more analytical light. If you’ll have the curiosity to read other’s reviews, they’ll drive you mad with all sorts of references to different authors and to different books or movies. In this way, for example, no one could still write or make a zombie movie anymore. But the reality proves otherwise.
So, to conclude: the book has its own originality; is well documented (maybe a little too much); the characters are well contoured and introduced carefully to the reader; the book has its own pace, for some could be alert to others a bit less; the action will be intense and will have its climax. More? No, just one phrase: if you are fans of horror SF stories or just curious, it's worth reading the Subhuman.

Enjoy the horror!


Release Date: October 31st, 2017

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 . . .

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 . . .


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 . . .

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About the author:
Michael McBride was born in Colorado and still resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. He hates the snow, but loves the Avalanche. He works with medical radiation, yet somehow managed to produce five children, none of whom, miraculously, have tails, third eyes, or other random mutations. He writes fiction that runs the gamut from thriller (Remains) to horror to science fiction (Vector Borne, Snowblind) . . . and loves every minute of it. He is a two-time winner of the DarkFuse Readers' Choice Award.

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