The Aeschylus is a tight sci-fi thriller from David Barclay that alternates storylines back and forth between a 1938 Nazi regime on a remote island near Antartica and present day. The Aeschylus is a one-of-a-kind oil platform installed near the remote island and owned by a company called Valley Oil. Kate is the daughter of a US Vice President who suddenly dies and leaves her controlling interest in Valley Oil. Plunged into a world she wasn’t prepared for, she finds herself joining an expedition to the oil platform with a group of Blackwater-type mercenaries to find out what has happened to cause all communications to go down and 250 oil rig workers to disappear. When they get there, they find the rig damaged and a slimy black vines coming out of the ocean and overtaking the platform. Where is everyone? What is this mysterious foliage coming out of the ocean and overtaking the rig? And what does a remote island controlled by the Nazis in 1938 have to do with everything?
Outside of the controlling interests in the oil company falling in lead character Kate’s lap and then simply jumping on a plane with soldiers for hire to go to a rig that she knows very little about or has any expertise to offer in the mission, that’s really my only bitch for what is actually a very entertaining read. The sillly start aside, The Aeschylus combines a great Nazi mission, an Alien-feeling desolate thriller, and some HP Lovecraft-inspired crazy weed of unknown origin. There were even parts of the story that had a Robert McCammon feel to the delivery. If it sounds like fun, you’d be right. And anyone that knows me, understands that I hold McCammon in the utmost highest reverence. I truly enjoyed the book and it only needed a little tightening to be a true 5-star romp. A very promising effort from what I hope is the first of many offerings from Barclay.
~ I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.~
4.5 out of 5 stars
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