Subhuman by Michael McBride. Wow! Where to start with this one?? There is so much good stuff going on between the covers of McBride’s latest offering, and first in the Unit #51 series. You have various experts in their respective scientific fields anonymously brought together to a location in Antarctica that shows remnants of being at one time an old Nazi outpost. Mega-rich venture capitalist, Hollis Richards has brought them all here to help him unlock the mystery of misshapen humanoid skulls found in an underground lake deep below the ice. These types of remains have been discovered before at locations around the globe and thought to be a genetic mutation. But Richards knows better. He knows that the knowledge to build these ancient pyramids and temples didn’t come from man alone. It came from the sky. He knows this because he was visited many years ago when he was a child in the middle of the night, and he’s been searching for them ever since. He knows that underneath the Antarctic ice lies the clues to an ancient civilization that predates anything we’be ever discovered before and his assembled band of scientists are going to help him prove it.
Subhuman is an extremely intelligent tale told with heaps of atmosphere and great characters. McBride has really done his homework to create this one. The science is straight out of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, yet is hard to refute. Fringe? Yes, but completely believable in McBride’s expert direction. It has a textbook quality to it, without losing you by talking over your head. Any alien horror story set in Antarctica would be impossible to do without having comparisons to John Carpenter’s The Thing, and thats perfectly fine with me. The Thing is easily on my top three of horror movies ever and I welcome a story with some of those same shades that I love so well. McBride delivers. The hostile and lonely location. The fridgid weather that leaves you feeling like you’re ten minutes away from freezing to death. The allure of the discoveries waiting to be made underneath the ice. Such great stuff. And the characters don’t disappoint either. Richards comes across as the lovable combination of Bill Gates and Richard Attenborough’s Dr. Hammond in Jurassic Park. The scientists all feel realistic with their quirks, yet don’t come off as a cardboard stereotypes. if you can’t tell, I’m pretty geeked about this book. You should be too. It’s amazing and I’m excited that it’s the first of a series. I can’t wait until spring for the next one.
5 Misshaped Skulls out of 5
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