I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to visit two different Mayan pyramids in my travels – Tikal in Guatemala and Chichen Itza in the Yucatán. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that McBride was going to be using the pyramid at Teotihuacan as one of the main settings in his second Unit 51 opus.
Six months ago, a discovery was made in Antarctica. Deep under the ice, scientists discovered what they thought was evidence of an ancient civilization. A team of the world’s brightest minds, along with the best paramilitary unit and engineers money can buy, carved down below the layers of ice and set up a top secret archeological dig. They prepared themselves for the discovery of a lifetime. What they found was something that nothing could prepare them for…and they woke it up.
That was SUBHUMAN. The first book from Michael McBride’s Unit 51 series. Now, with FORSAKEN, the nightmare hasn’t ended. In fact, it’s just beginning. Six months after waking up a prehistoric alien under the ice, Barnett calls upon his cast of scientists to help him once more in Antarctica. They thought the alien was destroyed. They were wrong. Not only is it alive, it’s multiplying. Meanwhile, in the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan near Mexico City, a tunnel system has been discovered under the pyramids with symbols on the walls that depict a mysterious relationship with the Antarctic city under the ice and the crop circles in England. How are they all tied together? What does it all mean?
McBride has done it again. He has expanded the Area 51 universe he created in SUBHUMAN and added more branches to the ever-twisting tale. I love how he ties it all together in a way that makes you think more than once – “yeah, that could actually see that happening.” I’m amazed at the realism he brings into these stories. The science. The historical facts. The geographical locations. The attention to detail in all of these categories is mind boggling. I’ve wikipedia’d more stuff from this book than I have in the last ten that I’ve read. It’s like being in the middle of an Indiana Jones/Alien/The Thing/Predator combo movie. If I have one critique that prevents FORSAKEN from being a complete 5-star read, it would be that you can pretty much tell which characters are going to be offed and which ones will survive. Kind of like the old Star Trek series. Whoever the no-name was that was being transported down with Kirk and Spock you knew was surely going to be a goner. The same is true for FORSAKEN. In the thick of the action, characters are suddenly introduced on the spot and they might as well have a big bullseye on their back. Was it a dealbreaker? Hell no. McBride puts way too much good stuff in here to let a slight hiccup like that knock you off course. One more point. I would recommend that you start with SUBHUMAN before moving on to FORSAKEN. I think you have to have the backstory and characters firmly cemented in your head from the SUBHUMAN first to get the most out of FORSAKEN. Otherwise, you’ll end up asking yourself over and over “Who was that? ” and “Now whats going on ?” With that being said, this is my favorite series that I’ve read in years. I simply can’t wait for the 3rd installment. Bring it on, McBride!
4 1/2 Booby Traps out of 5
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