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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Crater by Phoenix Connor

I am just in the dying stages of Crater by Phoenix Connor and a full review will be coming out soon, but in the meantime I thought I would give you a bit of a preview of the book, just to whet your appetite.

Crater is an action / adventure thriller on a grand scale that uses a familiar formula but gives it an almighty twist adding the unpredictability of forces of nature and a futuristic (or is it?) genetic experiment gone wrong.

The formula I’m talking about goes like this: an intrepid hero, accompanied by an unusual but extremely likable group of friends who have been unwillingly thrown together, face a formidable opponent. Although facing seemingly insurmountable odds, being hopelessly outnumbered and shockingly ill-equipped, it is up to them – and them alone - to stave off their adversaries. The fate of the human race is in their hands with failure unthinkable.

The protagonist (intrepid hero) is animal-loving expeditionary biologist Matt Hayden who, along with the quintessential sidekick Clancy Ryan rush to the Californian town of Crater in a bid to rescue Matt’s cousin. Crater is nestled in the foothills of Crater Mountain on the banks of Crater River which feeds into a lake called, you guessed it, Crater Lake. Apparently the people who named the region’s landmarks were short on imagination.

When they enter the crater to attempt to find and rescue Matt’s cousin they come up against a breed of hybrid apes who appear highly intelligent and are extremely territorial. The rescue party barely escapes with their lives.

But this is merely the opening gambit as the apes have found their way out of the crater that held them captive for so many years. Their infiltration into the town of Crater coincides with a series of seismic tremors which has a devastating effect on the reptile show that is being held in the town – crocodiles and snakes that were once captive are suddenly released to general pandemonium and death.

Crater works up into an incredible confluence of events as hybrid apes face off against Matt, Clancy and a few remaining townsfolk. The pace is red hot the action is relentless and the characters are developed sufficiently to build a rapport without diverting too much attention from the story. All this and with a sobering message at the end that is particularly relevant to all of us.

Thumbs up from me as a pulse-quickening adventure thriller and there’s more to look forward to with work already begun on a second book.

(Bugger me, this was going to be a quick overview and it’s turned into a ramble-fest that's bordering on the full review - but no...that will come later in the week)

Until then, for a lot more information you can visit Phoenix Connor's website.

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