Solaris Books, out now
When old magic and modern science meet, only a motley group with some very strange experiences between them can possibly stand in the way of the resultant danger…
That may sound a bit like a description of a bad Syfy Channel movie, but in James Lovegrove’s hands it’s a recipe for a fast-paced, thrill-filled ride, in the company of US combat Team Thirteen (the ones who the Ghostbusters call when they’re in trouble), and former British secret agent “Lex Dove”. It’s a Bond movie with added zombies, set on an island that houses more than one dreadful secret.
This isn’t a parallel world of the type that Lovegrove has used in previous Pantheon novels – this is recognisably ours, and it would be dangerous to assume that he’s exaggerated the threat and influence of voodoo. Okay, maybe some of Team 13’s exploits are a little far-fetched, but ask anyone who’s spent time in the part of the world where this is set, and they’ll tell you not to underestimate the religion.
If you’ve not read Lovegrove before but you’ve experienced Australian writer Matthew Reilly’s various novels, you’ll know what to expect from this – but considerably better written. There’s some dry humour, extreme gore, tension and large amounts of testosterone flooding off the page – and a final confrontation that leaves you with a wry smile.
Verdict: A novel that combines the best of the horror and ‘retired spy’ genres. 8/10