For the first time ever, technology has been turned — back on its creators. – Goodreads
Title: The Dark Continent
Author: Scott Reardon
Publisher: Aspen Press
Genre: Fiction, Horror
Format: eARC from Netgalley
On an oil rig off the coast of Alaska, fifteen test subjects, all of them death-row inmates, have joined a gruesome experiment with unprecedented implications. Government researchers are attempting to enhance the human body, but they change the men into something else instead. Led by a mysterious figure who evokes Colonel Kurtz and Satan from Paradise Lost, the subjects escape and bring the United States to its knees.
Only two men can stop them, Tom Reese and Karl Lyons. Tom and Karl will have to cross an America on the brink of collapse. And at the end they’ll experience the horror of the dark continent.
When I finished this book I put it down and felt a weird sense of relief because the book was over (I was really struggling to push through) and also a feeling of connecting to one of the characters (Tom). I felt overall that I did not connect with any of the characters, but for some reason, Tom left a lingering effect on my feelings. He was different in a good way. He made the book bearable for me.
The story line was super interesting. I really liked the idea of the story. It was totally James Bond-esque. I enjoyed the action in the story – my only complaint was that… It was like READING James Bond movie… It was like putting all the action and craziness of a high paced action movie into words. All those scenes in a movie that set the stage and use no words but viewers know whats going on… yeah, the book was missing that part. It was just going through all the action parts quickly without much in between. It was hard to read because of that. It was too much!
I feel like the characters were okay but really just okay. There were 3 main groups of characters. First, there is Karl and Tom. They are the main focus of the book. Karl is some government undercover worker guy (not too sure his title). He is likable and I found I hoped for the best when it came to Karl. Tom is just a super normal guy with super human abilities. Tom was tested on by the government and was basically made into this super human. A lot of bad stuff happens to Tom throughout the book and all the while he is just trying to normal and not evil like they want him to be. I think that is why I liked him so much.
Second, there is Dr. Azamor. She is a psychiatrist that is essentially made to work with all the crazy “subjects” who are death row inmates made into super human creatures/soldiers. I enjoyed Dr. Azamor. She is pretty normal and has realistic reactions and thoughts to everything going on. She made the entire first half of the book for me. I wish there was more about her in the second half. She kind of just drop off the face of the Earth and I don’t know what happened to her. Sad 😦
Finally, the “subjects.” As mentioned above these are death row inmates who are not invincible super humans. They are mean, scary, cruel, horrible beings. If being horrible criminals isn’t enough, they are now almost unstoppable and have so much rage and desire to destroy the world, it is just terrifying. As expected, the subjects escape where they are being held and then basically ruin the world on their rampage. About 75% of the book focuses on this terror and it has really gruesome moments. It was hard to read at times. It was also kind of sad. Like I said before, the book was like action all the time without much else. So the horror did not really stop from start to finish. It was a lot to read.
Overall writing and readability of the book – it was okay. The writing was decent. I didn’t mind it at all. It was easy enough to read and understand. The chapters were quite short, like most of them were 3 to 4 pages. Only a few long chapters. I liked that! The chapters also flipped between characters which slowed the story down a little bit. I did find that there were some parts that dragged on and others that went by so quickly that if you missed a word or accidentally skipped a line you were lost. I did not like that aspect of it.
I just feel mixed on this. I feel like there were parts that I enjoyed and felt were well done but then there were so many parts that were too fast paced and not detailed enough/ too detailed. I also found out that this is the second book in a series, however, everyone said the series does not need to be read in order. I agree with that as there was really nothing being referenced so that’s not a problem!
** Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.