Maynard Creed, in the aftermath of a messy divorce, finds a place on the Ross 128b mining colony, searching for a large payout, but instead of the vein of metal that was expected, a mysterious object poses a threat to the colony’s population.
(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Mike Duke for giving me the opportunity.
I always welcome sci-fi horror, and AMALGAM scratched that itch with its solid foundation and excellent alien design. The plot was simple enough, with a mining colony attempting to reach metal within an exomoon, but instead they discover something different, thus unleashing a hungry force that proceeds to go on a rampage. There were delightful descriptions of mayhem and body horror, reminding me of various films and games of the same vein, and how mindlessly fun they can be to experience. If anything, I’d love to see Duke’s creation on a screen, because that would be something. Unfortunately, though, as a standalone novel it had its issues, as well as some aspects that niggled at me, especially the jarring use of language when “rape” was utilised as a metaphor.
Add to that a few inconsistencies along with misleading tidbits of information – most notably a character that was set up to be relevant but wasn’t due to being shelved and never again returning to the page – consequently posing questions it didn’t answer. Obviously Duke plans a series, but I always prefer a book to stand on its own legs regardless if there’s more to follow. Let’s face it, not everyone will commit to sticking with it long term, especially with the wait that comes in between books.
In conclusion: In AMALGAM, Maynard discovers something unusual while on the job, leading to a rescue mission and the ultimate fight for survival. There were elements I liked, especially when it came to the monster and action, but I found several problems that overshadowed everything else. With various details that amounted to nothing, it just seemed like wasted potential, even if these factors come into play later on in the series.
Awakened, it would never stop searching. Never stop hunting its prey.
© Red Lace 2021