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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2015
The thing about the Predator is that you can literally drop the monster into ANY genre, setting, year, or conflict (be they real or fictional) and half the novel is written already. This can be good or bad depending on the ability of the writer but Jeff VanderMeer, despite some crass moments, seems to really take a simple premise and launch it into the stratosphere.

Set on an unnamed island in, you guess it, the South China Sea, the place has been turned into a giant game reserve by a retired Khymer Rouge colonel who has packed in several types of trophy animals into fenced-off areas. Among his clients are two suspicious Russians, a Jonny Rotten-type rocker, a rich American who has had a gruesome encounter with the Predator before, a world-weary Romanian, seemingly hundreds of disposable Thai army men, as well as a female pirate out for revenge. Anyone and everyone is on the island and they all want a piece of the Pred. That's just the way he likes it.

If this book is anything it sure ain't boring. Predator: SCS never stops, it just keeps going and going and gets more ridiculous and insane as it builds to the end. By the final pages you'll wonder what on Earth you are reading. As David Lynch once said "an audience would rather be confused than bored".

The cast of characters is a bit too large, and it's easy to lose track of who is who in the early chapters, plus the final battle at the end among the ruins with all of the Thai soldiers is not very well written, not is it made clear where this large number of cannon fodder paper targets came from. But there were still enough twists to distract me from this.

One of the better Predator novels, and definitely worth a read for fans of the Rastafarian Alien. It would actually make for a very good video game, and would certainly have been a better movie than that drek from 2010.
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on 27 December 2008
I have been an avid reader of this franchise these past 12 yrs or so and
its hard to explain why this is the best Predator novel yet written -- maybe its because of the distinctiveness of the human characters, the characters and character interaction is top notch ( un-comic bookish)

the characters which we are originally introduced to at the start all break away into different groups, from this point the plot is surprizingly inventive-- without being sprawling, disparate clumsyness.

There is also a love story in the book ( between a male and female secret russian agents ) it is surprizingly poingant.
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on 12 May 2011
This is a well written Predator that suffers from the effect of a cast of thousands, too many locations and a style of viewpoint that adds depth to the characters, yet detracts from their objective impact. Nevertheless, the fen of Predator will enjoy this title.
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on 3 October 2014
Love the Predator franchise.
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on 21 January 2009
Rath Preap is the owner of a private island in the South China Sea, an island that caters for the rich to come and hunt big game, but is all but cut off from the outside world. Among his guests areHoria, a Romanian ex-wrestler, Nikolai and Marikova, former KGB agents, Gustat, a billionaire with a hidden agenda and Maxim, a British rock star.

When the rhino they are hunting is slaughtered in front of their eyes Rath and his guests soon come to realise that they are no longer the hunters, but the prey. A Predator is on the hunt and is systematically destroying the fragile links the island has with the outside world, leavingRath, his guests and his men trapped and looking over their shoulders at every turn.

Despite a couple of AVP movies that have done nothing for the franchise, I love the original Predator film (and number 2 isn't that far behind) and the thought of a book that could examine similar themes to that film was something I had to pick up. I've not read anything by JeffVanderMeer before so I was looking forward to see something from him, even though it isn't an original novel. I've also only read a couple of the Alien vs Predator books, but nothing standalone in either series. I enjoyed this quite a bit and will certainly look to pick up some of Jeff's books based on what I've read here.

I'll be honest when I say I wasn't expecting too much from this - I knew it was a tie in novel and from the experience I've had so far with these sorts of things I thought I'd get a pretty run of the mill story and scenario. I was also worried that the characters would turn out to be two dimensional pieces of meat there only for the killing. How wrong I was - this is an excellent novel with well developed characters, a decent and believable Predator who is on the hunt, a great setting and, despite the tie in nature of the novel, some nice original ideas.

The characters, at least the main ones I mentioned above, are easy to read and each have motivations and reasons for being on a private island. The relationships between them develop as the story progresses and we get more of an insight into some of them. It's refreshing to read a story about characters like this, all from different backgrounds but working together when the time calls for it. Of course, the character that the story is about is that of the Predator, if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have a story.

Which brings me on to the reason I picked the book up in the first place: the Predator. We don't have many scenes from his point of view, but those we have are fairly effective in setting him up in the typical Predator fashion. Most of the time we see the Predator from other points of view doing what he does - completely isolating the island and going after his prey. The sections when we do follow him make the wait worthwhile, giving extra little bits of information here and there.

When the killing starts the story is pushed up a gear, giving everything more urgency and allowing the reader to really get his teeth into the novel. The attacks are imaginative and brutal, the Predator's weapons are lethal, from the old favourite wrist blades and plasma canon to my new favourite that fuses all the bones in a body. The action isn't just limited to what the Predator does either, some of the characters have some great action scenes while engaging the Predator. All of this culminates in a huge battle that ticks every box and has a very satisfying ending.

All in all Predator: South China Sea is a great novel based on the Predator franchise. It follows the rules laid down in the films and adds its own flavour to the mix. Jeff VanderMeer has written a great story that doesn't have any of the drawbacks I would expect to see from a tie in. One of the most enjoyable things about the reading experience is how easily the visualisation is, the descriptions making the pages come to life. If another Predator movie is made whoever is making it needs to read this book to see how a fresh take on a well established series can add new life to it and take it to the next level. Hell, just film this book and you'll have a blockbuster.
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on 15 April 2012
This product arrived here on time, was as described and has been good to read about the continuing fight against the Predators! :)
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on 26 September 2009
Oh to the joy when I discovered 3 new Predator books. However remembering my worshipping back to when I first (regretfully) bought Forever Midnight I was worried as to the Predator revival... But was NOT disappointed.
I was drawn in instantly, by character and plot, it was a fresh idea incorporated amazingly into the Predator world. I seriously couldn't put it donw (which was driving my girlfriend crazy.) The book was graphic, and kept you guessing, and come the end I really didn't know who to route for (I would like to see some where the Predators win.) I guarantee you won't be disappointed. This book will have both eternal Predator fans and general readers satidfied.
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on 8 July 2011
pure entertainment all the way through, non stop action from beginning to end that had me guessing what was going to happen next! would recommend for any predator fan or for anyone who just enjoys a gripping story
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on 4 February 2009
i bought (wife alison) this book for my husband, he likes these books as they have more in them then the films, there are a lot in the set
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on 4 October 2014
Not good like others
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