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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 December 2010
..I would really enjoy this book. And I did. If you're looking for deep and meaningful insight into the human condition and answers to life's larger questions then you may be better off giving Instinct a miss. However, if you're looking for not a little gore, more than a little action and a book that's a fast-paced page-turner then this could well be for you. The scene in which a female character gets eaten, from the feet up, by a giant cockroach was a personal highlight! It's highly entertaining and worth spending some time with.
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on 17 January 2011
This is one of those books where you have to take off your "Serious Literary Critic" hat and just enjoy it for what it is. If you take that approach, you cannot fail to be entertained by what is a damn fine read.

The basic premise is one that's been done many times - man interferes with nature, nature bites back. Yes, it's full of stereotypes, yes there are factual inconsistencies, but this is, after all, a work of fiction. The bottom line is that this is a book that will keep you awake at night - initially because you can't put it down, then again because it will give you nightmares. If you like your gore to be ladled on by the bucket-load, if you like to play the "guess who's going to die next" game, then get this book. I'll be first in line for the film when it - hopefully - gets made.
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on 23 February 2011
Signs of a good read:

1. I read the whole book in one sitting. Even skipped dinner.
2. Reminded me of Michael Crichton.
3. Would make a brilliant movie.
4. Lashings of gore.
5. After finishing the book, I went downstairs to get a glass of water, came upon a not-very-large cockroach in the kitchen, and completely freaked out.

Buy it.
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on 24 October 2011
I purchased this when I bought my Kindle but for some reason I did not read it straight away.
I should have trusted my initial instincts because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Giant killer wasps on the loose in an underground research facility - and a few surprises along the way also.
Very enjoyable read.....
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on 10 May 2014
Well, this one was interesting. An impulse buy from Tescos of all places (and we all know how prestigious a bookshop Tescos is), i was drawn in by the concept of giant wasps being used as a military weapon. Unfortunately, this subject is barely mentioned, and serves simply as a vehicle for sticking a bunch of forgettable characters inside a Lab with a bunch of oversized insects that fancy some scientist chow. This in itself isn't necessarily a bad premise, it would make an excellent B movie or Crichton novel, but Kay lacks the scientific knowledge to make it even remotley plausible, he just stay with "uh, ok guys. I found some insect miracle grow, lets put into a tactically unfeasible military project".
His plotting comes across as generic at best, and downright silly at worst. For example, there is a point in which two people fall through the same small hole in the floor, but land hundreds of meters apart. The use of giant wasps as a military weapon is poorly justified, but that's not the point, is it? The only reason the book exists is to serve the authors gore fetish, as he under describes or omits nearly every detail necessary to make the story believable, except for the endless scenes of wasps tearing people into Confetti.
And wasps aren't all that there is... realising that he can't keep the reader entertained with any more wasps, he then decides to introduce every single insect that was in his scary bugs book that he had as a kid, and proceeds to give us scenes of each and every one munching another forgettable character. Not that we care, most of them seem to exist to rant against british people, or tell us how the Americans won WW2 on their own ( something that as a british citizen and a student of history that I think verges on plain stupidity, arrongance and jingoism) But That does set the pattern for the book. To make matters worse, the book is quite boring, and It suffers from the unbelievable plot hole of the Lab which was built to breed and contain the wasps until deployment has absolutely no defences outside the room in which the wasps are trapped. Stupid!
The truth of the matter is, that it simply isn't a very good book, and I can't recommend reading to anyone, not even horror buffs.
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on 15 January 2011
An excellent and fast paced read. A little gory in places but that just adds to the horror. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Michael Chrichton. Couldn't help thinking that this would make a really good film.
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on 11 January 2011
I had no idea what to expect.I haven't finished it but felt motivated to write review before the end or even the middle
More please.
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on 22 August 2011
An enjoyable read set along the classic B-movie horror story involving secret experiments, an underground bunker, trapped scientists and some really big, nasty bugs. Looking forward to more from this author.
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on 13 May 2011
Wow! I really enjoyed this book and sat up until silly o'clock last night to finish it. I have read all the other reviews and while someone with a better knowledge of entomology or the military might find it inaccurate, as an avid reader of all types of fiction my main objective is to be entertained and Instinct definitely did that! My main observation was that this is definitely a Hollywood film in waiting and would make the transition from novel to screenplay easily. It isn't the sort of book I would usually go for; although I have read all of Stephen King's work and can see it would probably appeal to many King fans. There were several `laugh out loud' lines followed by some incredibly graphic gory moments, one in particular made me screw my face up in disgust much to the amusement of the man sitting opposite me on the 08:00 to St Pancras who leant across to ask me what on earth I was reading as my facial expressions were a picture of revulsion! I for one will be looking out for Ben Kay's next offering and of course the movie!
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on 11 December 2010
Five stars. No doubt. I was gripped from the first page to the last. There are several things which set this apart from other thrillers. It is incredibly well written - the descriptive prose is top notch and the characterisation is rich and compelling. Both the British and the American voices are captured perfectly which is unusual for a writer on either side of the pond. Delicious flashes of humour are juxtaposed with gory action scenes, which works for me. The novel is also a highly effective satire of US military pretensions. And let's face it - the thoughtless, scattergun approach of the US military is ripe for satire in 2010. One more thing. If you find wasps scary, which I assume is 99% of the population, you cannot fail to be utterly absorbed by this book. Highly recommended. Can't wait for the sequel...
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