Top critical review
That sound isn't the beating of a thousand insect wings, it's the sound of the yawns of thousands of bored readers.
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.