Adam Baker continues his ultra original, hard hitting Outpost series, with the superb Terminus. I don't think ive ever read such a more difficult to put down series. The furious pace is relentless, but the characters are absolutely superb. Tremendous detail, and wonderful dialogue. Just brilliant.
This book is brutal. A group of survivors go to rescue the one man who can save the world from zombie Armageddon. Dr Ekks the man with the cure. There is only one problem, he was last spotted in a Subway Station below the streets of New York. Added to this the city has been nuked by a neutron bomb designed to kill the zombie but it has not worked. So our intrepid bunch of followers go in search of (Spock) the doctor. What follows is an underground bunker story. Very much in the ilk of James Herbert's Domain. Antagonists on the outside just waiting to break in. Rising water levels and other dangers within. It is a good slow burning book. I knocked a star off as Adam took a bit too long to get to the climax.
This novel is the follow-up to the superb 'Outpost' and the not-as-good-but-still-very-good 'Juggernaut'. 'Terminus' falls somewhere between the last two books - brilliant in places, inspired in others - but just falling short of Outpost's grim excellence. Not to say that this isn't anything but a cracking piece of apocalyptic fiction and a fresh spin on the 'dangerous mission to search for a cure' plot. There is some great descriptive prose, fleshing out the motley collection of characters and the ruined world in which they're trying to survive. And be prepared, this is a bleak story. Unrelentingly grim for the most part, 'Terminus' stayed with me for days after I'd read it. The parasitic virus that has devastated the planet is steadily wiping out the human race, and there's not much that can be done to stop it. Or is there? We don't know. We may find out if there are further additions to the series. I hope there will be. The only real criticism I had of the book was that it didn't show as much of the infected or 'prowlers' as I would have liked. But that's probably just me! Nevertheless, it's a great read. Action-packed and engrossing. This, along with Outpost and Juggernaut, would make a great film trilogy.
This is the third novel in this series, following on from Outpost and Juggernaut. The three books are set in different places and involve different people, but all dealing with various stages of the same dystopian scenario. In this book, the alien infection has covered much of the Earth, and in New York there is a concerted effort by a noted scientist to find a cure. When New York is bombed with nuclear weapons to try to stop the spread of the disease, a small squad of survivors must try to find the scientist and see whether his announcement of a cure is true. But can they get there before the prowlers get them?
This is a tightly woven novel which focuses on a small group of people in a world that has clearly been hit hard by the alien pathogen. This small group, operating in a small area of New York is on a focused mission, but there's plenty of action even in this narrowly defined group and area. The prowlers are everywhere and the rescuers each have their own motivations for what they are doing.
This is not a book for those of squeamish turn, nor for those offended by bad language. This series of books feature hard men and women who are fighting for survival and don't intend to let much get in their way. This book is no exception, and the narrative is short, staccato and breathless to fit the flow of the story.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of these books, and I hope there are more to come because there are certainly loads of unanswered questions and heaps of directions that the story could now take. There's a lot more to be learned about the infection itself, as you will see from reading these books, and I hope the author has some more books up his sleeve for us to enjoy. Definitely recommended, but start with Outpost first, then read Juggernaut before you read this one.
Adam Baker's alien parasite continues its' reign of terror in the brilliant `Terminus.' In the first book of the series, Outpost, we first learn of the alien infection that falls to Earth from a Russian Space station. The caretaker crew of a dormant oil rig learn that this infection has decimated civilisation, and is headed their way. In a neat twist to the current hordes of undead revenants storming the bookshelves, this infection spreads metallic tendrils and spines through the flesh and nervous systems of its' hosts, eventually killing their soul and leaving a homicidal, frenzied, hungry walking husk. We also learn that there is a guiding alien intelligence, almost like a hive mind. The next of the series, `Juggernaut,' is a prequel that details how a precursor to the infection that destroys our world lands in the desert, where it decimates a team of mercenaries on a sham mission controlled by CIA rogues, eager to develop a new bio-weapon. These books are brilliant fast paced reads with a kinetic, staccato prose, deeply flawed protagonists, and examples of human evil that prove every bit as deadly as the alien infection itself. All of which can be found in the latest installment. In `Terminus,' New York is nuked (along with other major cities) by Presidential order in an attempt to slow the infection. But a neuroscientist and his team may have found crucial information about the infection, and a transmission is received from them deep in the city's trashed underground system. A team comprising of military, fire and rescue, and a prisoner who was a potential lab rat of the Doctor's, and may have a clue to his whereabouts, are dispatched to the underground to rescue the Doctor and retrieve his research. This is the grimmest, bleakest installment of this series yet. The setting is claustrophobic in the extreme, an irradiated underground system of a devastated city. The revenant creatures are truly horrific and disturbing, with their bulging metal tumours and spines and unstoppable blood-lust. There are some wildly disturbing deaths by the infected, and some hybrid monstrosities that pay a respectful debt to `The Thing.' There is betrayal, counter betrayal, and as stated above human evil and manipulation every bit as destructive as the infected creatures. It seems a world without hope. And yet. Some of Baker's heroes are violent prison lifers, but they show courage, resolve and a concern for their fellows missing from the fascistic military who supposedly wear the badge of the good guys. The Fire and Rescue are also courageous and resourceful. The story shows that in such an extreme situation, background and past do not matter so much as the resolve to make a difference and protect those by your side in the present. The character of `Lupe,' the lifer and gang criminal, makes for a heroine you will cheer for. So, pockets of human goodness and decency survive. The book does leave loose ends. There is still story to be told, and I hope Adam Baker continues to tell it.
This is the third instalment in Adam Baker's loosely-linked series of apocalyptic horror novels. It's also the least interesting. Characters are clichéd, the plot is predictable, and Baker has adopted a telegraphic style of writing - all clipped sentences - that quickly becomes tiresomely repetitive; even leading on occasion to confusion about who is speaking.
The hinted-at linking plot elements that made 'Outpost' and 'Juggernaut' seem a little more intriguing than other recent books in the genre have here receded so far into the background as be irritating rather than provocative. Baker doesn't do anything here to distinguish his novel from dozens of others, and falls below the standard he set for himself in the earlier books. 'Terminus' is at best zombies-by-numbers with a vague SF premise, which itself is far too reminiscent of already over-familiar film and game scenarios. The promise of 'Outpost', sustained but not improved upon in 'Juggernaut', seems to have evaporated here.
Not recommended, even for fans of the genre. If you haven't read Baker, start with 'Outpost'.
In 2011, I happened to stumble across Outpost, the debut novel from Adam Baker and was so thoroughly impressed, I got my hands on the follow up title Juggernaut as soon as I possibly could. Now in 2013, Baker revisits the Outpost universe he has created with Terminus.
So, considering the synopsis provided, Baker has taken proceedings from the lonely oil rig set in the bleak Arctic landscape seen in Outpost; left behind the imposing ancient fortress lost in the deserts of Iraq in Juggernaut and drops his current cast of characters into a long forgotten subway station under the city of New York which has been over-run with the infected and subsequently found itself to be the target of a tactical nuclear strike. If nothing else, Baker can't be accused of lacking in imagination!
In common with the previous entries in the Outpost series, Terminus features some strong female leads and the set-up for Terminus, to my mind at least, is unique within the genre. However, at times the plot was reminiscent of elements from Aliens, Escape from New York, Assault on Precinct 13, Mimic and Virus; all of which I had absolutely no problem with. Additionally, Baker peppers his story with knowing yet unobtrusive film references, which amused me no end.
Baker's descriptive prose is exemplary. He leaves little to the reader's imagination, conjuring up a nightmarish vision of New York populated by walking cadavers and throws a ragtag rescue team of firefighters, military scientists and convicts into the 200 miles of subway tunnels beneath the city and has them contend with the threat of collapsing buildings, flooded passageways and radiation sickness before even thinking about the dangers posed by the infected.
Critically, those looking for a quick horror fix will be left disappointed. Although the threat of the infected is ever present throughout Terminus, the author chooses to keep them at bay, building the tension before unleashing his own particular brand of undead horror on the main players here in bloody, visceral style. Although Terminus is set in the same Outpost universe, it is perhaps most appropriately regarded as the third in the series rather than a sequel since the reader does not discover the fate of the characters last seen in either of the previous entries but Terminus does take place after the events seen therein and advances the general theme set by Outpost and Juggernaut.
At 400+ pages, Terminus is an action-filled horror novel with believable characters facing a seemingly impossible situation; and unlike many sequels or further entries to a series, succeeds as a standalone title. However, it is worthy of note that the real strength of Terminus lies with the characters Baker has created here. After all, I found myself in the unforeseeable situation of rooting for a gangbanger, white supremacist and a convicted serial killer...