Denise DeMarco wants to retire from the big game hunting business, but she's received one last job offer she can't refuse. All she has to do is capture a monster. Soon, Denise finds herself on a cursed and sweltering island with a team of elite hunters. Her employers want her to find the legendary ahool, a species of bat large enough to carry away a human being. Knee-deep in Komodo dragons and danger, Denise soon discovers that things aren't as they appear on the island. Someone is murdering Denise's partners, turning the hunters into the hunted. The killer isn't the only threat, though. Night is about to fall on the island, and the real monsters only come out after dark.
Denise is a skilled hunter who has let her business go bust so an offer of $10000 to go to an island and $90000 to capture creatues alive proves too good to pass up, even if one is a legendary giant bat. The island has locals who hide behind a big wall and don't want strangers there, and the other hunters are an obnoxious bunch who all want to win the big prize at all costs but the hunt begins. And then it gets dark and all hell breaks loose...
I liked this one. Denise is very much the hero figure and a strong woman who needs a bit of good luck and it looks like she has found it with this mission. She can even put up with her nemesis Balthazar, vile racist Jubal and sexist pig Marlow as the island is big enough to stay well away from everyone else. She teams up with Gail and Harrison to explore the island and make camp but don't see anything unusual, and no sign of giant bats. But as night falls, a human scream draws them all to a small camp where Kazan is found shot dead. Did one of the hunters do it or is someone else stalking them? Why can none of them contact the ship? The following day someone takes a shot at Denise when she becomes seperated from her friends.
It is not just the unknown sniper that is going to be deadly. After a run in with komodo dragons, Denise finds evidence in the caves of mutant monsters and previous visitors to the island who did not survive. She decides that it is time to tell the others what she has found out and a meeting takes place that night in the jungle. It is then that the mystery of the island is revealed to them all...as the moon comes out, everything on the island mutates into huge deadly beasts...komodo dragons the size of a T Rex, mega snakes, giant spiders and bugs, huge bats and crazy monkeys and every one of them wants a piece of hunter for dinner. Now they are the ones being hunted through a terrifying night that not everyone will survive...
Heh got to love this one! You think that the mad sniper is going to be the worst thing when the worst the island seems to have are the komodo dragons but it all changes when it is revealed that the animals are all affected by the moon and are basically weres that grow to massive sizes. Suddenly even the smallest animals become a threat and everyone is being chased by various nasty beasties. I did enjoy that element a lot. Also when they think they have escaped the beast chasing them, they still have the sniper to worry out. It gives a lot of action and tension to a pretty exciting plot. You don't really know what is coming next and there are a couple of nice plot twists nearer the end which were fun.
The male characters are really horrible! Balthazar seems to really hate Denise and she has no idea why. The behaviour of the men at the breakfast table when they meet her was appalling and I wanted to climb into the book and headbutt them all. They were the worst sexist pigs you could imagine meeting. Characters like that make me want to DNF but it is worth trying to ignore them for the short journey as everyone splits up when they reach the island and the plot takes over. There are a few questions that you want answered and I'm happy to report that you do find out everything by the end.
Overall this was a good lost world type story with a few twists. There is the were aspect to the animals which I enjoyed. I also liked that it was set in the 1920's so the weapons they have are older, meaning they need to use their skill as hunters to kill the creatures. No AR-15 to bail you out in this story! It added something a bit different to the plot. Lots of monsters and lots of action. What else do you want in a monster book?
Read March 2017.