Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Book Review: Titanoboa by PK Hawkins


Professor Hank Newstead has been making expeditions to the Amazon River for years. They've become routine to him. But this time, the expedition is going to be anything but normal.

Hank, along with a hardened river boat captain, his much younger girlfriend, and his main professional rival, are in the Amazon purely to study frogs. All their plans vanish quickly, however, when they are attacked by a Titanoboa, an enormous prehistoric snake that should be millions of years in its grave. As their crew dwindles from a series of terrifying attacks, they discover a secret: a long lost colleague of the professor has taken up residence on an island in the deepest parts of the jungle. And if Hank and the others can't find and stop her, then the Titanoboa will not be the only extinct monster unleashed back into the world.


My Review:
Dr Hank Newstead is taking a few of his students on an Amazon expedition to a site looking for the disappearing tree frogs that he studies. He already has fears about being forced into retirement by an eager young rival and whether his new relationship is doomed by the time they set sail and he wonders if he is getting too old for field work just as Erin craves the opportunity to take part in it. However, it doesn't take long for the Captain-Hank's friend Morgan to see something unusual in the water on his radar and they go straight into a deadly encounter with a giant snake that is meant to be long extinct. It is only the first deadly episode with extinct creatures and soon the survivors are wondering if they need to make a run for it on land to get help.

I was actually surprised to like this one as much as I did. I had concerns about the romance mentioned in the blurb in case it took away from the story but it is very much a background detail and not the focus of the story which was fine with me. It is there to gain an introduction to two of the characters more than anything. It is the same with the tension between Hank and Randy. We see it in the first few pages but it's there for character development and it isn't in any way annoying to me. Actually, despite an instant dislike of Randy in the first few pages, I soon grew to like him! I liked the characters in general, especially the gruff grumpy boat captain who doesn't like jokes about his name being Captain Morgan.

We also follow the antics of Dr Annalisa Sanderton, an intelligent scientist colleague of Hank who has an interest in extinct species. She has been sufferinMayg from a mental illness which is affecting her thought processes and has convinced herself that she must bring back these extinct species and unleash them on the Amazon to kill people. She is working in a remote, protected camp near the river and this is where Hank thinks they might find some kind of help or at least answers to what is going on. Annalisa, in her few lucid moments is horrified by her own actions but can't stop herself. I liked this twist of having the evil scientist actually being mentally ill instead of being just a bad person. It was interesting to follow what she was doing and I certainly had sympathy for her situation.

The book gets into the story straight away after a few pages introducing the characters. We meet the snake very early on and from that moment the story moves along at a good pace. For those of you who like creature feature, there are a few fun ones in this book including a shoal of giant pirhana and tree frogs that you don't want to mess with. And that is before they try to run through the Amazon to escape Titanoboa! The monster scenes  are a lot of fun to read and are as you would expect in this kind of book. It is nicely paced and something is happening all the time to keep the reader interested. It is a pretty quick read but keeps a good standard and I enjoyed the way that the story unfolded. 

If you like this b movie creature feature where people get eaten, then why not try this one for a fun horror read!

Read  May 2018.
4 stars. 

14 comments:

  1. Whew that cover was the first thing I saw when I clicked over to your blog and whew, it woke me right up! (It's late here) Creature features are dfun to watch for me, not sure about reading about it, but I appreciate the creature feature part of it!~

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    1. Lovely cover if you hate snakes isn't it! I'm so glad it wasn't a spider!

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  2. this sounds good. I do love b movie creature features. I need to add to my list. Happy to hear you loved it.

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  3. I like creature features but I just don't know if I could read about a giant snake. I can watch giant snake movies because the snake always looks fake. But I think my imagination would make it a lot more than a movie would so I may need to stay away. Yay for people getting eaten though.

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    1. It is a big scary snake and it does eat a few people.! Funny I don't mind snakes at all but a tiny spider freaks me the hell out!

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  4. I love books set in the Amazon! And this sounds like a very fun read. :)

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    1. I enjoy that setting as anything could lurk there, y'know?

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  5. I've been thinking of reading this one. You've convinced me to keep it on my list. I'm in the mood for some monster mash.

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    1. I very much enjoyed it and I hope you do when you read it!

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  6. Wow sounds fun. I like the idea of nasty tree frogs- yay!- I need more killer frogs. And piranha!!!! Also the evil scientist having an illness, rather than just being "evil", sounds like a nice touch too!

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    1. It had a lot of fun stuff-just wish he'd taken more students for the animals to eat!

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  7. Hmm I hate snakes, but may need to read this book.

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    1. My uncle is terrified of snakes. I'm more freaked out by spiders but I love reading about them!

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