Paleontologist Grant Coleman and activist Janaina Silva are recruited by Thana Katsoros for a top secret expedition, one in search of a live Apatosaurus on a plateau deep in the Amazonian rain forest.
But their plane crashes short of their destination, and the entire group face a terrifying fight for survival. This isolated area hosts unknown animals more fearsome than they’d expected, including giant ants and flesh-eating pterosaurs.
Even worse, Katsoros’ agenda has more to it than meets the eye, and Grant soon fears that it doesn’t include all of them getting back alive. Will any expedition members survive to be rescued, or will they be devoured by the creatures indigenous peoples call the monsters in the clouds?
Grant is doing a book tour for his best seller horror novel Cavern of the Damned and his readers are unaware that it is actually a true story about his previous expedition which went bad. However someone knows the truth and Thana offers him a deal to join a new expedition to Brazil to look for a possible dinosaur in the jungle. Janaina was to be hired to represent the rights of any tribes found from the safety of an office but insists she can only do her job if she goes on the expedition. Along with biologists and security experts, the journey begins badly when the plane crashes after hitting something in the air and now they are stranded away from their landing zone, missing vital equipment and have no pilots. And things are about to get much worse.
Firstly, this is the second book in the series which is not made obvious on Goodreads unless you read the reviews. However we do get a brief rundown on what Grant faced in his other expedition including giant bats and mutant scorpions, without going into massive detail to spiol that whole story. It does seem ok to read them out of order though as this is a different adventure with different people with Grant and I enjoyed it without having to know about what happened on his previous trip. I've got that adventure ready to read when time allows!
Grant sees something crash into the cockpit window, killing the co-pilot and everyone finds whatever way they can to get out of the plane before it crashes into the jungle, which gets things off to a fast paced start. As they regroup on the ground, they need to construct a camp and decide on how best to proceed with the mission. Do they head to the plane to see if the pilot survived and if there is a working radio to call in about the situation? Do they go looking for where the photo of the alleged dinosaur was taken? Or do they try to get to their original landing zone to await help? With Thana in charge, she takes the decision to look for the dinosaur evidence first and then the plane but nobody could expect what they will encounter on each excursion through the deep jungle...
Monsters! It's not giving anything away to say that there are deadly pterasaurs in the jungle as they are on the front cover. I love these guys! They are intelligent, cunning and very dangerous, and don't much like having humans in their jungle, which is fun for the dinosaur loving reader like myself! The group then encounter a nasty version of giant ants that you don't want to mess with and another angry dinosaur that wants to kill them and destroy their camp. Grant is soon wishing that he had skipped this trip when they end up battling to stay alive until they find a way to get rescued.
I liked Grant as an MC because he was just a normal guy and not some kind of instant Rambo, though he becomes more resourceful as the book progresses. I think I would enjoy reading more of his adventures. Janaina is the feisty female, the only person to try and talk to Grant as the rest of the team are determined to ignore the pair as much as possible. We find out why later in the book. She is determined to ensure that any tribes they encounter have their rights put ahead of the expedition, which is why Thana doesn't much like her. I liked the kickass guys from the security team especially Jason.
Overall, this is the typical fun SF channel type creature feature that I usually enjoy and it certainly entertained me and kept me reading. Don't take it too seriously and you should enjoy it if you like this kind of thing.
Read May 2018.