The Colony, a debut novel from author A. J. Colucci, who has spent fifteen years working as a magazine editor and newspaper reporter, combines elements of styles of the horrific with the likes of Stephen King, along with the science and fast-paced thriller of a Michael Crichton novel. Slap a catchy James Rollins quote on the cover, and you’ve got yourself a creepy, terrifying, addicting read.
With books about things like killer ants, you want the story to get started right away, and not involve too much build-up. The Colony does just this with a contemplative prologue that sets up the story, and goes straight into some opening chapters of ordinary New Yorkers going about their daily lives, and then being attacked and overrun by millions of ants, as they are poisoned and eaten alive.
Our main characters are Kendra Hart, a brilliant entomologist working in the deserts of New Mexico, who is picked up by the US government and taken to New York to join the team, which includes her ex-husband, Paul O’Keefe who has become an international celebrity as “the ant guy” and made fortunes from it. Kendra also finds her ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, on the team, using his entomological and computer skills.
But the bodies are piling up, and things are turning into a national catastrophe. What all these talented scientists know is that the big invasion is coming too; trillions of ants of a new, murderous species have been growing and multiplying beneath New York City and will soon begin their attack. It’s up to the ant scientists to come up with a plan to stop them, because they have the military breathing down their necks with the only sure and known way to kill these ants, but that will involve destroying Manhattan with a nuclear bomb.
The Colony is a gripping book that’s hard to put down. While the quasi love-triangle gets a little heavy handed in the middle of everything going on, Colucci does a great job of mixing up action packed scenes with descriptively horrific moments involving a tiny, seemingly innocent insect. The Colony gives you shivers and sets your heart racing; just what every good book should do.
Originally written on February 6, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.
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