Written by: Vitina Molgaard
Off we trek into a new novel, and I must say, Crogian is a significant change of pace from recent reads. This one is a bit of a hybrid that brings to mind the work of the late, Mr. Michael Crichton. To be very specific, it’s a tad reminiscent of the timeless piece, Jurassic Park, in which man and science collide to make a mess of what nature provides for us.
This tale begins in the year of 2010, in a remote region of Alaska where a man discovers something alien embedded in a waterway. Curiosity fuels him and eventually influences the man enough to attempt excavation the object. His inability to remove said object leads to a government agency’s intervention, and the suits are determined to see this mysterious discovery removed and confiscated. The unearthing of this rare find triggers chaos; things are about to go haywire… really haywire. Scientific analysis of this unique find sets off a massive disaster that invokes inevitable death, destruction and mutations, the severity of which man has never before seen. The discovery point in Alaska is subsequently destroyed, and a new “home” is built in an abandoned chemical plant in Texas, where we begin to learn the truth behind what’s become known as CROGIAN.
By the way, readers quickly learn that, CROGIAN is little more than an acronym for CReator Of GIANts: giants that nearby tenants will need to fight (with savagery), if they aim to survive one hellacious uprising.
Fast-forward seven years and readers find themselves stuck in 2017 where we find Ken Forde and his family, becoming increasingly curious about the unorthodox habits of their neighbors at the plant. Soldiers armed with weapons begin to make threats against him and his family, especially one Colonel David Larrigan, who has been involved with this operation since the very beginning. Fueled by a lust for power, Larrigan happens to be a true psychopath, willing to do anything and everything in order to see his curious mission produce success. His commanding officer General Leonard, also a greedy man, is not really finding himself able to keep the colonel in check, leading to some inner conflicts that will yield catastrophic results.
As Ken begins to investigate, a series of suspicious characters surface, including one Ted Ellison, a scientist once a part of this secretive project, and he’s a player to keep an eye on. A man with a conscience now driven half mad with the need to put an end to what is happening, Ted’s every bit as ingrained in the situation as the overbearing government officials, and his obsessive acts result in what could be considered the beginning of the end of “normal life”. As for the Forde family, well, they wake one morning to discover the surrounding landscape has morphed into nightmarish grounds where survival is anything but a guarantee. It’s flee or fight for the remaining townspeople, a few of which, really emerge as memorable characters in this frenetic tale of man versus mutation.
Personally I enjoyed CROGIAN very much. This is the kind of horror story that I can relate to, because, while it’s not a gory examination of vampires or the bloodthirsty fictionalized monsters that tend to work themselves into literature so frequently, it is a tale that highlights some of earth’s very real monsters; the variety that walk this earth on a daily basis. The monsters that the logical mind has no difficulty in identifying: human beings… human beings capable of heartless, sinister acts.
I am going to give this novel a respectable rating because while I don’t necessarily feel it’s aimed at horror aficionados in particular, I do find tangible value in its precautionary angle. CROGIAN is predominantly science fiction, but it successfully retains a palpable measure of horror, and the story works to incorporate plenty of terror that should sate the appetites of those in search of a new, refreshing piece of the horror conglomerate. Take some time out to read this novel, it’s time well spent.
You can pick up your copy of CROGIAN over at AMAZON right now in both paperback and digital format, and with price tags of $12.95 (paperback) and $3.99 (digital), this one is a certified steal.