Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
Reviews for Thomas Koloniar’s first book, Cannibal Reign, have been overwhelmingly positive. It has been compared with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and marketed separately as a horror, science fiction, action, and thriller novel. This praise has attracted many to give the book a chance.
In Cannibal Reign, a giant asteroid has been spotted on a collision course with earth. The world governments are keeping the news under wraps to prevent panic while they scheme up a way to destroy the object. However, an Army Special Forces Operative learns of the object hurtling through space. Instead of warning the world, he begins gathering supplies, friends, and random females to whom he is sexually attracted. They are to live with him in an underground bunker and wait out the inevitable chaos which will ensue after the asteroid crashes. This chaos, as the book’s title implies, is primarily cannibalism and rape.
Meanwhile, a group of scientists do learn of the asteroid. They wish to warn the world. However, they know they cannot save everyone. So instead, they choose to save only those rich enough to live on Hawaii and of course, the US Navy (with some Marines). Cutting off the island chain from the rest of the United States, the men and women of Hawaii begin stockpiling supplies to withstand the coming holocaust.
Last there are the poor SOBs who are not rich enough to live in Hawaii or other havens. They are left to fend for themselves in a world where men are men and women are nothing more than victims to be eaten and raped. The United States Air Force is cast in the role of villain throughout much of the story as they perfect the art of cannibalism and sexual misconduct. Then the Chinese show up.
The Chinese are bad guys too though the reason they are bad guys intent on killing Americans after the United States ceases to function remains unclear. It doesn’t matter. The purpose is primarily to give the military-industrial complex something to focus its firepower on that doesn’t speak English. To this end, the Chinese serve as an ideal nameless mass to annihilate off the face of the planet.
If all of this makes you laugh, it is okay. The plot would make chest-thumping Robert E. Howard chuckle. Comparisons to The Road are completely without merit. McCarthy explores the bond between father and son. In Cannibal Reign, you explore the bond men have with their penises and the women who worship them.
Here is the silliest thing though: it is actually a really fun read. The story is idiotic and offensive both to women and foreigners, but it keeps you turning the page. You root for the scientists and Special Forces Operatives. Koloniar has a knack for immersing the reader in the world he has created. Somehow the whole affair becomes believable and okay. Perhaps, that is the true horror which underlies Cannibal Reign.