Written by: Myra Gabor
Action/adventure meets the Twilight Zone.
The story starts with a giant lumbering into the town of Soran in Iraq, carrying a package weighing hundreds of pounds on his back. When challenged by some soldiers to stop, the 7-foot tall figure sets the backpack down, reaches inside and simply detonates a nuclear device. The town is vaporized and anyone who wasn’t melted from the heat will soon die by radiation poisoning.
When the next giant appears in Baghdad, the Americans and Israelis have independently decided that this new threat must be assessed and stopped. Especially as their intel informs them that even though one arm was shot off, the other arm reaches into its backpack and detonates another bomb. Most of Baghdad is gone, along with the American and other international diplomats and their families.
The third creature is stopped on its way to Israel. Bullets from a fighter jet almost shred it, but do not bring it to a standstill, that is only achieved by a missile fired from the jet.
These creatures do not stop to eat, drink or rest. Their bodies are scarred, as though pieces have been stitched together. There is ancient Arabic writing on all parts of their bodies. When remains of the giants are brought into the lab, the Israeli scientist explains how, even though the body is dead, the cells still want to regenerate. In other words, this is an animated being, not alive, yet almost unstoppable in fulfilling its command – that of destruction. Since there is no scientific explanation, one suggestion is that perhaps magic animates the creatures. Certainly it is not from a technology that anyone in the West knows how to duplicate.
From the direction in which the creatures come, and from their nuclear capabilities, Alex Hunter, the protagonist, and the American and Israeli fighters, postulate that the beings are sent by Iran, working with Jihadists, in order to destroy the West.
What’s so frightening about this book is how plausible it is. It is not your usual garden variety story of zombie-by-virus infecting everyone. What it does is show how effortless it would be for just a few dedicated beings to destroy western civilization and how easy it is to produce and deliver nuclear devices. Whole cities wiped out before anyone realizes that it’s even possible.
For the tech minded, there is a lot of talk about armaments, both hand-held weapons and jets. The author talks about the ability of satellites to zoom in, see through buildings and take pictures underground. He also gives details about special body armor that makes Robocop look like a kindergartener. All of this is also scary stuff. I don’t know if any of it exists, but it sure sounds like it does.
This is another in the continuing series of Alex Hunter books. There are references to other stories, but this book easily stands alone.
Never thought I’d enjoy an action book, but this is an absorbing one. Frightening, but recommended.