So, I picked this book up last weekend while taking my kids to the library. I’d never read any of Mr Wendig’s novels previously, but did enjoy the Darth Vader Annual #2 that he wrote. That was enough for me to grab it.
First off: if you are squeamish about bugs, this may be a hard read for you, especially since there are several pages that have ants on them in the bottom corners. I thought it was a cool touch on the book, and will admit that it totally caught me by surprise when I first noticed it. It was a neat feature and added to the ambiance of the story.
Secondly, Wendig has a unique style of writing. I found it threw me a bit at times at the beginning of the book, but I was enjoying the read and it was a fit for the main character. Different authors have different styles, I liked his, and hopefully if you read this book(or have read it), you enjoy it too!
The novel begins with our protagonist, Hannah Stander, in an airport when her contact from the FBI calls her with a request to come see a crime scene. One he says, that is littered with thousands of bodies. Of course, this captures the imagination, both of the reader and Hannah, and she’s in. Upon arriving at the crime scene we discover that the victim has been skinned by ants, who had died when the frost had hit the previous night. Upon some investigation the ants are discovered to have been genetically modified and are traced back to an eccentric billionaire’s lab.
I won’t get into more detail because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that I quite enjoyed it. Hannah is a great character. She’s definitely damaged, and I felt Wendig did a great job both writing that and providing a plausible back story for it. She was raised by survivalist parents, and the snippets of her early life we are given go a long way to paint who she is now in the story.
I also enjoyed the ants. It was creepy, it was scary, and they served as a great plot device. Seriously, who isn’t creeped out by the thought of being swarmed with ants – even harmless ones?
I do recommend this, it was different, it was fun, and it was creepy. I’ll also be keeping my eye out for more of his books!