Alex Hunter has been found – sullen, alone, leaving a path of destruction as he wanders across America. Only the foolish get in the way of the drifter wandering the streets late at night.
Across the world, something has been released by a treasure hunter in a hidden chamber of the Basilica Cisterns in Istanbul. Something hidden there by Emperor Constantine himself, and deemed by him too horrifying and dangerous to ever be set free. It now stalks the land, leaving its victims turned to stone, and is headed on a collision course with a NATO base. The Americans can’t let it get there, but can’t be seen to intervene. There is only one option – send in the HAWCs.
But Alex and the HAWCs are not the only ones seeking out the strange being – Uli Borshov, Borshov the Beast, who has a score to settle with the Arcadian moves to intercept him, setting up a deadly collision of epic proportions where only one can survive. Join Alex Hunter as he learns to trust his former commander and colleagues again as the HAWCs challenge an age-old being straight from myth and legend.
Alex Hunter is back. I definitely like it better when Alex is part of the HAWC team instead of being on the run. Well, as you might guess from the book blurb the book starts of while he is still on the run but he is quickly brought back. At the same time a treasure hunter releases what is to be the main subject of the books story.
In general the book starts of fairly well. There are plenty of wtf/wow moments when then monster ravages the countryside on its way to its destination. The re-integration of Alex into the HAWC’s and the subsequent visits to the HAWC equipment lab is quite enjoyable reading as well. Borshov the Beast makes a re-appearance as well which, as usual, results in a fair amount of action and rather sadistic violence. In my opinion Borshov has outstayed his welcome in these books. It is beginning to get a bit tiresome having this jerk screwing up things for Alex all the time.
So far so god. Unfortunately it kind of goes downhill the further into the book we come. The characters are as good as always, so are the action. It is the scientific aspect that irks me. I am sure a lot of people do not agree or do not care but the author tries to put a scientific spin on the monster that Alex & Co are facing and, quite frankly, I would have been happier if he had stayed with something purely mythological and supernatural. Such things simply do not have to be explained.
Be warned that there are spoilers ahead!
The monster can, obviously, turn people into stone, or some calcified stone like substance. Fair enough. But by looking at an electronic transmission of the monster? Sorry, that is just to far-fetched for me. I was waiting to get some scientific explanation to this but none was really delivered.
Then we have the final, and not so surprising since it was pretty clear fairly early where the author was going, moments where they discover that they are really dealing with aliens. They discover a spaceship, the greatest scientific discovery since fire, and they simply decide to blow it up. What the f…? That is the kind of rubbish that you expect to find in a TV-show or a crappy SyFy horror movie.
If another Alex Hunter book comes out I will probably get it because they are reasonably fun entertainment but this one was far from the best one in the series.