The author took obvious delight in building up the impression that some revelations would never be made, but eventually he came through. The presence of one character seemed totally superfluous until the very end, when he made an observation that cast the whole story in a new light. A quick, fun read.
This book could have been the book on which "The Thing" was based - except that it post-dates the movei by almost 50 years.
Although it was still a good yarn, I can't call this Mr. Child's best work - especially since it borrows so heavily from "The Thing".
It so happens that i just watched the original version of "The Thing".
Everything from setting to plot to strategies used to defeat the monster come directly from the movie.
The side story - Film industry megalomaniacs and divas and their "daring" escape attempt failed to do much for me.
I've been a longtime fan of Child, but this was a comparative dud. It was rather formulaic, nearly identical to The Relic, but much weaker.
This isn't really the campfire tale from hell (to borrow an expression from Mr. Child's blog), it's more like a campfire tale from purgatory. I finished reading this book less than three hours ago, and now I can't remember some of the characters' names. The story doesn't really stay with you that much, and it's relatively slow for a thriller (the monster doesn't start eating people until about chapter 19).
I have noticed, though, that with this novel (as well as with Douglas Preston's "Blasphemy") the authors do try to include the spiritual as well as the scientific and that makes for some interesting dialogue among the characters.
Have you ever taken a drink of a soda that went flat? Little to no flavor and no carbonation? That's what reading this book is like. Child has written better, and I'd recommend "Utopia" or "Deep Storm" over this book any day.