Saturday, June 4, 2016


Devour by Kurt Anderson
Pinnacle: 5/31/16
eBook review copy; 400 pages
ISBN-13: 9780786036790

Devour by Kurt Anderson is a highly recommended thriller/horror novel set on the ocean, off the coast of Massachusetts.

The novel follows several embedded story lines. Brian Hawkins is a fishing boat captain who responds to a distress call from a research ship. He manages to save the last survivor, but he also sees what they are up against and knows his ship is doomed. A primordial sea monster has awakened beneath the ice in the Arctic Circle and is starting to feed as it heads south following the current. When it discovers tasty morsels can be found on boats, it begins attacking boats and eating the crews. In the meantime, a casino cruise ship is setting out beyond territorial limits to facilitate a secret high stakes poker game and hide a secret cargo, while the rest of the unknowing guests partake of the normal games of chance.

The monster is the hook, but the novel spends a lot of time setting up the characters on the boats. Brian is a compelling, credible character. The majority of the people introduced on the cruise ship are untrustworthy and unsavory characters, with very few exceptions. Frankie Moore, who is facilitating the high stakes game and trying to keep an eye on the men in the private security details of the two players involved, is an interesting character, but not likeable. It's not that the cruise ship portion of the plot is dull, it's just that, well, you're going to want more sea monster action because that's what you are expecting, but the bulk of the novel focuses on the various cruise ship characters. This makes the novel more of a thriller than horror novel.

Devour will hold your attention and is a satisfying debut novel for Anderson. I was going along with the direction the author chose to take for Devour, until an incident that happens a little past the half-way mark that stretched my credulity a wee-bit too much. The novel manages to recover from this event. It certainly would be a great land-based vacation read and meets all the requirements of a stuck-overnight-at-the-airport book.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Pinnacle for review purposes.

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