The desolate streets of downtown Pittsburgh in 2073 are a reminder of the missile attack that forever changed the lives of the surviving scientists and students hidden in the fallout shelter of Helmsby's Genetic Research Center. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they station themselves inside the center until food supplies near depletion. Thinking the fallout has lessened, they emerge three years later to discover strange creatures patrolling the streets in search of human flesh and blood. The creatures possess the ability to shift their genomes and alter their appearances by realigning their genetic sequences.My Thoughts: While I ultimately liked this book and thought it was an interesting take on shifters and other genetically enhanced creatures, I had a bit of a hard time suspending my disbelief over a few of the points. The first one being that even if part of the city had been fenced off and isolated, wouldn't there be air traffic and such to alert the survivors that maybe things weren't quite as they seemed? A relatively minor point, to be sure, but it was something I kept thinking about.
Daniel Hutchinson, their leader, teams with Lucas Ridale and together they set out to scavenge the area for food and supplies with the hope to find other survivors. But Daniel's most recent journey uncovers mysteries more frightening than the shifters. He discovers the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off from the rest of the area. Low-flying helicopters observe the streets, making him ponder the question: Were the shifters released as simply part of a military experiment with humans being their prey?
Okay. I said points but I actually meant point. I had a point I couldn't suspend my disbelief on. I got over it, btw. I'm just saying that it was something that kept wiggling in the back of my brain until I acknowledged it. Which I've done. And I can now move on.
Like I said, I really liked the different take of shifters presented here. I love post-apocalyptic stories. All those crumbling buildings and frayed hopes. Lovely. I almost wish we could have spent more time out in the city, scavenging and surviving, but I'm content with what I was given.
As the first in a series, it doesn't tie up all the loose ends (although the big plot points are resolved) and the ones that are left are very intriguing. Oh, Lucas. Whatever's going to happen to you, you poor thing?
Gritty and dark, this is a twisted look at the lengths some people will go to to further their crazy experiments.
More books by Leonard D Hilley II
Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge