Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review: Insects by John Koloen

Publication Date: October 14,2015
Publisher: Watchfire Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

A deadly carnivorous insect.
A group of scientists trapped in the remote rainforest.
One horror filled night.

Entomologist Howard Duncan has a generous grant and a wealthy lover. Now he's on the verge of a find in the Brazilian rainforest that will reenergize his career: the rarely sighted reptilus blaberus, an insect like no other.

But something has changed - nature has started producing an antidote to the fungal infection that previously held the insect population in check. Skeletons provide Duncan and his team with an ominous first clue about the potential consequences.

And as the hunters become the hunted, the team must fight for their lives if they want to survive the terror-filled night.

*Small Spoilers Below

Insects was a book I picked up on Amazon after seeing it pop up as a recommend read. As soon as I read the premise I knew this was a book I needed in my life. I love books that take something as simplistic as a jungle dwelling insect and make them terrifying. Now throw in a group of naive scientists thinking they'll be the one to make their claim to fame by catching said insect and you have a real page turner on your hands or so I thought

Unfortunately while the premise to Insects is stellar it's execution of the plot failed big time. One of my biggest issues with Insects is that I wasn't actually scared for any of the characters. Sure they were in a forest filled with man eating insects and beasts alike but for the most part it just felt that I was watching a b-rated version of Lost instead of something more akin to say Arachnophobia which puts the threat to the characters and the population at large front and center. While the plot wasn't necessarily bad I do wish that the threat was more real for these characters. The story is very much a slow burn in the suspense department. Rather than the insects and the situation the scientists are in feeling like a big threat everything instead feels like a major inconvenience instead. 

Another issue I had with the story is the length. I truly believe this book would have worked better as a novella. Instead were given pages upon pages of filler dialogue that really didn't progress the plot along as well as it should have. Also due to all that filler dialogue we hardly ever see any real action. More showing and less telling would have really saved this book from being just OK to really great. At least in my opinion. 

Now one thing I really did enjoy about the story were the insects themselves . Basically the reptilus blaberus  are a short living insect species whose population was kept in check by a fungus that grows in the jungle they inhabit. That is until the fungus stops working. Now not only are humans at risk but so are any creatures that are unfortunate to cross their paths as well.  As the colony grows their threat increases and if it escapes the jungle.... Well, let's just say it will be very bad for all life indeed. 

Overall, Insects provided me with a relatively decent story for the price and kept me curious enough to continue with the series should I ever come across the next book in the series on sale (would not pay full price though). I'd recommend picking this one up only if you don't mind a story with a slow build up and also one filled with sometimes boring scientific conversations on nearly every page. 

With that being said, I'll be rating Insects by John Koloen ★★★.

*Copy reviewed purchased. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which for providing them.

Want to learn more about this book or Author? Click the links below!
John Koloen:

Monday, September 26, 2016

From Page to Screen (82) The Girl on the Train, Fallen, Inferno & more!!

2016 has been a remarkable year for Book to film conversions thus far and that momentum does not seem to be slowing down at all. So far this year we've seen film adaptations of books ranging anywhere from the cult classic Pride, Prejudice and Zombies to best selling novels The 5th Wave , Allegiant and the lesser known but still brilliant  13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi  .

Hollywood it seems has been bit by the book bug and I for one cannot wait to see what works get converted in the future (Please, please Joe McKenna's Dead City). For now though let's stick with the films being released in the back half of the year. I'm choosing to exclude Fantastic Beasts because I've mentioned it already in a previous post. With that being said and in no particular order here are some of my most anticipated still yet to be released.

1.) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 
Film Release Date: October 5, 2016
Director: Tate Taylor
Run Time: 112 Minutes

The Plot: Divorcee Rachel Watson takes the train to work every day and spends her commute fantasizing about a young couple living down the street from her ex-husband. One morning, she sees something shocking and finds herself entangled in a mystery that promises to forever alter the lives of everyone involved.

Film Release Date: September 30, 2016
Director:Tim Burton
Run Time: 126 Minutes

The Plot: When tragedy strikes close to home, 16-year-old Jacob "Jake" Portman is forced to travel to a mysterious island in order to discover the truth of what really happened. Jake's ordinary life takes an extraordinary turn as the childhood fairytales he heard from his grandfather start to become more plausible. After stumbling into what seems to be a different world, Jake is introduced to the extraordinary Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But when what seems to be a fairytale takes a horrific turn, Jake is forced to make a life altering decision in order to protect the ones he loves from the monsters of his grandfather's past, the creepy Hollows and the dangerous Wights led by the terrifying Mr. Barron. (wiki)

3.) Inferno by Dan Brown
Film Release Date: October 28, 2016
Director: Ron Howard
Run Time:121 Minutes

The Plot: When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot. (IMDb)

4.) Fallen by Lauren Kate
Film Release Date: November 9, 2016 *Tentative
Director: Scott Hicks
Run Time: TBA

The Plot: Lucinda Price has been able to see "shadows" most of her life. After her latest incident with the shadows she is accused of murdering a boy by starting a fire and is sent to Sword & Cross, a reform school under the assumption that she is mentally disturbed due to her sightings. There she meets Cam whose eager to get her and Daniel who wants to stay as far as possible from her. (wiki)

5.) The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Film Release Date: September 23, 2016 (UK)
Director: Colm McCarthy
Run Time: 111 Minutes

The Plot:  In a dystopian near future, humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease. The afflicted are robbed of all free will and turned into flesh-eating 'hungries'. Humankind's only hope is a small group of hybrid children who crave human flesh but retain the ability to think and feel. The children go to school at an army base in rural Britain, where they're subjected to cruel experiments by Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close). School teacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton) grows particularly close to an exceptional girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua), thus forming a special bond. But when the base is invaded, the trio escape with the assistance of Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and embark on a perilous journey of survival, during which Melanie must come to terms with who she is. (wiki)

If you'd like to find more books being turned into film, I'll link some pages down below.



If you'd like to find out more about the book each film is based on click each title. I've linked them to Goodreads for your convenience.

Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Which films are you most excited for?
Have you read the books they've been based on?
If so, which do you recommend?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!