Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2014
Length - my book does not have any page numbers.
(Amazon states 502 pages; Barnes & Noble states 514 pages)
Written by Pete Kahle
Rating - 5+ Skulls
From a crater lake on an island off the coast of Bronze Age Estonia...
To a deformed Viking warrior's conquest of England...
To the blood-soaked temple of an Aztec god of death, disease, and resurrection...
Their presence has shaped our world.
They are Riders.
One month ago, an urban explorer was drawn to an abandoned asylum in the mountains of northern Massachusetts. There he discovered a large specimen jar, containing something organic, unnatural and possibly alive.
Now, he and a group of unsuspecting individuals have discovered one of history's most horrific secrets.
Whether they want to or not, they are caught in the middle of a millenia-old war and the latest battle is about to begin...
I love this book!
I do not recall reading such an epic debut novel, since I first discovered Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule".
Before I continue, I just have to say that around this exact time, last year, I said that Nick Cutter's "The Troop" would, most likely, be this year's Best Horror Novel.
(I read an Advanced Review Copy of that book, in August of last year, and it was released this past January)
Well, I now have to admit that I was incorrect. That honor now goes to 'The Specimen'.
Kahle (who, at a quick glance, looks like Michael Chiklis) states that he has flirted with the idea of writing, since he was in his teens! I am so glad that he decided to finally unleash his twisted mind upon the world. Fans of Brian Lumley and Richard Laymon will be all the better for it!
(I say this because Kahle's writing style reminds me a lot of Lumley - very descriptive - which is a good thing - and Kahle's characters remind me of Laymon's - again, a good thing!)
I cannot wait to see what Kahle delivers next!
From the very first sentence, Kahle grasps your complete and full attention, and he does not let go until the very end!
(Even then, his epilogue leaves you wanting more!)
For a first-time author, Kahle excels at handling his transitioning, extremely well. As I stated above, this is an epic tale, told over the span of millennia, and Kahle is superb at keeping the flow moving at a steady pace.
(For this reason, this is a perfect book for busy readers. Though as the finale nears, and Kahle ramps up the pace, you will definitely find yourself not wanting to put the book down. He kept me up until the wee hours, last night.)
With all of that having been said, Kahle wraps everything up, nice and tight.
And then comes the epilogue...
(There is a planned sequel to this book, and I cannot wait to read it!)
One more thing - a word of advice:
When you are reading this book and get to the part about teratomas, DO NOT google images! (Kahle's gruesome and, at times, nauseating descriptions are more than enough!)