Michaelbrent Collings: Predators
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Michaelbrent Collings is an international bestselling Indie author and multiple Bram Stoker Award Finalist who’s written several books that include The Colony, The Loon, The Deep, Strangers, Apparition, The Haunted, The Twisted, and the book featured in this review, Predators.
Predators is a contemporary horror novel that is written using the third person point of view which centers around protagonist Evie Childs, who wins an all-expense-paid trip to Africa. But when a group of “freedom fighters” kidnaps her safari tour group, intent on holding them for ransom, the adventure turns into a nightmare. Without food, water, or communication, the survivors must travel across one of the most dangerous environments on Earth – where they’re being hunted.
As I started reading this book, I immediately noted that it had a Michael Crichton Jurassic Park feel to it, which I like, except Predators takes place in Africa. The former of the two is a plot-driven narrative, and the latter feels more character-driven with the plot in the background. A couple of the characters go through an internal change due to their external conditions; a shift from domestic life to a more primitive setting wherein all bets are off as to who will survive. Collings does an excellent job creating three-dimensional characters we love and love to hate. The reader is given a backstory of each, though at times it felt overdone, I was able to get a sense of who they are, and for the most part, why they behaved the way they did. I empathized with Evie the most – a shy and quiet woman who’s been abused by her husband for years. Predators is a book not only about survival but it’s also about tangible and intangible sacrifices wherein love is stronger than fear – or the other way around.
There were a couple of issues I had when reading this novel, and only because it pulled me out of the story or refused to let me slip into the text like a warm comforter by way of lengthy prose. In the first chapter, Collings uses clipped sentences for effect, but it made it difficult for me to get hooked and pulled into the narrative. The sections titled “Interlude,” though sweet and childlike in its intent, felt more like intermittent interruptions in the text that created a drop-in tension that had to be built back up only to drop again.
I love it when an author uses humor in a horror novel, which can create a happy balance within the gore. However, there were a few places throughout the book where the humor felt misplaced or inappropriate, but, that’s my personal preference, and another reader may disagree.
Predators is the first Michaelbrent Collings novel that I’ve read, and I can assure you it won’t be my last. I try to make a point of never judging a writer’s work based on one example, because many books, even those written by my favorite authors, didn’t quite connect with me for one reason or another.
If my review or the synopsis of Predators sparked your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the author – you may be surprised by what you find lurking within.
I will conclude my review with one of my favorite passages from Predators:
“[She] forced her pain down. Pushed it to where it did not matter. It was still there but locked in a place where she would keep it in solitude until she was ready to take it out and deal with it. That was what a warrior did.”
who can chase a lion from its kill…
Evie Childs hoped the all-expense-paid trip to Africa would give her a chance at adventure. Maybe it would even let her forget a past that haunts her, and find safety from a husband who abuses her.
Her jaws can crush bone to powder…
But when a group of “freedom fighters” kidnaps her safari tour group, intent on holding them for ransom, the adventure turns to nightmare.
She knows no mercy, only hunger…
Now, Evie and the rest of the survivors must travel across miles of the harshest, most dangerous environment on Earth. No food. No water. No communications.
And they’re being hunted.
She is the only animal alive
A pack of Africa’s top predators have smelled the blood of the survivors, and will not stop until they have fed. Because in this place, you can be either one of the prey, or one of the…
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
You can follow D.K. on Twitter @DKHundt1
Please visit D.K.’s official website www.dkhundt.com