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Author: Robert McCammon
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
2 Aliens come to the dying town of Inferno, Texas. One takes over the body of a 6 year old girl and the other takes anything it wants and turns it into a human/scorpion hybrid thingy. One is chasing the other and the whole town of Inferno is now involved.
Taking place in one night, we follow various townspeople as they do their best to survive not only the night but the threat to all of humanity that the Stinger represents. Lots of people die, the whole town has a coming together change of attitude and the good alien wins and steals the starship to go back to its planet to fight against the forces of the bad alien, who gets blown up by old dynamite.
Sadly, after my Stinger Update, there was no mindblowing’ness. This felt exactly like McCammon’s The Border and while that’s not bad, there was nothing in this book to make me want to read more by the author.
As much as I rant/complain/whatever about hating touchy-feeling’ness in the books I read, I still do want some characterization. In this story there were just too many people who were all focused on, hence diffusing any possible connections. And the characters that did have some page time, well, they felt very forced. The 2 young men who were leaders of their respective gangs, coming together as friends after the attack, yeah, yeah, yeah. The cowardly sheriff who overcomes his fear and while not a hero, at least isn’t hiding. The airforce officer who stops the planes from shooting down the good alien right at the end and thus ending his career. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then you have the good alien who takes over a 6 year old girls body and her parents.
The other thing that stood out to me was the lack of guns. Apparently, the only people who have guns are either the law enforcement officers or a crazy gang member who has a huge stash of guns along with dynamite. Nobody else has guns. IN TEXAS. That is like writing a story about the city of Boston and writing all the drivers as polite people who follow the rules of the road and are safe drivers. It just ain’t so! That whole town should have been bristling with guns and that phracking alien wouldn’t have known what hit it.
There was also no sense of menace, no atmosphere. Competent enough writing but nothing outstanding or great.
For all that complaining, I still enjoyed this read. The alien burrowing through the ground and snatching people and creating dopplegangers with metal teeth and stuff? That was cool. When it happens to a horse, even cooler! Then when the dopplegangers are just appendages and can turn into people sized scorpions? Awesome! Blowing it up with dynamite in its own ship? THE BEST!
I don’t think I’ll be reading any more McCammon. Neither of the 2 books of his that I have now read make me want to read any more. If I had no tbr and that is all the library had, then I’d dive right in. But I have a huge tbr and hundreds of books I WANT to read. “Ok” just doesn’t cut it in that situation.
I think these cover variations show rather well my feelings on this book: