The Gevaudan Project by A.K. Preston is an intelligent, wild ride that puts one in mind of a Michael Crichton thriller.
I’m a big fan of monster stories and I was intrigued by the title, as it references a well-known cryptid (I’m a big fan of cryptozoology as well). If you’re already familiar with the historical Beast of Gevaudan, the way Preston connects it to the book’s monstrous villains and an unfolding conspiracy to solve the Earth’s population explosion at any cost will still surprise you. At its heart, the book is an ad absurdum exploration of the philosophy of humanism tied to fanatical envionmentalism. Even so, it finds a balance in its portrayal of moral and necessary conservation efforts.
While the first few chapters were a bit slow for my tastes, Preston builds up enough dread and intrigue to make his debut novel into page turner. His characterizations are solid. There are several unexpected twists and turns that left me feeling the characters’ frustrations and sharing their triumphs, but it was the nail-biting dread that drove me to finish The Gevaudan Project. It does occasionally get bogged down with too many details; however, like Crichton, for the most part Preston comes across as a well-researched storyteller.
I wholeheartedly reccomend The Gevaudan Project.
From the Bookwyrms Lair,
A team of naturalists find themselves facing a nightmare beyond anything they have ever known – and the product of unspeakable evil.
Philip Caster, a former Green Beret now working as a zoologist, leads an international team in Indonesia whose revolutionary new program may spell salvation for the endangered Sumatran tiger. They will release six artificially-conceived cubs into the wild, accompanied by their surrogate mothers. The effort will prove the feasibility of in vitro breeding as a new tool against extinction. But its success is overshadowed by the sudden emergence of a horror beyond reckoning. Something has been unleashed in the forests of Sumatra. A life-form never meant to walk the earth. One that claims humanity as its only prey.
As death unfolds around them, Caster and his circle of friends must uncover the truth behind an abomination: the instrument of dark and all-too-human forces pursuing a twisted ideological vision. Their creation has killed already – and their plans will consume millions more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author as an advanced reader copy (ARC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255[…] : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising