Set in the future, the sci-fi/horror novella revolves around a young Marine, Corey, who wakes up disoriented and confused in a hospital bed (in the style of The Walking Dead and Kill Bill). He is questioned by a higher up, at which the story retreats to the past and Corey tells his tale.
Part of a group of Marines, Corey travels to Mars (which is colonized) to investigate why Earth has lost touch with the colonists there. They are met by fantastical creatures, a mash-up of creatures seen before, yet unique in presentation, who aim to take out the intruding Marines. Corey must face his fears and stay alive while battling all sorts of creatures. Woven throughout the story, the video game feel can be found, right down to Corey meeting a boss-like creature.
While fast paced and having the video game fun in a book, there are some flaws in technique that the reader should expect to overlook. Punctuation is missing in parts, while overused in others, and the book includes a large amount of passive voice for an action-packed story. The author takes an omniscient narrator approach to the story, which hops from character to character and sometimes jarred me from the story.
As for the characters, I would have enjoyed getting to know Corey more before the madness on Mars begins, but once he fights the creatures his character does evolve more on the page, and I found myself rooting for his survival (despite already knowing he would). There were a large amount of characters introduced in a clump at the beginning of Corey’s story, which might have been better introduced separately in a manner that the reader can remember all of them.
Overall, the book will be a fun read for those who enjoy space horror and/or video games. There are enough redeeming qualities about the plot and characters to overlook the technical concerns. With this being the first in a series, the cliffhanger at the end does entice one to want to know what happens next.