I wanted to read about WASPS OF THE MUTANT AND MAN-EATING VARIETY! My entire body squirmed at the idea of BEING PARALYZED AND THEN EATEN ALIVE FROM THE INSIDE OUT BY WASP OFFSPRING. I loved the idea that it was DEFINITELY AND TOTALLY NOT OUR FAULT.
Unfortunately, operation: BLACKFLAG never really does more than scratch the surface, and Richard J. Kendrick never delivers on the promise of his tale. There are glimpses of b-grade brilliance early on, especially with eccentric scientist at the heart of it all, but that's all they are . . . glimpses. There's no real horror to the story, and none of the gore that I was expecting. Instead we get a rather pedestrian, if mildly absurd, SyFy sort of monster flick that never lives up to its potential. What could have been a tightly focused, intense bit of bloody horror is diluted by a pair of subplots, one silly and one cliched, that really add nothing to the tale. What's more, the tension that was established early on goes nowhere. I kept waiting for the pay-off from that early sting, just waiting for that dead hand to explode with baby wasps, but instead it just . . .well, gets a little better. There is one aerial combat scene near the end that delivers some thrills, but it's too little, too late to salvage this.
Like cold war propaganda itself, this was all hype and no substance.
Paperback, 274 pages
Published August 28th 2015 by Consolidated Breadheaters Publishing
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration.This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my honest review.