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Saturday, January 13, 2018

#DNF #Horror Review: Arachnosaur by Richard Jeffries

This sounded like such a fun read, and all I was really looking for was b-grade schlock, but it was still a disappointment.

The characters all fell flat, with nothing to distinguish them, to the point where I just stopped trying to match names to personalities and just assumed they were all soldier clones. The writing itself was uneven, sloppy and lazy in places, but strong enough in others to trick me into continuing with the read.

My two biggest issues, though, were the locker room sexuality and the lack of spiders.

Let's start with the sexuality. Take, for example, Second Lieutenant Barbara Strenkofski, who is described as "five-seven, a hundred and twenty pounds; thirty-six, twenty-five, thirty-six," and whose "one-inch black pumps looked tailored to her with a laser measuring device." Not offensive, but embarrassingly juvenile.

Take, also, Private Terri Nichols, who "could have been anything: a ballerina, a gymnast, a nurse, a cheerleader" (reach high for those career goal, ladies!), but who chose to be a marine. Okay, that's a little more offensive, but where it gets really offensive is with the prolonged musing on hookers in Chapter 11 (which is where I stopped reading and started skimming).
In the same way every good soldier was ready to fight 24/7, a streetwalker was always sexually available, always on the make, always willing.
And later in that same chapter.
“How do you know if a hooker is lying? Her eyes are open.”
At least our hero is capable of "quelling the urge to write B+ on her spine in lipstick." Such admirable chivalry . . . at least, that is, until he throws her at a terrorist like "a screeching, wet, terrified cat." It all makes for cliched character building from Richard Jeffries, with men who are cartoon stereotypes of the worst sort, and hardly heroes.

Now, to get back to the spiders, they get a great opening (prehistoric) scene where they are glimpsed, but never truly seen, and a fantastic moment in a cave with the marine who could have been a cheerleader, but after that we wait until about 42% of the way through the book to see them again. Even they, they don't really do much, and certainly don't factor into the kind of action-packed madness you'd expect from a book called Arachnosaur.


Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published December 26th 2017 by Lyrical Underground

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 review.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no I was looking forward to this one but it sounds pretty bad! All the sexist and hooker stuff would drive me mad and it sounds like there aren't enough spiders. Darn!

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