Monday, December 24, 2012

Black Mountain by Greig Beck


He looked up at the black hole. He didn't see it as a cave mouth anymore; instead, he thought of it as a doorway. And something had come out of that doorway that should have been extinct. A ripple of nausea ran through his gut as he remembered another cave from his past. It wasn't true that deep caves were always dead and sterile places. Some caves were very much alive, and held secrets that were horrifying and deadly.

Summary: Alex Hunter, code named Arcadian, wakes up with no knowledge of who he is, in the care of a woman he doesn't recognise, in a country not his own. But there is a calling deep within him, to return home to Black Mountain.
Formed a billion years ago, the Appalachian’s Black Mountain hosts a terrible legend. Only one elder remains to guard its long-forgotten, deadly secret and there is a fear that there is evil lurking again. Some hikers have gone missing, and the rescue team sent to search for them has not returned. Meanwhile, in nearby Ashville, Professor Matt Kearns is drawn into the mystery of an ancient artefact recovered from the mountainside, and an image too grotesque to be real.
A survivor is then found half-alive, covered in blood – blood revealed to be not quite human.
Alex must confront an age-old enemy of man and discover the truth about his past, and confront the horror that stalks the frozen mountain, and also the one haunting his very soul.

My thoughts: This book is awesome, fantastic, mind-blowing and many other superlatives. The author has taken one of the most popular legends - that of Bigfoot - and given it a brilliant twist, turning what could have been a very typical story into something endlessly interesting. My first thought when I started reading was: It's story about Sasquatch being real - what's not to like? I soon began to realize that it was a lot more than just that. It is at times hard to follow a book when there are too many sub-plots, too many things going on all at once. But in Black Mountain, the author manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Every little strand of story is just as engaging and the build-up is amazing. I could anticipate a big finish and it did arrive with a bang!

I have always been a fan of multiple points of view, and the author has pulled them off perfectly. I loved the fact that the book also offers little bits from the creature's point of view. The dialogue had a good flow to it and as the book progressed, I really started to care about the characters, which enhanced my reading experience even further. Not to mention, all the action. Saying that the book is action-packed would be an understatement. The author gives a move for move, blow for blow description of every fight, every interaction. I could visualize the scenes in the book perfectly and it was exciting to read. I am sure this book would make a great movie.

The book is fast paced, but not too fast either; just fast enough. This isn't just another run-of-the-miller thriller. Black Mountain, and I believe the entire series, has a lot to offer. There are touching, bittersweet moments when Alex struggles after his past, there are times which are funny, quirky and romantic and then there are moments of bone chilling terror.

There are many characters in the book, so for someone who hasn't read the entire series, it may be slightly confusing. Having read Arcadian Genesis, I was acquainted with the main characters and their story-lines, but there are things that I would probably understand better after reading the other books in the series. While it's not a perfect standalone, I would still recommend the book to people who haven't read rest of the series; better yet, I recommend you to read the whole series - trust me, it's worth it. Grab your copies right here!

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