The premise of Warren Fahy's novel is not especially original: far out in the south Pacific, an island is discovered that harbors strange and unique forms of life. Cut off from virtually all biological contact with the outside world, what evolved was the most lethal ecosystem on the planet, where every living being, plant and animal, is hostile. Drawn to the island by an emergency beacon from an abandoned sailboat, the crew of a research ship has a quick and lethal encounter with some of the island’s inhabitants, prompting a naval quarantine and full-scale scientific expedition that uncovers many of the island’s mysteries – and illustrates the threat they could pose to the world.
When reading the novel, it soon becomes clear the amount of thought that Fahy has put into developing the inhabitants of his own little lost world. The environment he envisions is nothing short of terrifying, and the chapters in which the island is explored are easily the best of the book. Unfortunately, the rest of the novel does not receive the same degree of thought and attention, with two-dimensional characters (including a Bad Guy verging on the cartoonish), predictable plot developments, and an ending with all of the originality of a Hollywood-cloned sequel. While Fahy does entertain, readers seeking quality plots and writing would do better to pick up another book instead.