Basically a story of a demon, named Bub, who the American government have decided to experiment on. They house him in an uber secret facility, feed him only sheep, expect answers to ALL of mankinds questions and wonder why he gets pissed off, tries to escape and hatch his master plan to obliterate humanity.
Great blend of weird but damaged characters, which is my first niggle because if “you” seriously had this terrifying secret you needed to keep would you allow that calibre of person to be responsible for it? With no other military presence?
But then I guess there would be no real failure in procedure and the story would be pretty boring!
I enjoyed the relationships between all of them but really found the holies annoying with their religious double speak although you could feel the depth of research that JAK had done within the language element and the biology as it just oozes off the page. However the biblical pondering goes on way too long and I found myself skipping some of the genome waffle as it did not really enhance the story at all, IMO.
One of the main characters is a linguist; however as soon as he walks into the room with Bub, the demon decides to speak English! Kind of negates his need to be there really and think he could have been expanded much further in reading of the casket etc I feel that JAK merely skimmed the surface of what could have been a very in depth and complex story line.
The Vet gets on my nerves a little, why is she measuring the sheep? and how did she decide that they fulfil his dietary requirements?
Another brilliant description yet niggle was the “facility” it was so huge yet had no staff; who did the maintenance? When they dropped off food who did the unloading? What about humans needing sunlight to live? And could they not have had a hydroponics unit for fresh food?
Humour is one of JAK trademarks but im not sure he meant Bub to be quite so “cute” – I did not really find him terrifying so was nose wrinkling when I read the “reactions” of the team when they first meet him, or maybe I just read too much horror.
I wish JAK had expanded on his history a little more, maybe played with Bubs inner dialogue more. Don’t get me wrong he is no huggable, fluffy demon, he has his gorefest moments but felt there could have been more.
Other reviews have suggested that this is a “popcorn” book and I would be disappointed to know that his how JAK intended it, as the basic concept is pretty awesome and possibly could have been executed a bit better with a longer novel. It does have some interesting arguments about the beginnings of humanity and our need for religion and where all the legends stem from.
The windup to escape is pretty tense as no character is safe, which is always good in a novel, although how you can put up with that much physical injury and still climb a ladder amazes me, but sometimes you need to suspend belief.
My final niggle is the internal bombs, why does Bub just not dig them out sooner? I dislike when authors just suddenly blag a bit or change a basic function of a character to help them out of a jammy bit of storyline; that’s so Hollywood.
Overall I really loved this book, the ending is pretty awesome and I look forward to a sequel. This would make a great film, as the action is all very visual and the time line is pretty straight, with maybe a few flashbacks.
I LOVED the "Britishness" of the whole thing, the pub setting, the humour, although I was a bit dismayed to find the Americanisms in the dialogue.
IRW has done some brilliant character links here with his other books; its his own scary little world. I really enjoyed the almost cliché characters, they are so condensed you can see a little of someone you know in each one. I had a real fondness for some of them towards the end but was pleased to see that no one safe.
This was a very easy to read yet hard to put down book, I read this in 2 sittings. This was the first book I ever picked up from IRW and I have to say he his now a firm favourite.
I have reread this book now, I think its going to be one of those that you go back to as an old favourite. The second reading allowed me to pick up on the little nuances that I missed in the first reading, very clever! If you have any doubts how complex this book is then have a read of this "a look at the Final Winter".
I thought the ending could have had many alternatives, and personally I would have liked to have had all the characters endings "wrapped up", I just wanted to see some people get their karma balanced!