Review: Exponential by Adam Cesare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meth-heads versus a monster! What's not to enjoy?

In its opening chapters, a kindhearted janitor steals a lab mouse from the animal research division of the biotech company he's working for. And since this is a horror novel, you can pretty well guess how that ends for both the poor janitor and the cute, cuddly lil mousey.

As it turns out, the mouse is infected with something akin to the alien monstrosities at the heart of The Thing and The Blob, and once free it goes on a terrific rampage through the Nevada desert, straight for the first signs of life it can absorb. This just so happens to be a dive bar, a setting that author Adam Cesare spends a good part of the book's first half introducing and then driving our characters toward in-between some good, old-fashioned monster mayhem.

Exponential isn't particularly deep or meaningful, which is fine for me because it is a heck of a lot of easy, breezy fun and I've been craving a flat-out enjoyable creature feature. This one fit the bill rather nicely! We get some neat-o graphic depictions of sentient biomass wreaking havoc on its human prey, some gnarly flashes of meth mouth, and a few solidly heroic beats for our beleaguered cast, all of which made me pretty happy. The main focus here is on fun, and, as evidenced by past works of his I've read, Cesare is a fine entertainer, one who is well-versed in 80s-style B-movie horror goop and who wears his inspirations proudly on his sleeve. I dig that.

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Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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