A Chuck Wendig Mashup—’Jurassic Park’ Meets ‘A Bug’s Life’

I enjoyed Chuck Wendig’s Zeroes, a rush of a novel involving fringe hackers, an AI danger, and a wake up call about our dependence on technology. It’s a fast-paced read, and I was quite happy to hear that Wendig would be revisiting the world he created for Zeroes in the recently released Invasive.

Invasive features a returning support character in the form of FBI agent Hollis Copper. Copper has called in futurist-consultant Hannah Stander to assist with a very X-Files-style case. Hannah was preparing to head home to see her prepper-parents (and her unusual childhood comes into play more than once later in the book), but Copper has pulled in Hannah with one crazy tease: I’ve got a cabin on the lake with more than a thousand dead bodies in it.

 

Invasive

 

The book’s title and cover (as well as the one for this review) should give you a good idea of where this story is going. I don’t want to reveal too much, but a few spoilers are necessary to explain a bit more about the story… so stop reading now if you don’t want any further plot details.

When Hannah arrives at the cabin, she discovers a dead human body and the answer to Copper’s riddle. This discovery prompts Hannah to contact her good friend and entomologist, Ez Choi, a pink mohawked Chinese-American woman with pierced nose and eyebrow and a rainbow of makeup. (I cannot wait to see Ez on the big screen should Invasive get a movie treatment.) Ez makes her own discovery regarding the evidence collected at the cabin, changing the cabin’s status to a murder scene and putting Hannah on a plane for Hawaii to meet with the research staff on a remote and private island employed by billionaire Einar Geirsson.

Everything above happens in the first 50 pages… the rest of the book is all about Hannah, Einar, and a small group of researchers trying to stay alive once the big secret is revealed. And Wendig’s short and sweet chapters will keep you reading “just one more” because he’s an obvious master at cliffhanger chapter endings.

I do like good tech-gone-bad stories; I’m not sure where Wendig is going with this world he’s created in Zeroes and Invasive, but Hannah’s a well-developed character who has the right skills to handle whatever Wendig might throw her way, especially if this fictional world goes darker.

Note: Invasive is out now. I was provided with a review copy.

James Floyd Kelly is a full-time writer in Atlanta, Georgia.