Title: The Flock
Author: James Robert Smith
Publication Date: Nov 2010 (originally Oct 2006)
Paperback: 362 pages
Genre: Action/Adventure | Eco-thriller
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Carolyn
RATING: 5/10 – take it or leave it
A remote Florida swamp has been targeted for theme-park development, and the swamp’s inhabitants are none too happy. It doesn’t help that the residents are a colony of intelligent, prehistoric, dinosaur-like birds. This flock of beasts has escaped the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs, relying on stealth, cunning, and killer instinct. The creatures have been living in secret, just outside our developed world.
As the developers push to have the recently-discovered animals exterminated, a billionaire rogue environmentalist step in to protect these rare, predatory creatures. A naïve young Fish and Wildlife officer finds himself caught in between these two incredibly powerful forces, and may find out the hard way that man is the most dangerous predator of them all…
The Flock is a contemporary eco-thriller about what can happen when man violates nature, and when nature fights back.
It is hard to read ‘The Flock‘ without drawing some similarities to ‘Jurassic Park‘, although I’m talking the movie as I haven’t read the book yet. The premise promises “the most exciting dinosaur thriller since Jurassic Park, an ecothriller with blood on its beak that shows what happens when man violates nature, and nature fights back.” Sounds good doesn’t it – unfortunately it wasn’t.
It wasn’t particularly exciting, in fact it had the same monotonous pace throughout. The characters were rather lack lustre and the only aspect I found enjoyable in the entire novel was when we got a glimpse into the mind of the dinosaur. The dinosaurs think and strategise like man, they are intelligent beings and I liked them more than the human characters. I wish the book was narrated entirely by the dinosaurs, it would have been far more entertaining.
This story should have been fun, energetic and thrilling, instead it was laboured, the dialogue clunky and unrealistic, especially when romance was involved, and the action scenes…well, there were none.
The characters were pretty shallow too, they had no depth to them at all, and the main character, Ron, who was supposedly meant to be the one to stand between the threats to the flocks existence, was in fact a rather dull, pathetic, weedy specimen who had his ex-girlfriend to protect him – and of course she single handedly brought down two huge killers with her bare hands, and only with a couple of punches no less. Hmmm.
A big disappointment to be honest as I was really looking forward to reading ‘The Flock‘ – unfortunately it just didn’t deliver on any count and it read like a very badly acted movie…
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