Friday, August 23, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Exterminators: Infected (Volume 1)" by James C. DeSantis


Running this blog has given me an opportunity to read many novels that I might not have been able to enjoy before, simply because I wouldn't have heard of them.

James DeSantis contacted me via Twitter about reviewing his debut novel, Exterminators: Infected (which is volume one out of five) on my blog here. I have read but never reviewed sci-fi/fantasy before...until now.

Four young boys from all walks of life receive a mysterious that tells them to go to a specific address at a certain time. Once they've read the letter, it disintegrates.

Nick, a newcomer to New York City and a kid who misses his mother after she passed away a year ago, is one of them. A born leader, a bit awkward but levelheaded, is one.

Then you have Peter, a loner kid who gets good grades and doesn't really associate with people. He has two secrets the reader finds out about fairly quickly: he has a drunken, abusive father and a mental disorder. The doctors diagnosed him with sociopathic tendencies, meaning he does not feel emotions like a normal human.

Next, you have Fred, a geeky semi-Gothic gamer, who is overweight and an outcast. He is rich, but his parents are never around. His best friend deserted him at the beginning of high school and his only company is the people he interacts with when he plays online video games.

Meet that deserting friend, Marshall, who thinks he is a badass but is he really? he wanted to be popular; Fred didn't, so they parted ways. Now they are forced to work together again when all four boys gather at the appointed address at the appointed time to learn why they were called.

Carl is a Bora, a mentor and a commander, whichever you want to call him. He works under this former teammate, Amanda Ross (the Gada, leader of the organization), as a trainer for new Exterminators. Carl is also an alcoholic, after something bad happened to the last team he mentored scarred him for life and made him not want to even be a Bora anymore. But now he has to train for new kids to be killers.

Now, they won't be like mercenaries; killing humans. No, nothing so horrific yet mundane in Mr. DeSantis's novel! Exterminators kill Unknowns: creatures from another realm that threaten the human world when they try to push through the barriers between realms and cause mayhem.

Think of this as the TV show Supernatural taken to a whole other level and combined with the craziest, most imaginative video game you've ever played, all mixed in with friendship, leadership, trust and values, all with a dash of romance for some of the characters.

I wasn't sure what I would think of this when I started reading it, but I kept an open mind as I turned page after page on my tablet. I couldn't put it down. From page one on down to the end, it was riveting.

I will warn readers, there is a decent amount of violence, so be prepared for fistfights, fires, stabbings and murder.

As a lifelong fan of sci-fi (if it is done right), I was highly impressed with this novel, especially considering it is a debut. Everything about it was innovative and riveting, from the creation of new monsters (Rockus; wolf-hybrids and killer scarecrows, to name a few), to the use of a demonic presence and realm-jumping.

In between the violence, you have four seventeen year old boys trying to cope with powers, train to be stronger, and deal with everyday life. Nick's schoolwork is failing, both he and Marshall have to lie to their respective girlfriends on a daily basis (or do they?), Peter is trying not to use his weapon, the Rod, to kill his father and Fred...well, after Fred nearly dies in his first battle with an Unknown, he starts to deal with the voice in his head...a voice that may be his undoing.

To sum it up: great novel, great characters and so unique, Sci-fi fans and people who may not be interested in this genre otherwise will want to get this novel and, once they finish, will eagerly await the next!

4/5: excellent!

Purchase Exterminators: Infected on Amazon

Find James DeSantis on Twitter

LIKE the series on Facebook

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