Saturday, April 4, 2020

Book Reviews: Dave vs. The Monsters: Emergence

Dave vs The Monsters: Emergence
by John Birmingham
The most important thing in the first book of a series is that the reader is intrigued enough to read the second book in the series. I suppose that's another way of saying that the book must be good. Those aren't always the same thing though. 

There are some series where although the first book is good, the reader may not like where the book ends or may have decided that as far as s/he is concerned, the story is complete. So the reader sees no need to read further installments in the story.


I think that this story by John Birmingham hit the spot. It was quality on its own, but also left me interested in reading the next story. This is not a book that has a lot of deep plotting or fascinating characterization. 


Both of those things are actually pretty scarce, at least in this book. What makes this book move is the action. This book is ALL about the action. The book is just under 500 pages but I think I completed it in less than a week or so. 
Dave Hooper is an engineering supervisor/safety manager on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He's smarter than he looks but is at heart a bit of an irresponsible jerk. He tries to be better but Dave usually does most of his thinking with his genitals.

A roughneck in every way, Dave is a man who, once he has a bonus of six months pay, will spend it all on expensive prostitutes flown in from Nevada instead of his back child support. 
Dave regrets such decisions on the rare occasions he talks to his ex-wife or two sons but Dave simply lacks impulse control. Wine, women and song define Dave's existence. The only things Dave takes semi-seriously are his job and responsibility to the men who report to him.


Nursing a really bad hangover and some fond memories about a wild threesome, Dave is being flown back to his rig when he and the pilot see that the rig is on fire. And the military warns Dave's helicopter away, claiming that the entire area is restricted.

Well Dave may call himself patriotic, but he's not a man who likes being told what to do. If his people are in trouble, it's his job to help. Once he's on the rig Dave finds that bigger and tougher men than him (and Dave's not a small man) are crying and trying to get off the rig. There hasn't been an oil explosion. It's something worse. Far worse.


When Dave wakes up in a hospital bed guarded by Navy SEALs and more dangerous intelligence/military personnel he wants to know why. But as Dave's memories return he realizes that he killed something on the rig. Something that by itself massacred many of Dave's employees. And suddenly Dave has some new found powers and intelligence. Dave may be the key to stopping an invasion by something that humanity has long ago forgotten.


This was a fun book that very quickly got down to business. The enemy POV was suitably alien and disgusting. Birmingham injects a fair amount of humor into the storyline, both from Dave and the monsters he faces.
blog comments powered by Disqus