The thing about author Evan Currie is that you have to expect a writing style that is very much like a B-movie, comic, or video game; if you try to take it seriously or over analyze the plot/characters, you’re going to end up hating the book. Because what we have is an author who takes typical B-movie subgenres such as horror or sci fi and writes an unabashedly pulpy book full of macho men and feminine women relying on those guys. If you don’t buy into the premise, it won’t make an enjoyable read and you’ll end up hating the cliches/homages. If you enjoy an old fashioned 1950s type of comic/B-movie, this is the book for you.
Story: a small town in Alaska is experiencing a supernatural problem sounding suspiciously like vampires and zombies. When a Seal team and supernatural expert are brought in to deal with the situation, they find more than they bargained for – and have to fight for their lives to get out.
As with other Currie pieces such as the Odyssey One series, expect an ensemble cast, not all of whom will survive. We always get everyone’s perspective – from the vampire queen to the zombies, to people about to die and the veterans/heroes/heroines. I’ve read enough of Curries books to see that what we have are screenplays made out into full length books. I won’t always say that the transition from movie format into novel format is successful; I’m sure it looks good in his brain but it is always iffy that it can be translated efficiently. But keeping that perspective in my head and enjoying Currie’s books as movies makes the stories a lot more palatable. I’m reminded that while we see the Alien’s perspective in the movie Alien, that doesn’t mean I want to READ what it was thinking in a book. That, to me, is what always lets me down with Currie’s books – as with Seal Team 13, we are given the fairly unneeded perspective/thoughts of the vampire progenitor (somehow, the bad guys always sound kind of one-dimensional and stupid). Similarly, we have the alien Drasen perspective in the Odyssey One series and it comes off as kind of silly there too. It can be very ‘mustache twirling evil villain’ at times.
SEAL Team 13 does for horror was Star Trek does for sci fi. Makes it a fun thing without all the chilling horror or mind numbing science; more of an adventure than an cryptic examination of the future or seat-of-your-pants terror fest. The title does sound like we’re dealing with hard horror; so definitely don’t expect that in this book. And although this is more adventure than horror, there is plenty of the grisly in there. But at the same time, Currie does put thought into his world building and you get sucked in somewhere in the middle of the story. E.g., I had to think twice about the realization that if you have an undead, cold, vampire or zombie, they will freeze solid in Winter in Alaska (a ‘vampsickle’). It makes sense and brings up the realization of careful thought and sly humor hidden in the story.
I listened to the Audible version and thought the narrator did an decent job. I didn’t particularly like the story but that was more of a personal preference since I’m not a big horror junkie (I’ll stick to the sci fi). Currie does a great job with reimagining the vampire/zombie lore and giving a big picture to the menace; yet somehow this does feel more like a young adult novel for older teens than for adults. More of a fun, harmless, video game/comic/movie than a serious novel. But that’s Currie’s style (and appeal).