Thursday, February 24, 2011
Review - Season of the Harvest by Michael Hicks
Season of the Harvest by Michael Hicks
Synopsis from publisher:
What if the genetically modified crops that we’re being forced to depend on for food weren’t really created by man? What if they had a far more sinister purpose?
FBI Special Agent Jack Dawson investigates the gruesome murder of his best friend and fellow agent who had been pursuing a group of eco-terrorists. The group’s leader, Naomi Perrault, is a beautiful geneticist who Jack believes conspired to kill his friend, and is claiming that a major international conglomerate developing genetically engineered crops is plotting a sinister transformation of our world that will lead humanity to extinction. As Jack is drawn into a quietly raging war that suddenly explodes onto the front pages of the news, he discovers that her claims may not be so outrageous after all. Together, the two of them must battle a horror Jack could never have imagined, with the fate of all life on Earth hanging in the balance…
I don't have a problem admitting I'm a Michael Hicks fan - I rated In Her Name, his first published novel, as one of my favorites from 2009. I loved everything about Reza's world, and look forward to each new installment in the series. So when I heard Hicks was writing a new novel - a standalone - about genetically modified food, for crying out loud - I will admit I was a little disappointed. I wanted more stories in the world I already know and love! Of course, that didn't stop me from purchasing my copy the first day it was available on for the Kindle....
I used to be a Michael Hicks fan - now I'm a Michael Hicks believer. I love fantasy, and can be sucked into just about anything in the genre, but science fiction is a much harder sell for me. I was skeptical about this novel. Would I really be able to get drawn in to a story about a band of renegades trying to save the world's food supply? Well, the short answer is yes. I was completely engrossed from the very beginning. Season of the Harvest is smart and funny and wild and frightening and really, really scarily believable.
Hicks gives his readers a full cast of likable, well-developed characters, and two leads in Jack and Naomi that are almost made to be on a Hollywood movie screen. His bad guys are chillingly bad, and he allows for enough ambiguity that you suddenly find yourself feeling sympathy for someone you just pages before despised.
Hicks is a great storyteller, and this story will appeal to a wide range of readers. He blends science fiction, contemporary techno-thriller, and real-life issues to create a novel that literally almost impossible to put down. It's not perfect - a few situations felt a little bit too convenient, but overall it was a fun and educational reading experience.
At this point, Hicks is on my "must-read" author list. I can't wait to see what he thinks up next. Highly recommended!
Source: my Kindle
MPAA rating: PG-13 for violence and intense, end-of-the-world type situations
My rating: 8/10