by William Meikle
S-Squad takes on Nazi ice zombies in Antarctica…
Unfortunately, they just aren’t as fun as the giant isopods were… I was expecting them to be intelligent and cool (pun not intended), but they are mostly mindless and never speak. It seems a waste of such a typically evil villain not to have them deliver any lines.
What is fun, however, is everything else going on in this story. You get secret experiments with a “demon” that includes a floating UFO that takes people’s consciousness out into the cosmos and a really well-written journal that includes Carnacki’s meeting with Winston Churchill. There was a lot of crazy imaginative stuff in this story, and every time it went back to the S-Squad, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I cared far more about the side stories than them this outing, and that’s not a good thing.
The main part, S-Squad vs. the Nazi Zombies, was repetitive and pretty boring, honestly. They mostly just battle back and forth down a hallway filling in time before we get back to the previously mentioned side stories.
They also bring in a few new members to fill in for those who died in the last book, but they are all forgettable except for Wiggins, but that’s only because he is highly annoying. Most of his dialogue is just him making sexual jokes about Hynd’s wife. You know, funny the first few times, then frustrating the hundredth time…
Banks, the leader of the squad, and Hynd the second are the main characters basically and are mostly likable just because they are effective at what they do; they don’t have much backstory. When the story slowed a little in the first one, we saw some character stuff and personality emerge. Here, it’s dominated by again the side stories, so that doesn’t happen this time.
I need to mention just one more thing before I wrap this up… There’s a scene where they, to put it bluntly, have a dance-off to turn back the ritual to draw them further into the base, and it was just silly and ridiculous looking in my mind. I enjoyed the getting “Lost in the dance” stuff as a metaphor for what was happening in the cosmos scenes, but when you do it literally… ugh.
So we have a fun, imaginative story, where action and, well, everything takes a backseat to the side stories going on. This weakened the book a bit to me because, well, that’s what this series is, pew pewing some beasties, or so I thought. Of course, you can add other stuff, and I appreciate that it was still an odd choice to me.
**** Four out of Five Stars (Good)