Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review- The Black: Arrival by Paul E. Cooley


The scientists at Houston Analytical Laboratories (HAL) are prepared for a hectic weekend of rush-job tests on the crude oil found by the offshore drilling rig Leaguer. It's routine, but there's a big bonus in it for them if they can get things finished by Sunday. The preliminary tests from the rig itself have to be false. There's no way oil can be this sweet and pure. It's a gold mine if the barrel HAL is about to receive really carries such perfect oil.

But there is something unexpected in the barrel they receive. It's giving odd, unbelievable results on all the tests. It moves on its own. It seems to be... alive.

And it wants to eat everyone.

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from amazon

The crew of the deep-sea exploration rig Leaguer discovers oil sweeter, purer, and sure to be more easily refined than anything that’s ever existed. To confirm their own analysis of their billion dollar find, a test barrel is flown from the drill site off the coast of Papua/New Guinea to Houston Analytical Laboratories (HAL).

As the unsuspecting scientists at HAL await the arrival of the oil, they ready their lab for what they know is an important job. They’ve seen the test results from Leaguer; this find could make history.

While the barrel is on its way to Houston, an “infection” breaks out on the far-away rig. And as life aboard the rig descends into chaos, the scientists at HAL make their own discovery—what Leaguer found is indeed historic; it just isn’t oil. Instead, they’ve brought up a dangerous organism that could threaten all life on earth.

Trapped in their labs, the scientists must find a way to fight a creature that defies chemistry, physics, and biology.

The Black: Arrival, a parallel story to the Amazon Horror Best-Seller The Black, is a page-turning suspense novel that will fill you with claustrophobic terror.

Now that The Black has arrived, will humanity survive?

I loved that The Black: Arrival isn't a "traditional" sequel. It's not even really a sequel. It's, as I've heard Cooley refer to it, a paraquel. The events of this book dovetail with a point in The Black, and events run in tandem with the other book. It's a brilliant move on the author's part, if you ask me, and I'm very eager to find out where the next book is going to take things.

You can check out my comments on Cooley's writing style (especially for The Black) here.

My Thoughts
After reading The Black, I was chomping at the bit to find out what happened when It reached land and broke out. Because we all knew it was going to. I loved the terms Cooley set for it to come out, with the labs and its ongoing construction, as well as how it events initially got going. The dread he set up for us in The Black are hyped up more with the threat of exposing the world to the nastiness of It. The whole time I read it, I was just dreading the signs of the thing appearing, even before the characters were, just because I knew what to look for. You don't need to read The Black before this book, which is great. You can read one or the other first, and things will make sense, but either way, I think you'll start dreading things pretty quickly, and it's great.
The main issue I had with The Black: Arrival was getting lost. With the construction and the two buildings, even knowing they were joined with the skybridge, I just could not get my bearings, and it caused me a lot of trouble the more the book went on. I had no idea where I or my characters were a lot, and it detracted so much from the reading that I got frustrated.
The characters were maybe a little flat, but I only think that in going back and really thinking about it. There was nothing "wrong" with them, really, but I don't know that I was able to get attached to any of them. Overall, though, it is a great book, and I am ready for the next one!

Would I Recommend This Book? Yep! The Black: Arrival is a book you can pick up and read through without reading the "first" book of the series. They don't have to be in a specific order, which is great. If you want to read a book and have a sense of dread all the way through to the end, this is a great one to pick up. I give The Black: Arrival an under-construction 4 of 5 stars.

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