cover image Kill Switch

Kill Switch

Jonathan Maberry. St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-250-06525-4

Capt. Joe Ledger of the Department of Military Sciences returns for his exuberant eighth adventure (after 2015’s Predator One), in which he once again has to prevent a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. First, his team is sent to investigate a mysterious incident in an Antarctic research facility, where they narrowly survive an encounter with ancient, otherworldly creatures. Then they’re drawn into a terrorist plot to destroy America through the use of an unspeakable mixture of science and forbidden arcane knowledge. With his enemies able to hijack brains and turn allies into traitors, Joe can’t trust anyone, turning this into one of his most personal missions yet. Maberry evokes Lovecraftian elements and modern-day thriller tropes to craft a fast-paced tale that incorporates an a wide array of conspiracy theories, fringe culture motifs, and Cold War weird science into a sort of kitchen-sink affair that shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does. The sheer intensity of the story takes a heavy toll on Ledger and his team, leaving it anyone’s guess where Maberry will take readers next. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (May)