cover image Savage


Thomas E. Sniegoski. S&S/Simon Pulse, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4373-9

Sniegoski (the Fallen series) offers an unsettling story reminiscent of James Patterson’s Zoo. A madness is striking animals around the world, borne on the winds of hurricanes. A storm strikes and after it dissipates, everything human is dead, ripped apart by the local animal life. Now a hurricane is approaching Benediction Island, off the Massachusetts coast. Sidney Moore, 18, is about to leave the island for vet school when the horror strikes. Every animal on the island suddenly wants blood—bugs, raccoons, even house pets—though Sidney’s beloved dog, Snowy, is curiously unaffected. The action is nonstop, and the violence graphic (“He sank his teeth into her throat with a sickening pop, tearing the tender flesh away with a savage yank”). Sidney, although as terrified as anyone, is an entirely competent heroine. Clearly alpha, she drags would-be boyfriends in her wake, just one step ahead of grisly death, while trying to solve the mystery. Pet lovers may blanch at the violence perpetrated by and against animals—strong-stomached horror fans are the most likely audience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (May)