cover image Predators


Michaelbrent Collings. Michaelbrent Collings, $4.99 e-book (351p) ASIN B07GZZZ9MT

Collings’s vivid and gripping style can’t overcome the many flaws of this horror-thriller, which relies heavily on tired stereotypes. After winning a trip to Africa, Evie Childs and her abusive husband, Bill, join a wide cast of fellow tourists that include a Hollywood starlet and her scandal-ridden director husband, a sick little girl traveling with her grandmother and father, and a semifamous YouTube streamer. Happy Africa Safari Tours takes them on what is supposed to be a getaway that quickly turns into a nightmare when the safari caravan is derailed first by a pair of gunmen and then by a pack of ravenous hyenas that stalk the ever-dwindling group across the wilderness. Collings is a capable writer, and his pacing is captivating, but the story suffers from its portrayal of Africans as savage and the depiction of women as vixens or victims (including an excessive focus on female genital mutilation among the Maasai). Readers may still be pulled along to the end, in which white people inevitably save the day, but they’re unlikely to return for a reread. (BookLife)