a novel

370 pages

English language

Published May 3, 2017

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3 stars (3 reviews)

On the isolated Kolohe Atoll in the middle of the Pacific ocean, a charismatic billionaire employs a team of scientists to conduct cutting-edge research that he hopes will change the world. In a cabin on a remote lake in the Adirondacks, FBI futurist Hannah Stander finds a barely recognizable human body, which appears to have been skinned alive by thousands of genetically engineered ants. Hannah's investigation leads to Kolohe, where the scientists vehemently deny any connection to the body. But the more Hannah studies the group, the more she suspects their research has sinister applications--and the more she realizes no one may get off the island alive.

4 editions

Nightmare fuel, but a compelling read.

4 stars

This isn't the kind of book I'd usually read: I'm not big on thrillers or horror, and it's sort of (but not really) a sequel to another book I haven't read, but it stands on its own, and the characters are intriguing.

I always appreciate characters who suffer from chronic general anxiety but manage to function anyway, and Dr. Hannah Stander does both in spades.

The private Hawaiian island research facility where much of the book takes place is a perfect intersection of James Bond villain, Elon Musk, and Larry Ellison (who actually has bought most of Lānaʻi).

And I know just enough about ant biology and society that the swarms of killer ants are frighteningly plausible. The chapters where they inevitably get loose are...intense.

(Cross-posted from my website.)

avatar for doug73

rated it

3 stars
avatar for cjhubbs

rated it

3 stars


  • United States
  • Women detectives
  • Research teams
  • Investigation
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Billionaires
  • Genetic engineering
  • Murder
  • Fiction