Review: Necrotek by Jonathan Maberry

cover of NecrotekNecroteck by Jonathan Maberry
Blackstone Publishing (May 2024)
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Military science fiction crossed with Lovecraftian horror with a cast of offbeat characters in an adventure that begs for a film adaptation? Yes please!

Jonathan Maberry has conquered a bit of everything in his career, from the straight-up horror that won him a Bram Stoker award to the popular weird adventure series starring Joe Ledger to resurrecting the Weird Tales franchise in style. His style combines Matheson and Bradbury, a pair of giants he knew as a child, along with the fun adventure tales that filled drugstore spinner racks. This is all strong praise, especially for this new novel, which promises to be the start of another successful series.

How to explain the plot of Necrotek: just go with it and enjoy. An entire space station is teleported from our solar system to another place, a realm that would make Lovecraft drool and Cthulhu smile. The cast of characters is solid, much more than thin vehicles to propel the immense story. The marines are an exciting crew, especially since Maberry writes exquisite action scenes and whips out the coolest toys for them to play with. The other fascinating characters include the “cosmic philosopher” and necromancer, because, of course, they’re needed in a universe such as this.

The plot deviates from the norm (if there is one in space horror) by encountering Lost, a ghost on the planet of Shadderal. As the Shoggoth creatures set their sights on Earth, the philosopher learns of a weapon that just may be enough to defeat them. The catch? Only the dead can pilot these otherworldly ships. The weirdness only intensifies as the battle rages on through necromancy and ancient beings.

Like most of Maberry’s work, this would be a great start to a series and will find fans in several genres. If a comparison might be found, it will be varied, depending on taste and mood, yet this reviewer’s memory jostled with images of Event Horizon, Starship Troopers, any of the Old Gods stories from HPL, and a bevy of dark science fiction tales.

For those looking for something different but entertaining from cover to cover, Necrotek is easily a recommended read.


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