Review: Subhuman (A Unit 51 Novel) by Michael McBride

Subhuman (A Unit 51 Novel) by Michael McBride
Pinnacle (October 2017)
400 pages; $7.48 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Imagine if Michael Crichton penned The Thing or crossed writing styles with F. Paul Wilson; it might give an idea of what Michael McBride has accomplished in Subhuman. This novel begins a new series (UNIT 51) that looks to be one of the most exciting thriller/horror series in several years.

Forget the cover. This isn’t a full-bore creature feature. Yes, it does go there, eventually, but not before taking the reader on an exhilarating ride through the thrilling Crichton-esque plot. Five of the top scientists in the world are invited to investigate something strange in Antarctica. A billionaire has built a research facility that has broken through the ice and discovered something that will change both the past and the future.

Strange misshapen skulls have been found all over the globe and clues point to an ancient race that may signal explanations for many of the mysteries which have plagued mankind for thousands of years. The team finds the remains of a long-lost civilization under the surface that blows the minds of the top thinkers in the squad. When microbes are examined, the scientists find that some of the race may not be completely extinct. The cells under the microscope fight death and may blow the doors off of conspiracy theories everywhere.

What begins as an entertaining story with tons of fascinating science and history turns into adventure and horror. The aforementioned references to both writers and films will become extremely obvious during the course of the plot, yet McBride’s story is all his own. The science can be heavy at times but never overwhelms, and his action scenes breeze by with skill.

It will be great to see where this series goes next, as Subhuman doesn’t skimp on anything that makes a thriller thrilling, and has just the right amount of horror. A great mix of genres that will keep fans awake and annoyed that the ride is over too quick.


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