I had a great time with Primordial: David Wood and Alan Baxter’s previous offering featuring the rugged Australian Sam Aston. It more than satisfied my thirst for dino fiction with some great action scenes and likeable characters, alongside a slightly unusual Finnish location.
This time, Wood and Baxter take Sam Aston to Antarctica in search of a new clean energy source discovered deep under the ice. Little does Aston and his team know, they aren’t, in fact, the first crew sent down there…
Overlord begins well with an exciting and frightening opening sequence that leaves a lot of questions for the reader before settling into a more leisurely pace. Aston is reunited with an old friend causing initial confrontation but the friction between the two adds to the character’s depth. These two drive the story forward and the rest of the characters are merely fodder for the Overlord and its legion of Mantics (more of which soon). It’s a good job Aston is as likeable and relatable as he is because there really isn’t much else to grab onto from a character point of view. As for the Mantics, I don’t want to give too much away but they are a very welcome addition to the storyline.
Whilst the first half of the book sets things up for the journey into the frozen caverns, the second half is much more exciting and features numerous high action set pieces featuring Aston, his team and a group of mercenaries. We get further and further into Lovecraft territory as the Overlord is revealed and minds are infiltrated!
I had a lot of fun with Overlord. It didn’t quite reach the heights of Primordial, mostly because I felt the eventual appearance of the Overlord was over far too quickly for me and I was left wanting. That being said, as far as adventure thrillers go, you can’t go wrong with Wood and Baxter.