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Gray Apocalypse, by James James Murdoch
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Demand Publications
Published: 2009
Review Posted: 6/17/2009
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 5 out of 10

Gray Apocalypse, by James James Murdoch

Book Review by Gustavo Bondoni

Have you read this book?

This is a book for those of you who like their conspiracy theories wild and wooly, but who also appreciate a fast-paced thriller.

Gray Apocalypse tells the story of Michael Kendon, a man who has dedicated most of his life to protecting the secret collaboration between the US government and an alien race. The Gray Breeders -- the typical humanoid, big-headed, big eyed aliens we associate with these conspiracy theories -- have decided that the human race needs to be wiped out and to be replaced with a genetically engineered species that combines the best of humanity with the best of the alien's traits (this explains why hundreds of thousands of people are abducted by aliens every year).

In order to achieve their goal of wiping humanity out, the Breeders have diverted a huge asteroid. As the book begins, the colossal rock is three days away from impact. Fortunately for humanity, an underground society has learned of the plot and designed a weapon capable of diverting the asteroid. Unfortunately, they were all caught and killed -- all, that is, except for Michael Kendon. Kendon had recently joined the resistance because the killing he'd been forced to do went against the grain of his being (despite being indoctrinated from birth and knowing no other life). He must now pick up where his companions left off: escape from the Breeders, find the weapon's energy source and the weapon itself, bring them together and divert the asteroid, while avoiding the collaborationists and the aliens.

What follows is straight action, from the pages of one of those thrillers with Greek letters in its title (you know the ones I mean). Relentless, non-stop, uncomplicated and entertaining.

So, what did I think of the book? Well... When it began, I truly wanted to give it one point out of ten. The plot simply takes all the conspiracy theories regarding what the big bad governments are hiding from us about alien boogey men and blends them together. Evil aliens that look like the one from the dissection video hoax? Check. Telepathy? Check. Telekinesis? Check? Humans abducted and experimented on? Check. And, of course, like all conspiracy theories about aliens, there is no explanation as to why they'd do these things.

But then the action began, and it drew me in. Running from aliens and semi-government forces is no more ridiculous than what James Bond does on a regular basis, and this book does it well. It's well-written, well-researched, well-edited and fast-paced, and the characters have to struggle against enormous odds. In the end, you end up caring about what happens to them.

This is, after all, a work of fiction which it doesn't claim to represent anything that's really going on, and should be read as such. It is science fiction as an exercise in 'what-if', as opposed to an extrapolation of reality, and it comes with a huge dose of action. If you take it as such, you will enjoy it.

In my particular case, I had a hard time turning off my analytical side. This probably marred my enjoyment of the book, especially when the character discovers he has telekinetic powers just in time to save the day. But if you can turn off your brain and accept the starting point, or if you enjoy alien conspiracy theories, this might be a book you'd want to pick up. After all, there's nothing wrong with it as a thriller.

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