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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Colony by Benjamin Cross is a thriller that follows archaeology professor Callum Ross across continents as he chases a lead and ends up running for his life. The book's introduction takes the reader back to the 6th millennium BC and the demise of a neolithic hunter as he is savagely attacked by an unknown beast. Fast forward to today, and Callum is skipping rocks in Scotland with his son. A bit further and Callum is telling his son on a video chat from a Russian territory that he has a secret: He's found an ice mummy. As Callum and his team work to uncover the who and the how of the dead, it soon becomes deadly clear that others may not be so interested in the information. To the horror of all those who are left behind, the danger of what killed the ancient body and was worth decimating bases to shut the work down is about to claw its way into what's left of their circle.
Colony is a brilliant novel that ticks all the boxes for a fast-paced and intelligent read. Benjamin Cross is able to create intrigue from the first page, hinting at what the dedicated academic might be up against, peeling back the layers with the measured hand of a great writer as the story unfolds, and allowing us to get to know the characters well enough to lean in for another chapter when it looks like they may be ripped away. Cross does inject brief moments of levity. The descriptions are gorgeous, perhaps enhanced by a backdrop of blood and fear, and even the characters with exactly zero redeeming qualities are bathed in prose they don't deserve. This book is very highly recommended.