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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Primeval Waters by William Burke is a horror novel set on the Amazon River. Burke's bloody, twisty, gory adventure is a throwback to classic horror creature stories. A water trip gives way to aliens, mystic powers, and current-day pirates. The protagonist is Micah Clarke, a planetary geologist, and dad to Faye, who is nine years old. The father and daughter, along with an assistant named Catalina, are taken by gunpoint and ordered into a paramilitary operation to find a meteorite that can provide the planet with free energy. This deadly mission is teeming with ancient dangers around every turn, which seem to guard the mystery surrounding the meteorite. If you can imagine ants that are six inches long, a snake that is sixty or seventy feet long, and cannibals, plus poison dart frog venom, and the Red Death, you have a good idea of what Micah is up against. He needs to fight off the creatures to save his daughter, but can he conquer the secret forces in time?
With a meaty plot like this, you would expect over-the-top violence, but it isn't too explicit or done in an exploitive way--enough to get the point across, and plenty enough for lovers of horror. There is some adult language, so you may want to keep that in mind for younger readers or those who object. Burke writes with energy and deliberation. He has a great story to tell and stays on course until the end. Just when you think one crisis is over, another rises up. I like Micah's character, star of "Meteor Micah," his own adventure reality TV show for two seasons, and the bond between him and his daughter, which raises the stakes. You are personally invested as you read, unlike some horror novels that seem to focus more on gore. Don't get me wrong. There is plenty of gore here, but the story and characters make it even more appealing and entertaining. This is a book with unexpected turns, frightening challenges, and an intriguing plot. William Burke delivers the whole horror package with Primeval Waters.