The Holocaust Engine

A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller

Fiction - Horror
336 Pages
Reviewed on 09/23/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Holocaust Engine: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller is a work of fiction in the action and adventure, thriller, and horror sub-genres, and was penned by author duo David Rike and Stephen Patrick. In this fascinating and gripping thriller read for adult audiences, we find ourselves in the Florida Keys when a terrifying virus forces them to become cut off from the rest of civilization. With nowhere to turn but in on themselves, the neighborhoods and islands become mighty fortresses and desperate encampments who want to keep the hyper-violent victims of the virus out. What results is a chilling community horror adventure like no other, and one which leaves you with a lump in your throat throughout.

Author team David Rike and Stephen Patrick have crafted one of the most interesting and original virus-style thriller novels I’ve read in a long while. As a horror fan, I felt that the violence, threat, and suspense were in excellent balance throughout the novel, with different aspects of fear coming through in a sophisticated way that elevates itself above shock value. The psychological aspect of how the area becomes divided really fascinated me, taking a small-town horror vibe and placing it in a wild section of waterways and tropical islands to enhance the danger. The more I got to know the characters and the progression of their skills, the more I wanted another book in this excellent series to devour right away. Overall, I would highly recommend The Holocaust Engine for fans of horror, thriller, and virus-style adventure novels.

Jose Cornelio

The Holocaust Engine: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller by David Rike and Stephen Patrick is an ingeniously crafted story for fans of horror. The setting is apocalyptic, with a rare virus that eats into the brain, leaving victims disoriented and violent. From Cuba, the virus reaches the Florida Keys, and the panicked government, in an effort to stop its spread into the mainland regions, destroys the bridge and puts the entire region under quarantine. Those trapped in quarantine soon discover that resources are running out and rival factions begin to form. Soon, it is mayhem with violence escalating and danger growing by the minute.

I loved the story from the beginning. It starts with the death of Wesley Bontrager, which is not truly reported by the press — and this isn’t far from contemporary reality. What everyone thinks is that the professional quarterback committed suicide in the infirmary at the Metro West Detention Center while awaiting arraignment for the murder of his friend and teammate, George Cole. But before his death, he did things that are gruesome, like killing the guard and the nurse. When new characters come into the story and it quickly becomes even more interesting. I particularly loved how the authors capture the general climate of a community under quarantine, the lies that authorities tell the population to hide the facts, and the natural human instinct for survival and the way it is written. This is a well-crafted horror story with memorable characters and an unusual plot. David Rike and Stephen Patrick keep the writing elegant and fill it with strong descriptions, creating an apocalyptic world where inhabitants struggle to survive through scarcity. There are gory, nerve-racking scenes. The Holocaust Engine is a fun and quick read, thanks to the beauty of language and the authors’ gift for storytelling and plot. I enjoyed the short chapters and suspenseful writing.

Romuald Dzemo

The Holocaust Engine: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Thriller by David Rike and Stephen Patrick is a spellbinding horror story that explores the implications of a deadly pandemic within a community. A virus causes grave damage to the brains of the victims, leaving them disoriented and violent. It originated in Cuba and has reached the Florida Keys. In order to curb its spread, the government decides to destroy the mainland bridge, putting the islands under quarantine. It isn't long before resources start decreasing. People start fighting among themselves with groups forming and chaos growing. Can order be restored in a situation where the rule of the-survival-of-the-fittest is quickly taking hold, and can the virus be contained?

The Holocaust Engine is the first entry in a series that will certainly be an engrossing one, and I was pulled in right from the beginning. The authors start the story in an intriguing manner and as the reader follows the narrative, they become quickly enamored with the characters. The writing is polished and it flows with an unusual fluidity and crispness. I noticed the descriptive power of the prose and how strongly the imagery pops up in the pages. The setting is wonderfully written, and it reflects a society in chaos. The descriptions offer details that add depth to the story and allow readers to feel for the characters. The theme of survival is central in this narrative and while it features scenes that are crafted for fans of horror, I was so taken by the keen exploration of human nature. The characters are real, the pacing is fast, and the plot is a twisty one.