Friday, January 11, 2019

Mini Book Review: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

Title: The Anomaly (The Anomaly Files #1)
Author: Michael Rutger
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 352
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Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan's story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?

I can't remember exactly where I heard about this book, but it was described to me as being very similar to The Descent, one of my favorite horror movies. While you would absolutely never get me into a cave outside of a guided tour, I absolutely LOVE this kind of claustrophobic horror, especially when it's based in conspiracy theories. As soon as I got the chance to read this book I jumped in!

Ignore the cheesy description of Nolan Moore from the synopsis. Nolan is a documentary filmmaker who specializes in the mysterious and the unknown. He's what you would expect from this sort of character - a bit pretentious, but also passionate and brave. I didn't have strong feelings about him one way or the other. Along with his crew, Nolan sets out to find a cavern in the Grand Canyon that was mentioned with very strange descriptions by one explorer in the past, but seems to have been covered up by academia. Nolan has managed to plot what he believes to be the exact location and, wouldn't you know it, he's right!

The other characters were all fine, but forgettable. Luckily, great side characters weren't the reason I read this. When I read a book like this, what I'm really looking for is a great story, mystery, and action. The Anomaly definitely delivered! I can't say too much without spoilers, but what is in the cave was beyond anything I could have predicted. The atmosphere was unsettling from the beginning and I loved how the unease slowly built until things got really wild towards the end.

The Anomaly is a fast paced, twist filled thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat and looking over your shoulder. I'm not easily spooked and this is really more thriller than horror, but it definitely freaked me out a little. This isn't a perfect book, but it's great for what it is and I can't wait to see what the next installment has to offer!