05 June 2020

Review || Sole Survivor by Zachary Ashford




An uninhabited island… Several hundred hidden cameras… Ten contestants who think they’re stranded… One man employed to thin their numbers…

One predatory species determined to feed…

For the contestants of television’s latest prime-time reality show, the plane crash is a mere inconvenience on their way to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, there’s no rescue coming. Instead, the producers have other ideas, like watching them find the island’s killer creatures for themselves…

Like watching them die.

Tune in and discover who will be the Sole Survivor!


Book 6 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood.


   


I'm not a fan of reality television. It's too ridiculous and conspired for me to enjoy it. However, I am a fan of B-movie killer creature free-for-alls, and this installment of the Rewind or Die series doesn't shy away from blood and guts. When you have killer creatures, does it really matter how ludicrous it is? I don't think so. 

When a plane full of wannabe famous reality contestants crashes on their way to an uninhabited tropical destination, the survivors discover that it's not so uninhabited after all...and the locals are hungry. This gore-fest rejects all pretentious attempts at suspense building and immediately goes for the throat. Sole Survivor seemed a little overwhelming at first with all the different characters. Who are all these people? What are their backstories? Who cares! They're dead!! Don't get too attached—not that you would given the scarcity of setup but the lack of character building works in the story's favor.  

In fact, it's easy to find yourself rooting for the other team. The "drop bears" aren't exactly cute and cuddly koala cousins and therefore have no problem with ripping off your face! The only thing bigger than these furry muscles is the body count as they rip and tear and gnaw their way through the contestants. Eventually, some of group wise up to what's lurking in the canopy above and actually manage to knock off a few of the creatures, but don't fear, there's still plenty of teeth and claws to go around—not to mention the other contestants!

Sole Survivor is a quick read bursting with all the best mangled and macerated demises. No two deaths are alike! Snappy dialogue and tongue-in-cheek humor made this marsupial murder fete another Rewind or Die win.