Pritchard's Key was a seemingly deserted lush tropical island right off the coast of Florida. It was the perfect place for polychaetologists such as Nora and Loren who spend their entire academic lives studying segmented worms to take a National Geographic photographer Annabelle for a rare photo shoot revolving around the very rare bristle worm. The island was a non operating military reservation with running water, electricity and barracks, the perfect place to relax, catch a tan and photographs some of nature's most beautiful creations but then there was something else, something unnatural and dangerous, something beyond the crews wildest nightmares that slithered in the shadows and wasted no time...
Along with the scientist and the photographer came Trent, the army warrant officer who was in charge of keeping them safe and because he was responsible for checking in on the island every month to make sure it was in tact as it was closed off to the population. Right off the bat Nora and Annabelle hated each other, the scientist was tall and thin, pale with frizzy hair while Annabelle was a blonde bombshell with stellar physique that turned heads and enjoyed playing dumb to get all the male attention. It was staggering how Edward Lee wrote both of the characters are they were as opposite as night and day and the bickering and the fighting was one of the best parts of the book. The comments were clever and hilarious while an ominous and dreadful atmosphere started to spread. Pretty soon after getting to the island strange things began to happen as the crew started to notice some unusual behavior involving species of worms and insects they have never seen before. The whole island seemed to be crawling with yellow ova which are mobile worm carrier attacking fish and crustaceans in the water and mammals on land
What the parasites did to the human hosts was unimaginable but it only made the mystery of their origins deeper as figures clad all in black ran around the island watching everyone form the shadows. The gore and the disgusting mutations happening to human victims who seem unaware at first of what was going on were pretty fascinating. The people in the book turned out to be the lab mice and only the ending, glorious and imaginative brought with it the relief and the horrendous answer to all the questions raised along the way.
Great tale that really sucked me in and had me hooked until I finished the last page and sat back amused. Now I can't wait to read more of Lee, for he always surprises with his silky smooth writing that is corroded with darkness and mischief.
- Kasia S.