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Posted June 18, 2000
It has been over two years since Jeff Rovin wrote VESPERS--the story of mutant bats terrorizing New York City--which was a fast pace, action filled novel that kept you sitting on the edge of your seat. I didn't think Mr. Rovin would be able to surpass that novel, but I was dead wrong. When I first saw the blurb on his newest book, FATALIS, I immediately thought that it was the same story as VESPERS, but with different creatures and a different locale. Because of that, I almost didn't buy the novel. It was only because I enjoyed VESPERS so much that I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. It only took the first chapter to hook me, then several hours later the book was finished, and I was a very happy camper. The story centers around a pack of saber-toothed cats(yes, cats is the correct term, not tigers)going on a killing rampage in the mountains surrounding Santa Barbara. It starts off with two road engineers disappearing after they are sent out to inspect a sinkhole that has suddenly appeared after heavy rains. Because the sinkhole leads down to some underground caverns, the county sheriff, Malcolm Gearhart, enlists the help of anthropologist, Jim Grand, who is also an expert on caverns. While searching for the missing engineers, Grand happens upon some evidence which leads him to believe that there may be saber-toothed cats roaming the mountains, No one, however, believes him, except for newspaper woman, Hannah Hughes, who is looking for a good story. Over the next couple of days people begin dying left and right, and it appears that the cats are headed to Los Angeles. Dr. Grand wants to try and save the cats, while Sheriff Gearhart, with the help of the National Guard, is determined to kill them. Who will win and who will die? Why are the cats headed to L.A.? The journey is an exciting one, and Mr. Rovin has structured most of the chapters to end with a sentence that hooks you into going on to the next chapter without a break. FATALIS is pure popcorn entertainment, and it is certainly a great book to read on a Saturday afternoon. If you enjoyed VESPERS, then by all means run out and get a copy of FATALIS. You won't be disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2000
It's been over two years since Jeff Rovin wrote VESPERS (the book's dust jacket stated that it was soon to be a major motion picture; well, I'm still waiting), which was an extremely fast pace, action-filled novel that kept the reader sitting on the edge of his or her seat. I knew there was no way Mr. Rovin could beat that book for sheer intensity. Then, I read the blurb on his newest novel, FATALIS. Instead of mutant bats attacking the citizens of New York City, this book dealt with saber-toothed cats (yes, cats is the correct term to use, not tigers)terrorizing the inhabitants of Santa Barbara and then Los Angeles. It sounded like the same story, just different creatures and a different locale. Because I enjoyed VESPERS so much, I decided to take a chance and purchased FATALIS. All it took was the first chapter to hook me, then several hours later the book was finished, and I was a very happy camper and certainly glad that I had taken the risk. The novel opens in the Santa Ynez Mountains north of Santa Barbara where a good-sized and very hungry Bobcat is trying to make a meal of a spaniel. Fortunately for the dog, however, its owner grabs her and rushes inside their home to safety. The Bobcat isn't so lucky. Something much bigger, meaner, and hungrier gets the cat and the story begins. The next day, two structural engineers disappear while checking out a sinkhole that has opened up due to a fissure in the surrounding landscape. The sinkhole leads to underground caverns. Sheriff Malcolm Gearhart enlist the aid of anthropolgy professor Jim Grand, who also happens to be an expert on caves. Newspaper woman Hannah Hughes smells a good story here and seeks the help of Grand in finding out the truth to what happened to the two engineers. In time, Dr. Grand begins to believe that saber-toothed cats killed the men, but no one will accept his theory, except for Hannah. When more killings begin to take place, the sheriff starts to realize that something is up and is determined to put a stop to it. Dr. Grand suspects that the pack of prehistoric cats is heading to Los Angeles and is determined to keep them from being killed by the sheriff and his men, not to mention the National Guard. How many people will have to die before the cats are stopped, and will Grand be able to keep the cats from being destroyed? Mr. Rovin carefully structures most of the chapters so that the last sentence will hook the reader and propel him/her on to the next chapter, with no room for stopping. You have to find out what happens next! FATALIS is pure popcorn entertainment, and is the kind of book you would enjoy spending a Saturday afternoon with. Buy it and have a day filled with total fun. I should point out, however, that the dust jacket on the book stated that the big screen version of FATALIS is coming soon. Is this deja vu, or what?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Entertaining horror novel
They were ancient predators though to have become extinct in the last Ice Age. At least two have survived by being cryogenically frozen in the heart of a glacier. When the glacier melts, the duo makes their home inside the caves in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara. No one realizes they live there even though they kill humans. Sheriff Malcolm Gearhart is determined to hunt down the mass murderer who is leaving no clues at the crime scene save for an enormous amount of the victims¿ blood. <P>Paleoanthropologist Jim Grand studies some ancient Chumish drawings in one of the Santa Ynez caves when he finds some strange looking fur that he brings back to the college lab to be analyzed. Hannah Hughes, owner and publisher of the daily newspaper The Coastal Freeway, interviews Professor Grand. He shows her his find, fur that belongs to a living Smilidon fatalis. Hannah accompanies Jim back to the cave to see if they can locate the creature while the Sheriff tries to flush out the cave dwellers and kill them before the public learns they exist. Nobody realizes how cunning and intelligent these creatures really are or what their true agenda is. <P>Fans of Godzilla and Mothra movies will enjoy reading this modern day horror novel where the villains are prehistoric beings living in the twenty-first century. The audience will chillingly relish how effortlessly the monsters adapt to civilization. Jeff Rovin never allows the audience the luxury of knowing who is hunting whom, a situation that adds to the overall enjoyment of the story line. FATALIS should be a large success for the author whose vivid descriptions make for an easy movie adaptation. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.