Title: The Anomaly
Author: Michael Rutger
Publisher: Published June 19th 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars
I’ve been in a funk lately. It’s been difficult for me to start reading a new book, even something as enticing as The Anomaly by Michael Rutger was hard for me actually sit down and start. Instead I find myself re-reading some of my favorites. Maybe it’s just because my work life has been so hectic that I can’t seem to put myself in a place where I even remotely have to learn something new. Regardless once I started reading The Anomaly, I devoured it in two days!
Nolan Moore, an ex Hollywood screen writer, is now the star and host of a popular webcast that aims to debunk and/or prove conspiracy theories. Having just been funded to make the leap to mainstream televeion, Nolan and his crew have their sights set on the Grand Canyon. Retracing the steps of an early 1900’s explorer, the crew sets out to find a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. The catch, the cavern hasn’t been seen for over a hundred years. Unsurprisingly, to the reader at least, the crew finds the cavern. #Spoiler! An exploration of the interior has the crew quickly wondering whether this particular place was better left hidden. As the story progresses, the team finds themselves trapped and fighting for their lives. It’ll take all Nolan’s knowledge of the supernatural and Hopi folklore to survive.
Sounds interesting, right?! So let’s break this book down a bit more shall we.
- One of the genres listed for this book is ‘Horror’. I’m not a big horror fan and I don’t like to be scared, but because of this tag, I feel as if I made myself more on-edge than I necessarily would have been while reading this book. There was even a point half way through the book, that I was like, “NOPE! Not tonight folks!” Keep in mind it was also the middle of the night and I was alone so I wasn’t exactly feeling brave. Regardless I put the book away for the night. I probably could have made it further through the story though, had I not psyched myself out just because of the ‘Horror’ tag. Also, while it’s a little scary at some parts, it’s not scary enough to put it in the freezer the way Joey does from Friends either. All in all, I’d classify this book as more suspense/thriller than horror.
- I understand you need to build suspense, but Rutger leaves the reader waiting to long, in my humble opinion. On more than one occasion I actually put the book down and thought about calling it. I have a short attention span, to much down time with lack of actual events happening really put a damper on this one for me. But lack of knowing what they find ultimately got the better of me, and I kept trucking on.
- I don’t exactly agree with the way, everything ‘just works out in the end’. It wasn’t enough closure for me. I won’t say more than that, because spoilers, so take that as you will.
- Michael Rutger is a pseudonym for Michael Marshall Smith, who is a actual screenwriter. I’m normally that annoying person who constantly chants things like, “well the movie was good, but the book was sooooo much better”, so just know my next comment, hurts my soul. I think overall, and this might have to do with the author being a real life screenwriter, that this book would translate much better as a TV series rather than a book. I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more in a TV format too. GASP! On that note though, it’s rumored that the book has been picked up by a motion picture company, so maybe Rutger or Smith or whatever his name is, was just using the book as a test run? We shall never know.
- I love a good conspiracy theory, they are fascinating to me. I’m a firm believer that there are plenty of things humans and modern society can’t or won’t explain. When I was in sixth grade, my teach read us this book, which was basically a parody on the way archaeologist classify their finding. The book took simple every day things from our lives and made it seem as if some future archaeologists from another planet (or something like that, my memory is cloudy, I was 12) was trying to decide what the objects were used for. One example was in a hotel bathroom. The toilet had a wrapper around the toilet lid that said, “Sanitized for your safety”. The future archaeologists interpreted this as some form of chant used to call upon the gods. Which is utter BS, but it drives the point home, that we can do all the guessing in the world and still have zero clue if what scientific discovery/exploration is actually telling us the truth. I promise I’m not a crazy person (or at least totally crazy) but I do tend to take ‘truths’ with a grain of salt. Conspiracy theory books = my cup of tea.
- Nolan Moore is middle aged, slightly overweight, and even more out of shape man. I would normally not relate to him as well as say a female lead character. But I have to admit that we have the same general crude sense of humor. The banter between him and producer Ken is the perfect comic relief, for me at least. Think Lorelei and Rory Gilmore if they were both middle aged men constantly bickering and looking for a cigarette. It’s everyday sarcastic humor, and I can get on board with that.
“Pierre went back onto the wall and climbed up far enough to give room for Feather to follow. Then Molly, then Gemma. Then me. I was half expecting to hear Ken shout, “So long, suckers,” and see him merrily untying the boat and instructing Dylan to take him back to all the vodka. Within a minute of scooting up out of the way however, I looked down to see his face a couple of feet below, meaty hands gripping the rock.
‘I hate you,’ he said.
We all wore backpacks, contents disproportionately spread in terms of weight and importance. Pierre had the camera and batteries, Molly the sound gear, and so on. I was allotted the sandwiches. Make of that as you wish.”
3. I did enjoy the numerous references to myths and legends of all varieties. Rutger captures not only biblical lore such as Noah’s Ark, but also dives into Egyptian and Native American legends as well. While I have always been mesmerized by the Egyptians, I feel the need to dive deeper into Hopi lori as well now.
I’d give this book a solid 3 stars out of 5. I enjoyed the overarching plot and theories involved in the book but could have used a little bit more character development. Also for the level of suspense this book gave me, I would have preferred a few more ‘big events’.
If you think this is for you get it here and get to reading!
Good and fast read. You’ll like it if you like either the X-Files or Indian Jones especially if you like both. Just don’t count on this book scaring the pants off of you, because you’ll be highly disappointed.
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