The Colony Synopsis: A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants–an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.
The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.
When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan. – Goodreads
“A terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King”? Uh, no. Just because someone writes about ‘believable’ monsters with a dab of science and does a passable job at the horror doesn’t mean they’re a mix of Crichton and King. Calling this book that is an insult to the both of them. “The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks”?? REALLY? No. Just no.
A decent debut work, Colucci’s The Colony is hampered by its overly dramatic dialogue, unnecessary love triangle, and perfectly safe (and perfectly boring) resolution. It has the feel of a sleep-deprived attempt at writing the next great sci-fi monster movie/book after going on a Syfy movie 48 hour watching marathon. Watered down from exhaustion with occasional stabs at awesomeness, it strives to do for ants what Jaws did for sharks, but the only way you could possibly truthfully say this did for ants what Jaws did for sharks was if Jaws was a small-scale shaky-cam footage shark movie with less than a grand for special effects / dime store thriller ghost written by a Harlequin romance author. Even then, I think Jaws would win. (I know I’m going on about movies when its referring to books, but this book reads like a wanna-be Syfy movie, dagblastit!)
I wish I could stop here and say “Okay, maybe I’m being mean” or “Sorry, the snark is strong tonight” but I’m being neither mean nor snarky. I’m being honest. Okay, maybe I’m being a little mean, but its because this is another one of those cases where I can clearly see what the author was going for, and it could have been awesome. Could have been. Isn’t. At all. I hate to see the wasted potential!
Overall, though I won’t go so far as to say it was a bad read (I mean, I did read it one sitting), The Colony starts off with a great idea and laudable aspirations, but then proceeds to flounder hopelessly in a pool of mediocrity that’s only saved from utter forgetfulness by the fast pace and occasional great quip or description.