Stinger - Robert R. McCammon

McCammon delivers for me a second time. Gruesome and riveting but with a lot of heart. My sample size is small yet as this is only my second McCammon, but I might prefer him to King.

 

A small Texas town is rocked by the crash landing of an object of unknown origin. While something a little strange is going on with a local veterinarians young daughter who interacted with the busted up remnants first, the foreign object is not anything that the nearest air force base and personal can't contain and research...that is until a follow up arrival on a much larger scale brings a less than friendly visitor with a mission - one who traps a whole town for one terrifying night.

 

At 550 pages, I really expected to be reading this for awhile. Fortunately, it moves at such a great pace that I didn't even notice the pages flying by until I reached the end.

 

McCammon creates not only a story that sucks you in, but an atmosphere that is palpable. A hot, dying Texas town, isolated, and withering since the local mine shut down and took away all the jobs, not only feels uncomfortable and weathered, but also desperate...and thus the book opens. It's inhabitants are beaten, on edge and divided - when the unspeakable comes and threatens their very lives and the lives of everyone on the planet really, they are given one good reason to fight, for each other.

 

And in case I am making this sound like puppies and bedtime stories, know that I'm glossing over the fact that this messed-up mucous monster from deep space likes to snatch people, eat them, and use it's advanced alien technology to recreate symbiotic extensions of itself in the skins of its victims to go out and destroy more people with a mouth of needle teeth and metal saw type hands.

  

There is plenty of death and gory violence and characters of all walks and colors - everyone is a little rough around the edges, but the hope in humanity is what really makes this book shine. I loved it.