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Fragment (2009)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Fragment (2009) author: Warren Fahy

So far, this is one of my favorite books of 2009. The premise is that the members of a cable reality show, Sea Life, answer a distress call out in the middle of the South Pacific. The beacon is coming from a remote island that has only been visited once, hundreds of years before. It is called Henders Island, after the captain of that ship.

As soon as a party lands on the island they discover that the beacon is coming from a yacht that was washed up on the rocky shore. There was a record that this boat was lost years before, though their crew was recovered. Then why was the beacon set off now, if there was no one to send it? Soon, they are attacked by some truly bizarre creatures that would be more at home on an alien world.

You see, on this island life evolved in a completely different way than the rest of the planet--all descended from arthropods. The most ferocious of these are the Spigers, which are huge predators. Even the "plants" really aren't plans.

Once the authorities find out about this discovery they send in a blockade of military ships to surround it.

The scientists begin doing tests, such as learning how certain animals fare against the Henders Island species. The longest to survive before being ripped to shreds is a mongoose. It lives for two minutes. If even one of the species is taken off the island to the rest of the world, it would quickly decimate all other life, the ultimate invasive species. Events take a turn when they discover intelligent life....

This is one of my favorite books of 2009. Although the plot point of a "reality show" is used in recent monster novels as TERMINAL FREEZE, MEG: PRIMAL WATERS and CASTAWAYS, it definitely takes the back burner here. FRAGMENT is a rollercoaster ride of the unexpected.

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