Arachnosaur

Arachnosaur - Richard Jeffries Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.

This was a hard review for me to write because I know the publisher isn't going to be happy with it, and I'm probably burning a bridge, but if so - so. It's honest feelings. I don't think I've ever been this put off by a book before.
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Okay, so when I saw this book on Netgalley, I was super excited because giant man-eating spiders. I love me some giant man-eating spiders. I even engaged in some light-hearted teasing with the publisher, because I was so pumped to get my hands on this book. I just knew it was going to be awesome and I was going to love it!
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You know what I don't love? Spending 75 percent of the book wondering where the pedipalps my giant man-eating spiders are!

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Unfortunately, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things I don't like about Arachnosaur.

Y'all.

Y'ALL.

This was, to put it bluntly, the most annoying, ill-written, piece of Prejudiced Male Ego Stroking that I have ever read.

It's fairly hard to offend me when I'm reading a book. I mean, yeah, I'll yell at people for using weak writing props, but I rarely actually get offended. I'm able to put aside a lot in my search for an entertaining story. So, you know, I shrugged off lines like the below simply because assholes are assholes, and assholes exist even in the written word.

Oh, the things I do for my country, he thought, quelling the urge to write B+ on her spine in lipstick.


(This was after the guy had just got done getting his rocks off with a prostitute.)

This was pretty par-for-course for the main character's partner. I figure the author wrote him as a deliberate foil to Key's Captain America type goodness. Keeping that in mind meant that I was actually able to make it to about the 60 percent point before I had had enough.

This was the 'beauty' that did me in.

Wouldn't be prudent at this late date to have a migrant worker swim behind them with an ever-ready machete.


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I mean, yeah, that line is offensive, but it's not even necessarily that that line was that bad as there had been so much mysogony, racism, and general bigotry pumped into Arachnosaur that the book seemed less like an exercise in fun monster-killing fiction and more like an escape valve for every rude, crude, and completely unacceptable thought that dominates white male culture right now because "Its just a story".
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Now, putting aside the sheer "Ha-hah look at my funnies that are not funny at all" portion of things, it's also just awkwardly written! There were several paragraphs I had to re-read just because they were written so badly. There was more than one occasion where I was wondering if I just missed something or if it really just didn't make sense / was a plot hole. I'm going to have to forgive a lot of of it, because I was reading an ARC and I have to assume that at least half of it was cleared up in the final copy. But it did not make Arachnosaur a pleasant, easy read.

And then...there was the soiled va-jay-jay remark. They are going to where the spiders are, and (parsed down to its bare bits so I don't provide spoilers), the line is:
"[name redacted] used the barrel of the SAW as a syringe directly in the center of the soiled va-jay-jay, then followed it."


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Why? Just WHY? There's fun trash, and then there's just trashy. That...was just trashy.

Guys - I host someone doing "bad movie reviews" on my site monthly. I think movies like Roboshark and Big Ass Spider are some of the funniest things in existence. Whenever I see a giant monster type book, I go straight for it because I'm ready for some b-movie-style fun book trash. So, if I'm disgusted by a book? Well, that's saying something, and it's saying it pretty bloody strongly.

Read pretty much anything from Hunter Shea, Jake Bible, William Meikle or (if you're looking for special ops thrillers with a touch of the paranormal to them) James Rollins, Jonathan Maberry, or Larry Correia, just to name a few.

But! Let us end on a positive note! Because there were a few.

Arachnosaur was fast-paced. There was lots of explosions (those always make me happy). There were a few lines in it that genuinely had me snickering (including an homage to Starship Troopers near the end). It's a rocky start for the author, I've made that clear, but hopefully with time, he will refine his ideas and his writing until it transforms into what it has the possibility to be.

..and there you have it. I'm done. I've given my opinion and am now going to endeavor to forget I've read this.