Michael McBride writes kick-ass, non-stop action with the best of them. Forsaken is a book that demands your attention from the moment the first death happens and doesn’t let up until it’s over. The scene near the end in FOB Atlantis had me glued to the page. The scenes in Teotihuacan weren’t quite as run for your lives feeling but were still tense and interesting.
Forsaken picks up soon after Subhuman ends, and all the remaining characters (as far as I remember) come back for their second act. This is a smooth continuation of the story that takes us through an arc that leaves you feeling completely committed to reading the third book. It’s obvious the author knows what the end game for this storyline is going to be, and it’s going to be a doozy.
I don’t believe Forsaken would function well as a stand-alone novel. Technically you could read it without reading Subhuman, but you would be missing out. The two novels are just too closely related to read the second without reading the first.
The only problem I have with Forsaken is that there are too many characters, and those characters are too flat to make an impression. I had problems keeping all of them straight in the first book. It didn’t get any better in the second book. (Maybe if I had read them back to back, but with a few months in between them… not so much.) While McBride is excellent at describing the locations, the action, etc, it is the human aspect that is lacking. Even one day after finishing the book, I must really think to remember most of the characters names.
The Unit 51 novels are thrillers with a heavy dose of horror and some science fiction. If you’re looking for something to replace the cookie-cutter Sigma Force novels of James Rollins, I recommend trying this series out.
Overall, while I can’t say I liked Forsaken quite as much as I liked Subhuman, I still enjoyed it. There weren’t as many one-liners to enjoy in this book. It had a much more serious, straight-forward feel to it. That isn’t a bad thing, it’s just something to note if you enjoyed that aspect of the first book. This one gets the ball rolling on the action a lot quicker than in the first book. It’s a solid, enjoyable read, and a good follow-up to Subhuman.
I can’t wait to see where he lands with the third book. And I do have to read the third book!