Sunday, November 30, 2008

Castaways-Brian Keene

Brian Keene
Leisure, Feb 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843960891

On a deserted island, a group of contestants compete for a million dollars on the reality based show Castaways. The players must live off what is on the island and battle one another in various contests that the producer arranges. The winner of the day is immune from deportation while the group votes on who is exiled. The last person standing wins the prize. The contestants and the support crew assume the island is deserted, but they will learn otherwise.

The natives live in caves, but as the show’s participants will learn they are hominid but not quite human. They are covered in fur, never wash or use tools and communicate with one another without speaking in any known language. It is also difficult for their females to become pregnant and those who are born are typically deformed. Their plan is simply one of survival.; they will eat the male intruders and rape the females keeping them pregnant until they no longer can bear their offspring. No rescue for the Castaways is in sight.

Although the tale of a reality TV show on an isolated Pacific island filled with monsters is not new (see Jaci Burton’s Surviving Demon Island), Brian Keene refreshes his version by placing his Castaway within a horror version of Christie’s And Then There Were None. Fans of Survivor will enjoy the twist as there is no getting off the island for the humans who are either sustenance or child bearers. The island paradise location adds depth to the horrific scenario confronting the show participants as Mr. Keene provides an enjoyable dark twist to reality TV.

Harriet Klausner

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