Savage Species is one of Janz's first books and when I say his inner-Layman shows, I mean it. Blood drips from the pages as we're introduced to the opening of the state park, Peaceful Valley. Peaceful Valley was developed on top of an unknown and elaborate cave network. What dwells in those caves is whole horde of razor toothed windigoes that are enormous. When one steals Emma's baby, a group goes into the caves after it, including her abusive husband Eric, and her builder, who happens to also be obsessed with her, Sam. In the state park, the windigoes come out in full force and unleash a blood bath. A group that was staying there flees into another area of the cave system in an attempt to escape from them.
While the story has a unique setting and premise, it is straight-on Layman inspired. I say this complimentary. Truth be told, I have a hard time with Layman. The unrealistic and silly plots are only made worse for me by the sex-starved characters. Don't get me wrong. I am not a prude and I love blood and sex. I simply have a hard time buying a character getting turned on as he's running for his life as all of his friends have been chewed to pieces by a horde of monsters. I also realize that this type of storytelling has a huge following. While it's not my cup of tea (or a bottle of Sam Adams), Janz actually does this kind of storytelling very well. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy (and be impressed by) his prose and extensive vocabulary.
3.5 underground monsters out of 5
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