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Harmsworth. A remote, mist-shrouded island in the Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross makes the discovery of a lifetime: a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years by the sub-zero temperatures. Only, they didn't die of natural causes... As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition, and h Harmsworth. A remote, mist-shrouded island in the Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross makes the discovery of a lifetime: a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years by the sub-zero temperatures. Only, they didn't die of natural causes... As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition, and he and his team are left stranded on the island. And they are not alone. Someone, or something, relentless is stalking them. As the arctic mist descends and the death toll rises, the team is thrust into a nightmare fight for survival, involving submarines, cyber warfare and Spetsnaz. But none of this can prepare them for the real terror that survives deep within the island’s heart: a secret so ancient it's been overlooked by time itself. COLONY is an edge-of-your seat action thriller that will appeal to fans of Clive Cussler, James Rollins and Michael Crichton.


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Harmsworth. A remote, mist-shrouded island in the Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross makes the discovery of a lifetime: a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years by the sub-zero temperatures. Only, they didn't die of natural causes... As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition, and h Harmsworth. A remote, mist-shrouded island in the Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross makes the discovery of a lifetime: a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years by the sub-zero temperatures. Only, they didn't die of natural causes... As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition, and he and his team are left stranded on the island. And they are not alone. Someone, or something, relentless is stalking them. As the arctic mist descends and the death toll rises, the team is thrust into a nightmare fight for survival, involving submarines, cyber warfare and Spetsnaz. But none of this can prepare them for the real terror that survives deep within the island’s heart: a secret so ancient it's been overlooked by time itself. COLONY is an edge-of-your seat action thriller that will appeal to fans of Clive Cussler, James Rollins and Michael Crichton.

30 review for Colony

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    It’s a creature feature! I do believe that I just read a horror book! I didn’t know what to expect, thought maybe sci-fi but all good, I really enjoyed it. The style of the story and the writing reminded me very much of Matthew Reilly’s early books Ice Station and Temple. I loved those books too. A bunch of scientists are part of a group tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment of Harmsworth Island in Franz Josef Land - an archipelago north of Siberia in the Barents Sea, well nort It’s a creature feature! I do believe that I just read a horror book! I didn’t know what to expect, thought maybe sci-fi but all good, I really enjoyed it. The style of the story and the writing reminded me very much of Matthew Reilly’s early books Ice Station and Temple. I loved those books too. A bunch of scientists are part of a group tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment of Harmsworth Island in Franz Josef Land - an archipelago north of Siberia in the Barents Sea, well north of the Arctic Circle (I do love a book set in a cold climate). They are based on the icebreaker Albanov anchored offshore. A Russian company wants to start tapping into the suspected rich gas reserves around the island and, in accordance with the terms of the Arctic Council, of which thy are a member, requires this assessment before work can commence. The group includes, among others: Dr Callum Ross, archaeologist; Dr Ava Lee, vertebrate palaeontologist; Dr Daryl Lebedev, ecologist and Dan Peterson whose area of expertise is not made clear. But - as if the brutal climate is not enough to deal with, there is a secret plot afoot to sabotage the job. And as if that is not enough, there are worse things than the cold to worry about on the island. Something stalks the unwary on this island. Among the scientists a groups Russian spetsnaz soldiers are along to provide ‘security’. Well there are polar bears around. After the sabotage, a small group of scientists, a large contingent of soldiers and the CEO of the gas company are stranded on the island - and that’s when the fun really begins. Something is out there! Something is out to get them! There was quite a bit of blood, and gore so if you are squeamish this is probably not a book for you. It wasn’t deep and meaningful. The characters were only developed as far as necessary to tell the story. But what this book had in spades was action, drama, suspense, screams. If you want a fast paced story that has you on the edge of your seat - this book is for you!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    One of my favourite thriller tropes is dinosaurs who have somehow survived extinction events and are seriously unhappy about humans turning up to ruin their shit. This colony is pissed. They're happily living on their Arctic island, having baby monsters and generally living their best lives, when a whole bunch of greedy men decide to exploit the natural resources of the neighbourhood. Needless to say, there's lots of screaming and dying, which was lovely. On the negative side, there's perhaps a s One of my favourite thriller tropes is dinosaurs who have somehow survived extinction events and are seriously unhappy about humans turning up to ruin their shit. This colony is pissed. They're happily living on their Arctic island, having baby monsters and generally living their best lives, when a whole bunch of greedy men decide to exploit the natural resources of the neighbourhood. Needless to say, there's lots of screaming and dying, which was lovely. On the negative side, there's perhaps a slight stiltedness to the writing, a few things that don't quite gel, some scenes which could have been shown but weren't. Plus, the author kills something which should never be killed in fiction. That lost him a whole point. Even so, Benjamin Cross author is one to watch. I'd pick up whatever he writes next with no hesitation. ARC via Netgalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

    Colony is a fast-paced, deftly written thriller set in the remote Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross is called in at short notice to join an expedition, and makes a stunning discovery - an ancient mummy preserved in the ice. A mystery surrounds this person, who did not die from natural causes. When Callum and his team find themselves stranded on a remote island, they face a threat not only from the harsh conditions and from human adversaries, but from a far stranger source. I reall Colony is a fast-paced, deftly written thriller set in the remote Russian Arctic. Archaeology Professor Callum Ross is called in at short notice to join an expedition, and makes a stunning discovery - an ancient mummy preserved in the ice. A mystery surrounds this person, who did not die from natural causes. When Callum and his team find themselves stranded on a remote island, they face a threat not only from the harsh conditions and from human adversaries, but from a far stranger source. I really enjoyed the powerful storytelling, underpinned by excellent research which made the narrative convincing even in the weirder parts of the story. Callum Ross is an engaging protagonist. All the characters are well-drawn and even minor players are given depth. The plot is full of twists and turns, keeping the reader on the edge of the seat right to the end. Fans of Matthew Reilly should love this. I look forward to more books from this author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max Birner

    I undoubtedly will be reading more books by Benjamin Cross in the future, his archaeology past really helps elevate the atmosphere and writing of this debut novel. Colony is definitely calling for all lovers of The Thing to read, because who doesn't love a high tension Antarctica whodunit/creature feature? When you get to the action and the plot starts unravelling, you will not be able to put it down. Where my problem lies is probably with our introduction to the story. While I love explosive en I undoubtedly will be reading more books by Benjamin Cross in the future, his archaeology past really helps elevate the atmosphere and writing of this debut novel. Colony is definitely calling for all lovers of The Thing to read, because who doesn't love a high tension Antarctica whodunit/creature feature? When you get to the action and the plot starts unravelling, you will not be able to put it down. Where my problem lies is probably with our introduction to the story. While I love explosive endings where everything goes berserk it did take me a little bit to get into. I found myself picking it up and down a lot during the first quarter ish, and I think that problem could've been solved with a faster introduction to the bunker and other characters so we could jump right in immediately. But once you cross that mark, it goes absolutely insane from there on out. Like I said, a lot of opportunity for future books with this author. With a similar concept to Colony but with a few more developed characters and a faster introduction it would be an easy five stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Colony is an amazing, edge of your seat horror about Dr Callum Ross and a group of other scientists who are hired to go to Harmsworth Island in Franz Joseph Land far north of the Arctic circle. They are hired by a Russian company who hope to tap into the rich natural gas resources there and as such require an assessment to enable them to do so. The main characters are Dr Callu I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Colony is an amazing, edge of your seat horror about Dr Callum Ross and a group of other scientists who are hired to go to Harmsworth Island in Franz Joseph Land far north of the Arctic circle. They are hired by a Russian company who hope to tap into the rich natural gas resources there and as such require an assessment to enable them to do so. The main characters are Dr Callum Ross - archaeologist, Dr Darya Lebedev - ecologist, Dan Peterson and Dr Ava Lee - vertebrae palaeontologist. Something is stalking the visitors to the island and picking them off one by one. This scary creature is just as intelligent as the humans and after sabotage occurs on the trip, the scientists and the Russian soldiers (who were hired to guard the ship and its habitants from harm) are left stranded on the island with nowhere to hide. This book was a fantastic roller coaster of a ride and I couldn't put it down. There's many small twists at the end of the book and as I read it I could envision the scenery, the scenes and the action played out like a movie! The suspense was heart racing and the fast pace was fantastic and didn't let the story grow stale. Benjamin Cross is definitely an author to look out for!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Hutchinson

    The Relic meets Jurassic Park. A team of doctors, researching the Artic, what could go wrong? Cross does well adding terror to the unknown. His characters are brought to their limits, struggling with the cold weather, the mysterious mist, and the increase of death tolls. Who will survive? I enjoyed reading Colony, its a fast paced read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Crystal ✿ - PEACE ☮ LOVE ♥ BOOKS

    ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review 4.5 Stars Visiting the Arctic is a perilous task all on its own. When prehistoric beings are thrown into the mix that against all odds have managed to thrive and survive, you’re in for one hell of a cold and bloody adventure. For this being the author's first book l really enjoyed myself. I don't have the highest standards when it comes to fact checking my fiction so I can't attest to the believability of all the ‘monsters’ in the book however al ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review 4.5 Stars Visiting the Arctic is a perilous task all on its own. When prehistoric beings are thrown into the mix that against all odds have managed to thrive and survive, you’re in for one hell of a cold and bloody adventure. For this being the author's first book l really enjoyed myself. I don't have the highest standards when it comes to fact checking my fiction so I can't attest to the believability of all the ‘monsters’ in the book however all the creative liberties the author took worked for me. Early on I struggled a bit with so many characters but as the book went on and they were killed off one by one it mattered little who they were. 😳🤫 I was worried what the human connection would be in the end because let’s be honest, there usually always is one, sometimes even scarier than that of any monster. And so I’m happy to report this at least wasn’t some military ploy to weaponize the creatures or even the sending in of scape goats to scrutinize the situation. In fact it seems like no one including the military had a clue these beings even existed. Which is the one thing I questioned in the book since there was at one time a military base on the island, now abandoned and barely standing. There is of course a bigger picture going on that brings along its own obstacles but nothing to deter from the core of the story and the fight for survival. The book is told in multiple POVs but mostly that of the MC & archaeologist Callum whose addition to the exploratory team is a last minute addition. Poor him. Together he and a group of fellow scientists will go through many extremes from joy at the discovery of a lifetime to utter desperation as they fight for their very lives. If one thing is made abundantly clear, the mist is a sign of impending doom and only the lucky will survive. On an abandoned island in the middle of the Arctic though, there’s nowhere to run and even less places to hide. Really fascinating thrill ride and I’ll be eager to see what else the author has in store for us in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie S

    I was captivated by Colony from the very beginning. The book is well researched and story is masterfully told. It's the tale of a group of researchers who are stranded in the Arctic and have to fight for their lives every step of the way. This heart pumping, adrenalin filled thriller takes you on a rollercoaster ride and makes you want to rush to the end so that you can take a calming breath but at the same time you don't want to miss a single word. It is hard to believe that this is Benjamin Cr I was captivated by Colony from the very beginning. The book is well researched and story is masterfully told. It's the tale of a group of researchers who are stranded in the Arctic and have to fight for their lives every step of the way. This heart pumping, adrenalin filled thriller takes you on a rollercoaster ride and makes you want to rush to the end so that you can take a calming breath but at the same time you don't want to miss a single word. It is hard to believe that this is Benjamin Cross' very first novel. Well done.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Cross

    EDITORIAL REVIEWS LoveReading 'Indie Books We Love' award Colony by Benjamin Cross is an action packed Arctic thriller that kicks off with a bang as we witness the death of a Neolithic hunter at the hands/claws of a mysterious creature. When Professor Callum Ross discovers the mummified remains he knows he must find out more, but there are other people out to stop him and something else seems to be watching. I loved the descriptions of the setting and the work put into creating the backstory. Colony EDITORIAL REVIEWS LoveReading 'Indie Books We Love' award Colony by Benjamin Cross is an action packed Arctic thriller that kicks off with a bang as we witness the death of a Neolithic hunter at the hands/claws of a mysterious creature. When Professor Callum Ross discovers the mummified remains he knows he must find out more, but there are other people out to stop him and something else seems to be watching. I loved the descriptions of the setting and the work put into creating the backstory. Colony reminded me of an Indiana Jones / Nathan Drake plotline, as our archaeologist protagonist puts work before his family, and sets out against competition to uncover the truth. I liked the way that the author built tension throughout as well as the brief moments of humour to lighten the atmosphere as I read. There were lots of twists and turns and I was eager to find out what would happen in the end. I would say that Colony is a great book for those who like thrilling adventures with elements of horror, as well as tension filled reads set in the Arctic. An entertaining book. Reedsy Discovery Rekha Rao 20/12/20 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars) Must Read What a fantabulous thriller! Action-packed, bone-chilling, riveting thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fasten your seatbelts coz you are in for one heck of a roller-coaster ride! Having read the blurb, I thought this story is all about 'innocent people caught between the fight of two powerful and rich businessmen'. But I was so wrong! A folklore, a sinister secret and evolution plays a major role in shaping whatever is hiding in the mist. Our main character Callum is perfectly imperfect. His dedication to work has cost him his family. He was assigned to the mission when he was vacationing with his son Jamie. Callum had to leave immediately and Jamie is not happy. Nor is Callum's ex-wife. When Callum reaches Harmsworth, he's not sure whom to trust. The wealthy Russian business man who's in charge of this expedition seems a little shady too. As days pass by, one of his colleagues goes missing and a search party is sent. Meanwhile, a rival businessman wants to destroy the mission and he has a man on the inside to do the job for him. As people go missing and their mutilated bodies are found later, Callum and his mates realize they are not alone on the island. Also, whatever is hiding in the mist is stalking them and ready to attack when the time is right. The suspense and the tension are at an all-time high throughout the story. Character development is impressive and the plot to story development is superb. I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. An action-packed thriller with a dash of horror makes Colony an engrossing read. As a debut novel, Colony is too good to be true. I absolutely enjoyed every bit of the story and I am certainly looking forward to reading Benjamin Cross' next book. Readers’ Favorite Jamie Michele 15/12/20 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars) Colony by Benjamin Cross is a thriller that follows archaeology professor Callum Ross across continents as he chases a lead and ends up running for his life. The book's introduction takes the reader back to the 6th millennium BC and the demise of a Neolithic hunter as he is savagely attacked by an unknown beast. Fast forward to today, and Callum is skipping rocks in Scotland with his son. A bit further and Callum is telling his son on a video chat from a Russian territory that he has a secret: He's found an ice mummy. As Callum and his team work to uncover the who and the how of the dead, it soon becomes deadly clear that others may not be so interested in the information. To the horror of all those who are left behind, the danger of what killed the ancient body and was worth decimating bases to shut the work down is about to claw its way into what's left of their circle. Colony is a brilliant novel that ticks all the boxes for a fast-paced and intelligent read. Benjamin Cross is able to create intrigue from the first page, hinting at what the dedicated academic might be up against, peeling back the layers with the measured hand of a great writer as the story unfolds, and allowing us to get to know the characters well enough to lean in for another chapter when it looks like they may be ripped away. Cross does inject brief moments of levity. The descriptions are gorgeous, perhaps enhanced by a backdrop of blood and fear, and even the characters with exactly zero redeeming qualities are bathed in prose they don't deserve. This book is very highly recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan van der Walt

    I have received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review. Colony is the first novel of Benjamin Cross, an experienced archaeologist. He was discovered by a literary agency and his novel soon made it onto the desks of the world's top publishers. A group of scientists gathers in the Russian Arctic to perform an assessment of the impact that planned gas exploration will have on the seabed around the island. Harmsworth is a desolate place, with 24-hour days in summer and the mist creep I have received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review. Colony is the first novel of Benjamin Cross, an experienced archaeologist. He was discovered by a literary agency and his novel soon made it onto the desks of the world's top publishers. A group of scientists gathers in the Russian Arctic to perform an assessment of the impact that planned gas exploration will have on the seabed around the island. Harmsworth is a desolate place, with 24-hour days in summer and the mist creeping out from the sea without warning. The temperature can drop to minus degrees, causing frostbite and death from hypothermia without correct protective equipment. When their ship is destroyed, the castaways need to stay one step ahead of the power behind its destruction. But at the same time, they are also faced with a fast and deadly creature, attacking them from the mist. Will there be any survivors? Through his descriptions, the author transports us to this cold, wild wilderness. The plot keeps us guessing. Although we know early on there are plans to blow up the Albanov, we do not know who the culprits might be. The author puts his archaeological experience to effective use, creating a formidable foe in the lizard bird. If you are looking for a gripping suspense novel drawing you in from the beginning and letting you experience the cold desolation of the Arctic through vivid descriptions, this book is for you! I recommend this book to fans of Kevlin Tumlinson, James Rollins and Ernest Dempsey Trigger Warnings: Deity Swears | Profanity | Violence | Graphic Injuries | Death Read my full review on my blog: https://readorrot.com/colony-by-benja...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    A good quick read. Fast paced thriller on the order of early James Rollins books or perhaps Greig Beck. Lots of savage beasts!

  12. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Fisher

    Colony was an action packed arctic thriller that sucked me in within the first three pages and held my attention to the very end. I've got to be honest, I read Michael Crichton at an impressionable age and told myself I'd never let myself get that freaked out by a monster story ever again. Well, I broke that promise, but it was worth it. Of course, I'd hate to give the impression that this is a purely monster driven book. With thrills and political intrigue, it shapes into much much more! Cross Colony was an action packed arctic thriller that sucked me in within the first three pages and held my attention to the very end. I've got to be honest, I read Michael Crichton at an impressionable age and told myself I'd never let myself get that freaked out by a monster story ever again. Well, I broke that promise, but it was worth it. Of course, I'd hate to give the impression that this is a purely monster driven book. With thrills and political intrigue, it shapes into much much more! Cross is an excellent storyteller, with great descriptive writing. His personal experiences as an archaeologist really shines through in the character's backstories and development, breathing fresh life into familiar roles. I would recommend this story for all mature adventure readers!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jovita Kvederaviciute

    First of all this book is the first novel this author has ever released and it ended up great, so congratulations to author on that. I enjoyed reading this book, the descriptions were so detailed that I could almost see myself in the place of the main character, I also loved the fact that the author wrote about some of the very common problems in today's world. It's also a very great book for people who like thrillers, I got literal chills while reading some of the parts. So overall this book is aw First of all this book is the first novel this author has ever released and it ended up great, so congratulations to author on that. I enjoyed reading this book, the descriptions were so detailed that I could almost see myself in the place of the main character, I also loved the fact that the author wrote about some of the very common problems in today's world. It's also a very great book for people who like thrillers, I got literal chills while reading some of the parts. So overall this book is awesome, and I recommend it to everyone that even has a slightest interest in thrillers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I could not put Colony down - it gave me chills, both from Cross's vividly beautiful descriptions of the Arctic setting, & from the plot's twists & turns. The mix of excitement, drama, heartbreak, & humour was an intoxicating combination that kept me guessing & dying to know what happened next. It provided a great escape, & the chance to vicariously experience a wild adventure - which was sorely needed after a year without the ability to do so in reality. Highly recommend Colony to everyone & any I could not put Colony down - it gave me chills, both from Cross's vividly beautiful descriptions of the Arctic setting, & from the plot's twists & turns. The mix of excitement, drama, heartbreak, & humour was an intoxicating combination that kept me guessing & dying to know what happened next. It provided a great escape, & the chance to vicariously experience a wild adventure - which was sorely needed after a year without the ability to do so in reality. Highly recommend Colony to everyone & anyone!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    An “okay” book that felt very much like other “trapped in Antarctica” books Ive read. I am never thrilled when multiple villains are present and trying to sabotage you, but liked the eerie parts. It also needs more editing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Londeka Nele Shabangu

    Callum an archaeologist is asked to take the place of his friend and mentor on an expedition to a remote Arctic Island. A group of scientists led by a soldier named Koikov and a native man who acts as a guide... What could possibly go wrong? Not a single page had me drifting off to any other universe but the one the author has created. Everything about it felt more than real. I'm a total sucker for descriptions and the description of the island was a cherry. I'm in love with how it didn't take me Callum an archaeologist is asked to take the place of his friend and mentor on an expedition to a remote Arctic Island. A group of scientists led by a soldier named Koikov and a native man who acts as a guide... What could possibly go wrong? Not a single page had me drifting off to any other universe but the one the author has created. Everything about it felt more than real. I'm a total sucker for descriptions and the description of the island was a cherry. I'm in love with how it didn't take me two chapters to be transported into the novel. Not once did the author fail to suck the reader in at every turn. A perfect mixture of action, adventure, thriller, horror, drama, you name it and most importantly interesting characters. It has a wonderful mixture of everything which in that case I'd like to believe almost every reader would be more than satisfied. This was a wonderful read (I cannot emphasize this enough) I'd definitely read it again. I can't wait for the authors next adventure. Not only did I get sucked into this novel but I learnt quiet a few things and for that I'm more than greatful... Thankful for the opportunity to read this amazing novel for an honest review. Grazie mille.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carl Mitchell

    Benjamin Cross has delivered a mystery-action thriller that captivated me from start to finish. I hesitate to use the phrase “devoured from top to bottom” because one of the main storylines is how several characters from as far back as six millenniums ago to the present are themselves devoured by mysterious monster-like creatures. The novel follows Callum Ross, an archaeologist, called to Franz Josef Land in the Arctic region north of Russia to participate in a study to assure any gas capture an Benjamin Cross has delivered a mystery-action thriller that captivated me from start to finish. I hesitate to use the phrase “devoured from top to bottom” because one of the main storylines is how several characters from as far back as six millenniums ago to the present are themselves devoured by mysterious monster-like creatures. The novel follows Callum Ross, an archaeologist, called to Franz Josef Land in the Arctic region north of Russia to participate in a study to assure any gas capture and transmission does not impact the environment in any meaningful way. The company that will benefit from the gas recovery is, on the surface, an enthusiastic supporter of and participant in the study. The nefarious plans of this company are one danger Callum must deal with on an island named Harmsworth. The other danger is more deadly: the mysterious creatures mentioned earlier. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but for me I would rather eat a sandwich than become a sandwich. I give Colony five stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Mccormick

    My thanks to the Author publishers and LibraryThing for providing me with a Paperback copy of this book to read and honestly review. Stranded in the Arctic. Fighting to survive. And they are not alone... Says the blurb on the cover, what follows is a exciting thrilling non stop page turner. Well written and researched clever descriptive and imaginative, very imaginative. It certainly helps your enjoyment of this engaging tale, if like me you still have a big kid inside, to suspend your disbelief and My thanks to the Author publishers and LibraryThing for providing me with a Paperback copy of this book to read and honestly review. Stranded in the Arctic. Fighting to survive. And they are not alone... Says the blurb on the cover, what follows is a exciting thrilling non stop page turner. Well written and researched clever descriptive and imaginative, very imaginative. It certainly helps your enjoyment of this engaging tale, if like me you still have a big kid inside, to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the action, though be warned some is seriously graphic. Absorbing atmospheric with terrific characters and some surprises along the way. Finally a word for the publishers Book Guild Ltd for the quality of the paperback which is still in pristine condition even after I have finished reading it, not always the case these days no matter how careful you are. A quality debut I look forward to more soon. Recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    I will spare you the intimate details of who said what to whom and why as many other reviewers have done this before me, lets say this debut story is very well composed and professionally written with vivid descriptions of both the physical landscape of Franz Josef Land, a Russian archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean composed of 192 islands over 80% covered in snow and Ice and the character's and prehistoric dinosaurs (yes I did say this). Ben uses his background in archaeology to good effect I will spare you the intimate details of who said what to whom and why as many other reviewers have done this before me, lets say this debut story is very well composed and professionally written with vivid descriptions of both the physical landscape of Franz Josef Land, a Russian archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean composed of 192 islands over 80% covered in snow and Ice and the character's and prehistoric dinosaurs (yes I did say this). Ben uses his background in archaeology to good effect bringing an authenticity to this story. Well plotted with depth to the story 'lost world' with 'Jurassic Park' overtones but no cuddly 'frozen', read with a hot drink and fur lined slippers to keep you warm.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dr. Ross Cullin has been hand picked to go on a Arctic expedition to a island that the Russians want to set up a gas mine station but all the countries surrounding the Arctic must sign off on to make sure it doesn't create any eco-harm to the area and doesn't harm any known or unknown flora or fauna. Little does he or the other people hired know, the main Russian doctor has other plans and so does the creature that lives on the island. Darya and Ross discover a unique and unknown creature which lo Dr. Ross Cullin has been hand picked to go on a Arctic expedition to a island that the Russians want to set up a gas mine station but all the countries surrounding the Arctic must sign off on to make sure it doesn't create any eco-harm to the area and doesn't harm any known or unknown flora or fauna. Little does he or the other people hired know, the main Russian doctor has other plans and so does the creature that lives on the island. Darya and Ross discover a unique and unknown creature which looks to be part bird and part dinosaur. What happens after most of the people get blown up. Read it for yourself and see.

  21. 5 out of 5

    DaN McKee

    This book was exactly what I was looking for to kick off the half term holiday after a stressful six weeks of remote teaching. A page-turner of the highest quality. I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to spoil all the surprises the story has, but rest assured as Callum Ross and company’s time on Harmsworth gets worse and worse, you will only enjoy spending time there more and more. Read it now!

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    I’m a sucker for a monster movie. During these dark winter months, with so much going on in the world, I have found some solace in fictional monsters. One of my all-time favourites is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), itself a remake of Howard Hawk’s classic from 1951. I love the setting, the isolation, the unknown that’s ‘out there’ and ‘within’. It was the perfect movie for its time, and nearly 40 years later, I wouldn’t change a single frame. Author Benjamin Cross’ debut novel, Colony, captur I’m a sucker for a monster movie. During these dark winter months, with so much going on in the world, I have found some solace in fictional monsters. One of my all-time favourites is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), itself a remake of Howard Hawk’s classic from 1951. I love the setting, the isolation, the unknown that’s ‘out there’ and ‘within’. It was the perfect movie for its time, and nearly 40 years later, I wouldn’t change a single frame. Author Benjamin Cross’ debut novel, Colony, captures a lot of that movie’s effects, especially the sense of dread and aforementioned isolation, but is individual enough to not be a retread. It’s to his credit that he not only brings his own talents to the page, but also his extensive experience in the world of archaeology. A native of South Wales, Mr Cross has travelled all over the world, exploring ancient sites in Cambodia and Peru. A noted environmental consultant, he wears a couple of hats during the course of this book. Callum Ross is an archaelogy professor based in Scotland, with a particular fondness for skipping stones with his son Jamie along the banks of Loch Ness. He’s trying to build a relationship with Jamie, because his job had him spend far too much time away from home. The softly-softly approach appears to be working, until a colleague appears out of the blue offering Callum a gilt-edged opportunity to travel to the Arctic and help a multinational company explore Harmsworth Island, one of hundred of islands on the Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Explaining to his son that he’ll Facetime once a week doesn’t cut it with Jamie or his ex, but Callum goes anyway. He’s reunited with an another colleague, Dan Peterson, a Texan who ribs Callum by referring to him as Dr McJones. The rest of the contingent is made up of scientists from Russia mainly, and one Canadian. There is also a suspiciously large number of Spetznaz, soldiers for hire representing the Russian Federation. Things begin intriguingly enough with the discovery of the mummified remains of a man who’s been perfectly preserved for millenia by sub-zero temperatures. Callum’s companion Lungkaju tells of a myth that has been handed down through generations of a hero sent out by his people to kill a monster. Think Beowulf, only in a colder climate. The mummy’s injuries suggest this is the hero, and that the monster got the better of him. Benjamin Cross Then we meet the monsters. Colony is a frenetically paced novel that brings to mind not only The Thing, but also Michael Crichton’s classic techothriller Jurassic Park. (We’ve all seen this movie, right?) The concept that we share our planet with species that we haven’t yet discovered isn’t a new one. Scientists have always supported the theory that in parts of the world that one would deem uninhabitable or unexplored, there must be creatures that have evolved over eons that we’re not aware of. Benjamin Cross takes us to that place, and then runs riot. Callum and his companions not only have to deal with monsters that want to kill them, but there are saboteurs in their midst who for reasons of greed and idealism want to destroy Harsmworth and everyone on it. When monsters aren’t ripping humans apart, the bad guys are setting off explosions and murdering in cold blood. There is a lot going on in this book, and Mr Cross does well to balance the action with some decent characterisations, even if the dialogue contains more expostion than it needs to. But this is only a minor criticism of a book that held my attention from the first page. I really enjoyed it, and I want to see what the author does next. PS: There’s a clever coda right at the end that’s worth hanging around for. Call it a post-credit scene, perhaps?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ilona

    What a ride! I could not put the book down! What drew me to the book was the term “archeology, but it was more than that, a group of scientists (each an expert in their field) doing a survey at the Artic before it is “set free” for future gas mining. Main character Callum is perfect for his roll, the twists and turns, the characters are perfect for the roles (an unexpected villain who is likable), the story is strong, descriptions so clear I could see it, and information that is fascinating. Thi What a ride! I could not put the book down! What drew me to the book was the term “archeology, but it was more than that, a group of scientists (each an expert in their field) doing a survey at the Artic before it is “set free” for future gas mining. Main character Callum is perfect for his roll, the twists and turns, the characters are perfect for the roles (an unexpected villain who is likable), the story is strong, descriptions so clear I could see it, and information that is fascinating. This is not my normal read but I totally loved it and would read it again in a heartbeat – worth of 5 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and The Book Guild for a copy of Colony for my honest opinion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Jurassic Park on Ice. Now that I have your attention I need to admit that I think I have a problem, regular readers may notice that my favourite books of late seem to feature remote islands, snow, ice or a collection of all three. This one does tick those boxes but it also brings to the table, mummified remains and something carnivorous lurking in the dark. Callum Ross is a professor specialising in archaeology, he is asked to join a team going to survey the remote Harmsworth Island, the island h Jurassic Park on Ice. Now that I have your attention I need to admit that I think I have a problem, regular readers may notice that my favourite books of late seem to feature remote islands, snow, ice or a collection of all three. This one does tick those boxes but it also brings to the table, mummified remains and something carnivorous lurking in the dark. Callum Ross is a professor specialising in archaeology, he is asked to join a team going to survey the remote Harmsworth Island, the island has been earmarked for it’s potential bounty of natural resources. Its location is the Arctic circle, Franz Josef Land. Uninhabited except for its recent residents, a troop of soldiers charged with getting the base ready. The journey to the island for Callum is uneventful, the ship is luxurious, his fellow passengers are a mix of obnoxious and alluring, he just wants to get there and get the job done so he can go home to his son. Of course that isn’t going to happen. On arrival to Harmsworth he discovers a mummified corpse, an ice age man, one who didn’t just drop down and die, this mummy had a little help from something with teeth. Whilst he is exploring the island unbeknownst to Callum there is a saboteur in his midst, someone who doesn’t want this natural haven drilled to within an inch of his life. Once they set their plan in action, Callum and his team members find themselves stranded, they also find themselves discovering a new species, one that is is not on any pages of current books. A creature that has walked straight from the pages of history and its hungry. I really enjoyed this book, you do have to suspend disbelief, some books can do it well, other books not so much. This one did it well, if was fun if you overlook the bloodiness that pops up. It was a great setting, with a good mix of characters and a foe that proves very hard to beat. If you like your monsters with great big teeth and your islands frozen and remote then you’ll enjoy this book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Steven king meets Jurassic park - the perfect horror, sci-fi and crime thriller. Insights a fantastic mix of Wayward Pines fear and morbid curiosity. There are parts of this book that I read and thought “why am I doing this to myself?” Similar to when you watch vague Netflix horror movies alone and spend half of them hidden behind a cushion. Some of the gore in this book was a bit much for me - makes me worry about what is going on inside the authors head! But if you love horror movies in genera Steven king meets Jurassic park - the perfect horror, sci-fi and crime thriller. Insights a fantastic mix of Wayward Pines fear and morbid curiosity. There are parts of this book that I read and thought “why am I doing this to myself?” Similar to when you watch vague Netflix horror movies alone and spend half of them hidden behind a cushion. Some of the gore in this book was a bit much for me - makes me worry about what is going on inside the authors head! But if you love horror movies in general then it’d be perfect as it’s a very ‘visual’ book - easy to imagine a scene playing out in your head. It’s basically written to become a TV series ! I loved it. There are basically two major plots in this book - the first, a group of eco warriors trying to preserve an uninhabited island in the Arctic; the second, a group of scientists excited to explore an island above Russia that has been the subject of local myths about an ancient monster. The team are fully equipped to explore the fauna, species and geography of the new island - but need to watch their backs a bit more carefully! I loved all of the different characters and you can tell that the author has been a scientist / archaeologist as their experiences have made the main character very believable and likeable. The location is eery (mist that reduces visibility) cold and exposed. It was a long book to read but I read it in a few days and couldn’t put it down! Although I found it very easy to return to and get sucked into the Arctic again when I did absolutely had to take a break. All in all, one of the best books I’ve read so far this year! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    An unashamed B-movie in book form. Set in the remote arctic environment of Franz Jozef Land, a group of scientists are tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment in preparation for a new gas pipeline. But they’re not alone on the island... As a fan of character-rich fiction, I found that the characters here were only developed as far as the plot required. The two female characters, in particular, felt underdeveloped to me, spending much of the action either unconscious or in shock An unashamed B-movie in book form. Set in the remote arctic environment of Franz Jozef Land, a group of scientists are tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment in preparation for a new gas pipeline. But they’re not alone on the island... As a fan of character-rich fiction, I found that the characters here were only developed as far as the plot required. The two female characters, in particular, felt underdeveloped to me, spending much of the action either unconscious or in shock (not that I think I’d cope any differently, but still). This did not sit overly well with my feminist side. That said, the pace of the plot worked for me, gearing up nicely towards the second half of the book. There is plenty of action, suspense and drama here. A solid debut novel, recommended to fans of Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Matador in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dan Barbier

    For starters, I will not say that it’s an amazing book from a first time Author, cause even some experienced writers don’t have Mr. Cross storytelling skills. It’s a Techno-Thriller/adventure novel in the purest sense. Think Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park or Preston & Child’s The Ice Limit mixed with a bit of James Rollins and a dash of Matthew Reilly. It is the perfect companion piece with any of these. It works perfectly as a stand-alone but could easily span a trilogy. A five star action-pa For starters, I will not say that it’s an amazing book from a first time Author, cause even some experienced writers don’t have Mr. Cross storytelling skills. It’s a Techno-Thriller/adventure novel in the purest sense. Think Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park or Preston & Child’s The Ice Limit mixed with a bit of James Rollins and a dash of Matthew Reilly. It is the perfect companion piece with any of these. It works perfectly as a stand-alone but could easily span a trilogy. A five star action-packed, sparkled with humour and twists. I will recommend the heck out of this one and await eagerly the next novel by Benjamin Cross. I received this copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    383 pages 5 stars What is going on on Harmsworth Island? Quite a lot it seems. Harmsworth is located in the Russian part of the Arctic off of Franz Josef Land. A Russian oil and gas magnate named Volkov wants to drill for gas and agrees to a environmental survey while his rigs are being constructed. He has a wide variety of experts in archeology, fauna and flora and so on invited aboard his large ship that is anchored of the island. The scientists are ferried to and from the island by helicopter. 383 pages 5 stars What is going on on Harmsworth Island? Quite a lot it seems. Harmsworth is located in the Russian part of the Arctic off of Franz Josef Land. A Russian oil and gas magnate named Volkov wants to drill for gas and agrees to a environmental survey while his rigs are being constructed. He has a wide variety of experts in archeology, fauna and flora and so on invited aboard his large ship that is anchored of the island. The scientists are ferried to and from the island by helicopter. There is also a crack military unit based on the island ostensibly to clean up an old abandoned research station. They are led by a very brave soldier named Koikov. Scottish Dr. Callum Ross, an archeologist, is there to replace a good friend who is ill. There is also Darya, a Russian scientist, and Peterson who is an American scientist. There are many, many other scientists and techs aboard as well. Lungkaju is a native man who acts as a guide and protector when the scientists visit the island. But, there is also another life form on the island... I could say all kinds of cliché things about this book: “thrill ride, action-packed.” and so on, but that still wouldn't do it justice. This fantastic book is a reader's dream. The characters are very real. We learn enough about the protagonists to get to know them, but not so much that it detracts from the story. The island was described beautifully; the reader is transported to the site. It has all the things I have a deep interest in such as archeology, Antarctica, creatures and real people. This is a wonderful debut novel. Please, keep them coming Mr. Cross! I want to thank NetGalley and The Book Guild for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely wonderful debut novel for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    VeronicaMarie1986

    I received an e-Arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review "Colony" by Benjamin Cross is a debut novel - and a fantastically creepy one at that! This book was full of action and suspense and I relished every minute of it. If you are looking for a fun, creepy, thrilling book, look no further! I look forward to reading anything from this author in the future in the same genre. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good horror or thriller or just a good book in general! Don't I received an e-Arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review "Colony" by Benjamin Cross is a debut novel - and a fantastically creepy one at that! This book was full of action and suspense and I relished every minute of it. If you are looking for a fun, creepy, thrilling book, look no further! I look forward to reading anything from this author in the future in the same genre. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good horror or thriller or just a good book in general! Don't hesitate - grab this one up - you won't regret it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dan Warner

    Always intensifying action in a brutal environment with realistic villains and a horde of nasty creatures that would destroy any of Michael Crichton’s creations – yeah, this is a fantastic debut thriller by Benjamin Cross that I couldn’t put down. A team of scientists performing a variety of ecological impact studies on a remote island in the Arctic learn the hard way that they are no longer at the top of the food chain. Not even close. With every chapter we learn something more deadly about what Always intensifying action in a brutal environment with realistic villains and a horde of nasty creatures that would destroy any of Michael Crichton’s creations – yeah, this is a fantastic debut thriller by Benjamin Cross that I couldn’t put down. A team of scientists performing a variety of ecological impact studies on a remote island in the Arctic learn the hard way that they are no longer at the top of the food chain. Not even close. With every chapter we learn something more deadly about what these monsters are capable of. But the creatures are not the only obstacles for our heroes. Freezing weather, a 24-hour sun, a debilitating mist that I can’t describe anywhere near as well as the author, and a beautiful but treacherous landscape form the backdrop. Worse than the environment are the actions of a former KGB agent and an eco-terrorist; actions that strand the team on the island, with only an undermanned but valiant military escort to defend them. And then there's the plot twists. This isn’t a simple thriller novel where the protagonists are on the run for their lives. It’s got that, but unexpected turns in this novel caught me by surprise. And yet the puzzle pieces fit together nicely. By the way, Benjamin Cross, I’m crossing the Arctic off my bucket list of travel destinations :)

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