Monday, 17 December 2012

The Harvest - Scott Nicholson



Title: The Harvest
Author: Scott Nicholson
Genre: Science Fiction / Horror
Published: 2003
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

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“The Harvest” by Scott Nicholson is a rather enjoyable science-fiction/horror novel that will remind readers of various classic B-movie plot lines and concepts. The story itself is about an alien entity that lands in the Appalachian mountings in the United States and starts to “infect” every life form it encounters including the inhabitants of a small mountain town. These infected people become zombie like and try to find more victims to help progress the alien’s ultimate aim which is to absorb the life force from every living creature on Earth.

The novel is a fun ride as long as you are willing to accept cliché plot points and aren't looking for anything that original. However, whilst not being that original, Nicholson really does capture the feeling of classic movies like “The Blob” & “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and I actually quite enjoyed the corny bits that appeared throughout the novel. In addition the pace seemed just right with Nicholson using the early, slower parts of the novel to introduce the various characters to the reader before picking up the tension and danger as the story progressed to its conclusion.

There are problems however as at times it seemed like Nicholson was trying to do a character driven piece rather than the B-movie styled novel he was actually producing. For example, large sections of the book seem dedicated to various characters’ religious beliefs which really was a turn off for me as it just slowed the pace down for no real reason.

In regards to the characters themselves, Nicholson has tried hard to make all of them seem credible with different layers being present in all of them although I have to admit that a lot of did strike me as being in the stereotypical hillbilly/redneck mould. The real problem however is that he has introduced so many characters that I found myself struggling to engage with any of them. I just wish that he had maybe only included half the characters and developed them much more which may have meant that I actually felt something when one of them got infected.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel for what it was; a fun read that brings the same feeling of enjoyment I get from sitting down and watching an old 1950’s science fiction horror movie. It isn’t anything original, but it is well written and I think it will appeal to fans of the science fiction horror genre that are looking for something that won’t tax the brain but should entertain none the less.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Speculative Fiction Challenge