Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”
“Instinct,” as mentioned in other reviews, is the second Chess Team Adventure, or Jack Sigler, novel. All-in-all, I have been fairly impressed with the Chess Team Adventures. They are always quick-paced and action oriented. More often than not I finish the book without even realizing how much time has passed. The prose is fluid, and the characters are wonderful and distinct.
“Instinct” follows the Chess Team and a CDC scientist as they transverse the treacherous jungles of Vietnam in search for a cure that essentially stops the heart of its victims causing instantaneous death. Somewhere along the line the virus becomes weaponized and is implemented against the President of the United States. The virus is traced back to a remote section of Vietnam, hence the Chess Team’s incursion to discover a cure at the virus’ origin.
The story is great and packs a punch as the Chess Team battles the Vietnamese Death Volunteers and a race of beings that are essentially modern day Neanderthals. The Death Volunteers pose the initial threat, however, towards the end of the novel it is the Neanderthals that take the focus and keep the plot moving.
I really enjoy Jeremy Robinson’s prose, and I have read quite a few of his novels. Personally, I enjoyed the first Chess Team Adventure (“Pulse”) more so than this one. There seemed to be too much going at times and some of the more interesting aspects of the novel (e.g. the history of the Neanderthals, Mount Meru, etc.) seemed to be too quickly wrapped up and brushed aside, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the Neanderthals and their ties to humanity, but to play my own Devil’s Advocate “Instinct” is not dubbed a Historical Thriller so it makes sense not to focus solely on the history aspect of the novel.
Overall, if you like faced paced, action novels that focus on one of the world’s most elite military group and their bonds then definitely pick up Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”–you won’t be disappointed.
(Originally published at Goodreads (dot) com)