The Pilot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Once you start reading, you can't put down this Cole thriller.  It's non stop action and suspense hit.  I really enjoyed the plot and look forward to more from Michael Cole.
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Have you ever seen the Schwartzenegger film "Predetor"? If you have then there is no need to read "The Pilot". There is very little to distinguish between the two. Cole attempts to inject humor but does it rarely and fails. I will admit this is a good action novel but reading through constant blood and gore is difficult.
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This was my second read by the author. The creature feature of his I read about a year ago didn’t really warrant it (actually I reviewed it as being too schlocky for my taste), so this was one of those oh why not, maybe he’s improved sort of selections. And to be fair, he did improve. This one wasn’t nearly as schlocky. But alas too military scifi for me. Actually just too military for me, I like scifi. But then again military was sort of expected in this tale of mercenaries on a remote island hunting down an alien aggressor. Does it sound like Predator at all? To me it did, so much. No dreadlocks, but the eponymous Pilot seems very much like that sort of a killing machine on a mission. And Predator movies are fun and funny and this one just took itself too seriously. The book did feature some interesting takeover concepts, especially when it came to terraforming, and had some decent science fiction elements, albeit few and far in between and dramatically overwhelmed by all the action. But knowing what to expect going in, it’s very possible to have some fun with this book. It certainly at the very least entertained without assaulting one’s intelligence, which is a lot more than can be said for Cole’s last book. So there’s that. The version provided by the publisher through Netgalley was very readable (minus some clumped together words and minor things like that), but entirely in italics. Very odd and makes for a very odd reading experience, so reader beware. But the book was decent. Not quite for me, this one was just too much like an action flick, not something that merits actual reading time, but then again seems like something that should be able to find audience. Thanks Netgalley.
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Ex Navy Seal Victor Seymour and his team are hired by the government to rescue hostages and take care of some wet work on an island in the South Pacific. What Seymour's team doesn't know is that there is a hostile alien life form there, but that's half the fun. This book checks off all the boxes for a creature thriller- chest thumping mercenaries, crooked CIA and government types, a deserted island with a spooky past, a "Predator" type alien beast run amok, scientists and government spooks meddling in things that could doom us all, etc. . . If it's a bit "by-the-numbers", it's also a fun ride, and the strength of the novel are the well-written action scenes and the suspense and sense of dread that builds as the mercenaries explore and uncover the secret of the island and why they must prevail.
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Thank you Michael Cole for your new novel The Pilot, as I now have a permanent picture of the being in this book implanted in my memory. And I say that with positive sincerity. As a huge sci-fi fan I found the premise familiar (alien invasion vs. humanity), yet very well done. As I was reading the book I was reminded of several classic movies actually, like Predator, Alien, and The Thing. It has everything a reader (or movie audience for that matter) could want: Tough military hero (check), creepy horrific alien (check), terrifying action building to a blast-filled crescendo (check), sleazy government agents/scientists (check). 

If you are looking for a great classic sci-fi book with shooting,  scary aliens, and macho killing of said aliens, this is your next read. I encourage you to read it soon so you can be the first to say "I read it before it was a movie!" If you are a film producer, please option this book right away because it could easily be your next blockbuster (reference the aforementioned permanently etched image of the alien on my brain).

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, thank you.
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With a fiery cover and a gripping description, "The Pilot" is something I couldn't pass up. I didn't even realize that it's written by an author that I've previously read, Michael Cole, who's book "Thresher" I read last year. After I found that out, however, I was even more interested, because I enjoyed that book.  I would say that I liked this book just as much as the other one. 

Beginning with a group of army buddies in the third person viewpoint, living it up in a house, drinking and listening to music, Victor Seymour, their leader, is approached by the C.I.A with a really intriguing mission. They say that they're willing to give them seven million dollars to approach a supposed Chinese research team, take them down, and steal the top secret tech they possess, as they're only posing as a research team, they're really common terrorists. After accepting and beginning their new mission, Seymour often wonders if they're going to be killed.

A series of strange events begin happening, including a captive who kills himself, a strange ship and a lot of classified information that they should really be told about, and that's when things start to get really weird. As they begin hunting for the supposed terrorists, they slowly begin to realize that not only are they hunting, but they're being hunted as well, but by something not even close to being human.

If any of this pulls you in and makes you interested, than I really recommend that you check this book out. The writing is a little cartoony, for instance, the characters reminded me of some that you would meet in a video game, as they're hilarious despite the horrible things they're doing and that are happening to them, and they make a competition out of killing people. That is, until they discover dead bodies in the area with really strange tumors. I liked reading this book and I didn't have any hitches reading it.

Thanks for reading!
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