Stinger by Robert R. McCammon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The town of Inferno has been slowly dying since the copper mine went bust. The school is closing for good in two days. Most people are leaving town and the two gangs, The Rattlesnakes and the Renegades, are like vultures on Inferno's corpse. Everything gets turned upside down the day an alien ship crashes and the alien takes over the body of a little girl. It's a picnic, however, compared to the second alien that shows up...
Stinger is the story of a dying town turned upside down by two aliens. Just as he did in Swan Song, McCammon creates an ensemble cast that grips the imagination. Cody Lockett and Rick Jurado, leaders of the Renegades and the Rattlesnakes, were both three dimensional characters and neither were scene-chewing villains. The rest of the cast was also well done, the Hammond family in particular. Even Vance, the douche bag sheriff, and Curt Lockett, Cody's alcoholic father, ended up not being all bad.
The aliens were pretty interesting. Daufin was an artificial intelligence contained in a black sphere and Stinger, well, Stinger was complicated, parts man, scorpion, and other components.
The story was fast-paced, especially after Stinger showed up, and reminded me of the movies The Predator and Tremors at times. No one knows when Stinger will strike but he always comes from below ground. One thing I found funny was that Stinger's ship surrounded the town with an impenetrable dome seven miles in diameter, cutting off the power and supplies. McCammon gets a lot of flack for being a Stephen King wannabee but he beat old Steve to the punch by over twenty years with the dome concept.
The ending was believable and done well. Not everyone survived and you got the idea that Inferno would never be the same.
Stinger was a page-turner and shouldn't be missed by horror fans. It's gory and really intense at times.
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