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In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pliot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the dangerous corporation who engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear powered Zeppelin. But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by that passenger's own dying doppelganger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world - this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins!
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review by Travis Starnes
With Zeppelins, a gun touting monkey, some cross dimensional hygienic, Neanderthal assassins, and a cult made of hive-mind connected creeps, Hive Monkey really throws a lot of stuff at a reader. This alternate earth sci-fi story set in almost present day on a world that took a different path then our own.
I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started this book. I had never heard of the series and the only reason I picked it was l loved the cover. Turns out it is the second in a series about Ack-Ack Macaque, an up-evolved monkey that curses, smokes, and flies a Spitfire to relax. While I enjoyed this book I did find it a little bit difficult to get into. I think I might have been about to get into it more, and even enjoyed it more, had I read the first title in the series. Powell does a good job reintroducing the book to new readers, but it takes a little bit for that introduction to get going. Aside from dealing with “catching up” with characters the book assumes you already know the reader is also through an unknown situation that kicks off the new plot. Trying to work out one unknown story line is fine as most books start this way, but when you are trying to figure out who all the main characters are at the same time things get a little dicer. I am sure someone familiar with the series would not have the same troubles I did.
Once you actually get into the story however it is pretty engrossing. The whole idea of multiple dimensions and stories involving characters crossing from one of those dimensions is a story line that, while I have seen it before, I never get tired of. Powell does it particularly well in this book and once the main plot started unfolding I was totally hooked. There are some nice twists, some which you can see coming and some which surprised me, that keep things interesting. The one thing that bugs me, if I was to read the series from the beginning and follow into future titles, is that Powell has no problems slashing through built up characters. If I had invested in some of them I would be pretty annoyed at the ease at which they can go away.
Aside from a rocky start, the rest of the book was a completely enjoyable. An interesting sci-fi premise wrapped around a workable mystery makes for a pretty good read.