Firstly, thank you to HQ Stories for sending this to me. I really appreciate it 😊
Cold Storage by David Koepp is his debut novel. Prior to this he was the screenwriter for movies such as Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible and Spiderman. As far as debuts go, this was an ok/fun read with elements of action, thriller and horror. What I did enjoy the most was the humour even when things were going south for the characters in the story.
Anyway, the novel kicks off in 1987 in the Australian outback. Two special operatives Roberto Diaz and Trini Romano working for a bioterror agency known as the Defence Nuclear Agency have been sent to a town called Kiwirrkurra. The significance of this location is that the people living there are dying and they don’t know how and why. What they do know is that a space station called “Skylab” dropped out of the sky and some of the leftover debris from it straight up landed in Kiwirrkurra. It’s been sitting there rusting ever since and treated as something special to its residents.
Then, one of the residents decides to clean a piece of rust that at first seemed harmless enough. Unbeknownst to him, however, cleaning the rust causes a fungus on the metal to awaken and kill all the local residents. Although they manage to get a sample of this fungus, the mission doesn’t go as they expected.
Now you’d think the government would do the utmost to keep this fungi out of reach and in the safest place possible, right? Welp, the answer is hell no. The sample of the fungus known as Cordyceps Novus has been stored in a storage basement in Kansas. The hope is that if it can’t be found it won’t hurt anyone.
Well you bet your ass that it’s found by Teacake (yes like the biscuits) and Naomi in 2019. They are both security guards at the storage place where the fungi has been stored beneath one of the storage facilities. During one of their shifts they begin to hear a beeping noise and thus rather than ignore it, they go to investigate. What they don’t know is that this is an alarm telling Roberto that the temperature where the fungi is stored is heating up fast which is bad – like really bad! Roberto knows this, I know this, but Teacake (can’t say it with a straight face) and Naomi don’t and are putting themselves at risk. Will Roberto get there in time? Well you’ll have to read it to find out.
Right, now to my review. As I said at the start, it was a fun but ok read for me to be honest. There is a lot of humour in this book especially from characters such as Roberto who I found funny. I liked Teacake and Naomi but Teacake was kind of annoying at times and I just wanted him to shut up lol. The action was decent but boy was it gory – at times the story did steer towards the horror side of things.
Did I care about the characters? Yes and no. I like to feel an emotional connection with characters, but I didn’t to be honest which was kind of sad in a way. Even though there was plenty of backstory, albeit a bit too much, I didn’t really feel any connection to the characters except Roberto. I found him interesting and he had a lot of depth. I enjoyed his sense of humour and he was the main reason I finished the book.
In terms of the writing, considering David Koepp has screen-written great movies like Spiderman and Jurassic Park, the writing as can be expected was good and played out like a movie. There are many intense and “oh god, run you fools!” moments that kept things entertaining. What I do praise David Koepp for is the detail in the novel. You can tell a lot of research must’ve been done on how the fungus works, what it needs to function, what happens when you contract it etc. So yeah the attention to detail was great.
I just think overall it wasn’t for me and that’s ok because some books are not meant for you and are meant for others. I think if you enjoy elements of horror mixed with action you’ll enjoy this.