As a person who reads more than 100 books a year, it's easy for me to quickly spot patterns and formulas after reading just the first chapter or two of a novel. So it swiftly became apparent that PROGENY would deliver its plot in tried and true, but familiar formulaic fashion -- and it does so to the end.
There's nothing wrong with writing a formula or genre novel as long as the rendering is skillfully handled by the author, and PATRICK C. GREENE manages that here.
On the other hand, such a book will necessarily embody a certain blandness. Think of it like going to a fast food restaurant: It's familiar, you go there because you like it; you know what to expect; the food will be good enough; you'll get full and happy with the price -- but you won't fool yourself into believing that you just feasted at a fine bistro.
Progeny is like good fast food. It reads much like a made-for-TV movie screenplay for the Science Fiction Channel. All the standard props are here: (a) some unsavory, despicable bad guys, (b) some sweet and nice good guys, and, (c) a monster in the wilderness. I don't have to tell you what is going to happen, do I? Okay, I will anyway, and don't worry, there's no need for a spoiler alert warning because you already know the formula. You've seen it a thousand times. It goes this way:
|Patrick C. Greene|
The good guys will emerge from their harrowing encounter with the monster enlightened, amazed, humbled and giddy to be alive. The bad guys? Most of them will be dead. Their manner of dispatch will be painful, bloody and shocking.
So in Progeny the "monster" is Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, if you prefer. But you could switch in just about any creepy beastie -- the Creature of the Black Lagoon, a giant ant, a mutant man-mosquito hybrid, chupacabra, a space-alien fiend - and everything would play out more or less the same.
Sometimes you're in the mood for a popcorn movie, or a decent but basic page-turner you can read on the beach. Well, when you're in that kind of mood, and you like scary monster stuff (like me) - this book is your choice.
Ken Korczak is the author of: MINNESOTA PARANORMALA