Reviews

Cold Storage, by David Koepp

nogglization's review against another edition

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5.0

Recommended by Blake Crouch and Stephen King, this was the perfect encapsulation of an organic biohazard emergency.

A fungus accidentally sent into space on Skylab, mutates and becomes 100% lethal with a newfound taste for humans.

If that's not enough to pique your interest, the author is also a successful screenwriter behind a couple movies you may have heard of, including Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, Spider Man and War of the Worlds to name a few.

Highly recommend and really hope this gets made into a movie.

wordsaremything's review against another edition

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4.0

If [armillaria solidipes] could move significantly faster, 90 percent of all botanic growth on Earth would die, the atmosphere would turn to poison gas, and human and animal life would end. But it is a slow-moving fungus. Other fungi are faster. Much faster.

Do not read this book if you are squeamish / deterred by the thought of a human swelling up from a fungus to the point of explosion. (Yes, explosion. Koepp does not mess around with the high stakes.)

If you have a strong stomach, welcome to the fight against fungus. Koepp knows how to write a story that keeps you turning the page. This isn't his first rodeo when it comes to compelling writing, having been the screenwriter of a few decently-well-known stories: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, Spider-Man. You know, just a couple B-list movies. The book is written fast-paced, and it almost reads like a movie script, but it's definitely fleshed out enough to be compelling as a novel, not a script.

I have an utter fascination with disease and how humans are perfectly engineered to spread something infectious (Koepp makes this observation in the back half of the novel, from the viewpoint of the fungus, which I LOVED hearing from), and Koepp sets the threat level at high within the first few chapters and doesn't let up.
His characters are humorous and real, bumbling about as humans do, but still running into the fire (fungus) when it's time to show up.
The only reason this book is a 4 and not a 5 is because there were a few parts where I could tell it had male author fingerprints on it, and I try to reserve my 5-stars for books that are so elegantly and perfectly written that you can't guess anything about the author from the story. (I know that's specific.)
The best thing about this book is the pacing and the reveals — they are all excellently done and make you giddy with excitement every turn of the page.

Things I liked + that make me want this book as a movie:
- "She was getting warmed up now—her eyes shone with the intellectual exercise of it all..."
- "He'd heard having a kid could do that to you, make you tentative, aware that you served some purpose larger than yourself. To hell with the rest of the world, I make my own people now, and I have to protect them."
- the description of winter as "dark side of the moon"
- "Don't tug on that thread, the whole sweater'll come apart and you won't do what needs to be done."


erin_boyington's review against another edition

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3.0

If the phrase "fruiting bodies" makes your toes curl, well, you have bigger problems and I can't help you.

A super-voracious space fungus threatens the whole world, but almost everyone in the world is unaware of this. Unfortunately, the people aware of it are mostly screwed.

There's not a lot of true scares, but a few laughs in this story about the possible end of the world. It's a great vacation read, but gross, so don't try to eat at the same time.

Received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

mikimac's review against another edition

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3.0

Cold Storage was a fast, fun read.

A semi-intelligent fungus comes back to earth in some space debris and the military finds a quiet corner storage facility to warehouse it. Times change, circumstances change and the high alert safety precautions become a thing of the past as the unit is sealed up and, for the most part, forgotten about. Insert global warming and human error and you have all the elements you need to a light, at times humorous, sci-fi/horror novel.

This is a fast paced, quick read.

debbshock's review against another edition

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4.0

This was great, and great fun to read. It's a horrifically quick-replicating fungus, and it's out to get OUT and it's got really likable Good Guys, great, funny dialogue, enough sciency-type descriptions of replicating fungus for my brain to feel smart, and some really hilarious asides. It's got that Michael Crichton-y vibe (because this guy wrote the screenplays for Jurassic Park) but also really human characters and good suspense and pacing. I dare you not to like this. A lot.

bmgoodyear's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

kaz_loves_books's review against another edition

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5.0

I fell in love with this book from the outset, it’s bit horror-ish, bit fantasy with some humor thrown in and just appealed to me. We start off going to a desert in Australia with agents that have not seen anything like this before and they decide to bury it in cold storage beneath a little used military repository. Some 15 odd years later something goes wrong, very wrong!

Lt Colonel Trini Romano and Major Roberto Diaz get sent on a mission with Dr. Hero Martins, a Microbiologist from University of Chicago. She specialises in epidemiological surveillance. They were going to a remote township called Kiwirrkurra in the middle of the Gibson Desert. In 1979, part of the skylab fell outside Esperance. Three days ago, a call came from NASA Space Biosciences Research Branch. A message had come through about six different agencies, that someone was calling from West Australia to say ‘something was coming out of the tank’. ‘There was an extra oxygen tank. This fell on Kiwirrkurra. The caller identified themselves as Enos Namatjira. His uncle had found it five or six years ago and moved it in front of his house, he kept it as a souvenir. But now there was something wrong with it, and he was getting sick. Quickly.’ ‘Since then people have started dying.’

Sixteen years later in 2003, the DTRA decided the mine complex was a Cold War complex that was no longer needed so it was cleared out, cleaned up, given a coat of paint and sold to Smart Warehousing for private use. The self storage company put up some drywall, got 650 locking overhead garage doors and opened it to the public. Teacake managed to get a job working at the storage facility and got nights, Thursday through Sunday. He always tried to get there a bit early at the start of a shift. When he first started a shift, he checked the twelve monitors, to see if anyone was in and what state the place was in. Then a quick glance at the other entrance to see if she had turned up for work, she had, then to work out a way to bump into her. She, Naomi, was on the move with a full bin under her arm. She was heading to the dumpsters. Thanks to Griffin, Teacake had a full bin so he had an excuse to bump into her, so off he went. Naomi had just emptied her bin when Teacake burst into the loading bay, making her jump. They introduced themselves as they hadn’t met before and chatted before Naomi turned to leave before she mentioned that there was a ‘beep’ coming from Teacakes side of the facility. Teacake then realised what the intermittent noise had been that he couldn’t put his finger on. The beep was very faint but there. They got back to Teacakes’ reception desk and listened, the beep was coming from the wall behind the desk. Teacake threw his desk chair at the wall, it went through really easy and made an even bigger hole when he pulled the chair back out. In the hole there was a red flashing light, at eye level, three feet to his left. BEEP. On the concealed interior wall, there were dials and gauges, long out of use and cut off from power which were set in an industrial looking corrugated metal framework unit which was painted in a sickly institutional green used back in the ‘70s. They needed a flashlight to read the writing on the unit. Teacake got himself into the hole and read ‘NTC Thermistor Breach, Sub-basement Level Four.’ ‘What the hell is sub basement level four? I thought there was only one.’ They find a schematic which shows SB-2, SB-3 and SB-4, which is where the light is flashing. Also, it shows what appears to be a tube ladder allowing access to the lower levels. They just have to find the entrance to it.

This is a great story, well written and thought out. I enjoy this type of book as I like horror and fantasy and I certainly don’t read enough of them. I rated this 5 out of 5.

jimbowen0306's review against another edition

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3.0

If asked for a one sentence summary of this book, I'd say it was a daft mixture of The Stand (by Stephen King) and Resident Evil (you know the Milla Jovovich zombie apocalypse series).

In this book, there are a couple of fixers headed by Roberto Diaz, who do CIA/Department of Defence "wet work", dealing with biohazard and nuclear terrorists. On a mission in the 1990s, they pick up a spore that is growing like billy-o on Australian tribal lands. They save the day, only to have to save the day in present times, the spore has escaped, and Diaz has to step in to save the day again, along with 2 minimum wage storage facility employees (because that happens).

It's a daft read, but good fun if you switch your brain off for a while.

tcost15112's review

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dark informative mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.25

temperie's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0