chupacabraChupacabra: Predator Ground Zero
R. D. Merlos
November 22, 2014
Reviewed by Tim Potter

A novel rooted in ancient Mayan and Aztec lore, Chupacabra: Predator Ground Zero is different from your usual cryptid tale. R. D. Merlos has a very unique take on the legendary Chupacabra, from its appearance as a shape-shifting beast with humanoid and reptilian gila monster features, to its origin as an alien life form. The story jumps in time from 1600 years ago to the present following the predatory monster as it influences life in the Americas with its terrifying presence.

The first third of the book, the story’s first act, starts 1600 years ago in the magnificent city of the Mayan empire, Teotihuacan. The story introduces the beast that will come to be known as the Chupacabra as gods, four individual creatures, worshiped by the ancient people of this technologically and scientifically advanced city. A rebellion against the blood sacrifices that the creatures demand starts in motion events that will reverberate through the book. As the story progresses to the time of Spanish expansion into the Americas, beginning with Columbus, and eventually to North America, Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, the beasts numbers are cut to one. The one that will become the Chupacabra.

The story settles down into a clear, focused narrative as the second act begins. A group of disparate individuals come together to trek into the Yucatan to learn the secrets of the Mayan empire that were thought lost to time. An ancient codex, written at the time of the fall of the great city Teotihuacan serves to help guide the group. Once the adventurers come to accept the fact that the Chupacabra is real, they must find a way to escape with their lives and hopefully end the centuries of terror the beast has caused.

If the reader can get past the unfocused first act and stilted, unrealistic dialogue, they will be treated to a story of exploration and adventure, uncovering the secrets of the past and survival in the face of a monster whose power is hard to comprehend.

About Tim Potter

Tim Potter is a teacher and lover of all things books.

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