Like the Alien novels before it, the Predator novel line is a series of adaptations of the Dark Horse comics. However, Steve Perry just wishes he could have written a strong debut novel like Concrete Jungle. Based on the first Predator comic, Concrete Jungle is the original Predator 2. Set in New York during the hottest heat wave ever known to man, a massacre of drug lords draws the attention of Detectives Schaffer and Rasche. As luck would have it, Detective Schaffer is the brother of Dutch Schaffer from the first movie who has unfortunately been missing for some time.
Another massacre at a police shooting range puts the pressure onto the pair of detectives. Eventually they find the real killer: A nine foot tall alien creature. His encounter with the alien hunter leads Schaffer to remember tales his brother told him of a rescue mission gone wrong. Having been tagged by the Predator, Schaffer is determined to find out what’s going on. He soon finds himself hunting through South America looking for clues as to who these killers are. Eventually it’s discovered that cloaked Predator ships are flying above New York, the Army is aware of it and plans to give Schaffer to the Predators since it looks like he’s the one they’re after.
The characters of Schaffer and Rasche are very likable and Nathan Archer really helped separate the duo. Schaffer was the cold man who did what needed to be done while Rasche was in it for his family. The novel mostly revolves around the two detectives and their attempts to stop the Predator’s invasion of New York.
Concrete Jungle is a fantastic novel that follows on nicely from the first film. Going from the jungles to the city seemed like the obvious way to take the franchise, something that the Thomas brother also seemed to agree with. Through means of exposition and General Phillips, all the questions that could be asked about this change in setting are answered. The Predators are giving city hunting a shot, seeing if it’s a nice challenging place. And while the Army would rather just lie down and take it, Schaffer and Rasche wouldn’t.
There’s not really a lot to complain about in the novel. The only thing that really stuck out to me was the writing: It’s somewhat dated. I suppose it could almost be called bland. The writing is unimaginative at some points and reads like an average fanfiction. But oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to detract from the actual enjoyment of the novel – It just made me look forward to reading newer DH Press novels.
Overall I found it to be a very enjoyable novel. It’s not a masterpiece by any standards but it was able to pull me in and make me enjoy what I was reading. It tied up the events of the novel well enough and also left things open for a sequel, which I’ll be reviewing soon. I’m just sorry I couldn’t say more about this novel. From Corporal Hicks, here at AvPGalaxy, I award Nathan Archer’s Concrete Jungle 4 stars.