The Colony by AJ Colucci

New York City seems to have a big problem. A genetically modified ant colony has been unleashed and people are being devoured by the nearly indestructible insects. At first it’s just a few isolated deaths, but the ants are spreading, and if something isn’t done, New York City will cease to exist. This is where Paul O’Keefe and Kendra Hart come in. Paul is a famous scientist and somewhat of a rockstar in his field, and his specialty is ants. He’s particularly interested in how ants can help us improve society. Kendra is Paul’s ex-wife, and she specializes in ants too, but the source of their divorce is the very different directions that they each took their careers. Paul began focusing on money more than research, where Kendra prefers to be out in the field, researching the ants at their levels, getting her hands dirty. When the problem gets too big to handle, Kendra and Paul are thrown together to help save the city. It doesn’t help that Kendra is still attracted to her ex, and it seems Paul holds plenty of regret about the divorce as well.

As the colony spreads and more people die, the city becomes a wasteland of death and crime and people are fleeing the city in droves. As Kendra and Paul settle into the underground bunker designed to protect VIPs in the most extreme circumstances, it’s immediately obvious that there is tension between the military in charge of the operation and the mayor who’s out to save his city. Kendra thinks she may have a solution, but it will involve finding a queen, and she and Paul are the only ones qualified to go on the dangerous mission. When they venture outside, through a devastated city with danger around every corner, you won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough. The author has a knack for setting up terrifying and tense scenes and plays wonderfully on our natural fear of bugs. Who doesn’t shiver when they think of ants crawling all over their body? I actually enjoyed learning about ants and how they work, and it’s obvious the author did her research. The science is fascinating, and the ants are too! AJ Colucci has crafted a pretty terrific thriller, and I’ll look forward to her next book!

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