Located in the middle of the New Mexico desert, the Reclamation School for Boys looked less like a juvenile delinquent prep school and more like an abandoned factory where atomic bombs had once been constructed.
As it turned out, the Reclamation School was formerly a chemical weapons facility and an experimental genetic laboratory. That was bad news for the teachers and students of the school, but good news for readers looking for high voltage mutant insect action.
Giant ants designed for warfare? A school filled with delinquents and hoodlums? In my opinion there couldn’t be a better setup (insert chef’s kiss emoji here).
Infestation begins quickly when a visiting entomologist spots something odd crawling down the school’s hallway. “What’s wrong with that ant?” cried Dr. Gerry Medford. “There are like six, seven, eight, nine legs on it!”
Later, after a grisly autopsy on a dead ant the size of a tiger (using only a crowbar and a letter opener!), Dr. Medford clearly saw what was wrong. There was absolutely nothing like it on earth. The giant creature was some kind of man-made mutant. It was built, or more precisely, it was engineered for questionable motives. “Somebody designed this monster,” said Dr. Medford in horror. “They started with basic DNA, and then they manipulated the heck out of it.”
By the end of the day, Medford and his motley crew of preteen degenerates were the only things standing in the way of a possible insect world war with humanity. This gang of six included Andy (the bland protagonist), Hector, Joey, “Pyro” and two guys without first names.
A key member of the pint-sized suicide squad was Pyro Porter. When fighting an army of giant ants, you always want a guy on your team who’s a compulsive arsonist. It’s all about perspective, right? A villain is sometimes a hero depending on your point of view.
Despite their best efforts, Medford and the kids weren’t able to totally defeat the looming ant invasion. They couldn’t overcome the flurry of non-stop razor-sharp chitinous claws. It’s too bad the author never wrote a sequel to this 2013 novel. Some day I would like to read a book called Infestation 2: Beneath the Planet of the Ants.
[Infestation / By Timothy J. Bradley / First Printing: April 2013 / ISBN: 9780545459044]