Mark Gillespie, $3.99
Black Fever is a genuine sequel (same characters, et cetera) to Black Storm… and I don’t know why. The previous story ends on a perfect edge-of-seat note, just like how every horror story should aim to do, so to have an unnecessary sequel to take off from that ending just kills all my goodwill for the previous story. Sometimes we need to quit while we are ahead, because that’s the right thing to do, you know?
Anyway, folks wishing to read the previous story but haven’t done so should not even look at the plot synopsis of this story, much less read reviews about it. If you’re such a person, it’s still not too late to turn away. And for everyone else, please check out my review of the previous story for some catching up.
So, in this one, the protagonist Cody MacLeod survives the plane crash at the end of the previous story. So does his daughter Rachel. See what I mean about completely ruining the ending of that previous story? Actually, it seems like nobody is killed in the crash… because the crash never happened. They are back at the airport, still in an intact plane. Did these people all had some kind of Final Destination-style premonition at the same time (snort) or is the Black Widow playing some game with them?
This one sheds light on a new faction in the whole game – the Exterminators – but I have to wonder, after the apocalyptic scenario of the previous story, how on earth did we go from that to this, a tale of mostly people talking and trying to kill one another in a way more akin to that new Far Cry game than some end of the world oh my god scenario. Black Fever feels disappointingly mundane following that cliffhanger ending of that previous story – it’s like having lunch at some five-star restaurant only to go to McDonald’s for dinner. Sure, it’s okay, I like Big Mac, but come on, it’s a huge step down after truffles, no matter how I look at it.
Also, Cody is too much of an observer here. Far too often he is just a hapless bystander as things happen around him, and as a result, I never feel emotionally invested in the story.
At any rate, Black Fever is an okay read if it is a standalone story, or one set in a completely different setting. As a follow-up to a far more tightly paced story, however, this poor baby ends up being the inferior sequel that I have never asked for.