A Murmuration Of Opas by William Meikle

A Murmuration Of Opas by William Meikle
Publisher: Weird House Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Mankind is spreading through the Solar System but, as yet, is still alone in the vastness of space.

That is all about to change.

A small team of intrepid scientists and engineers have made the long trip through the dark to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and set up camp on an icy plain under the looming watch of Jupiter above them.

Initial samples show that the planet is host to primitive, unicellular life.

A submersible makes its first dive under the moon’s icy surface and finds signs that the life forms may not be quite so primitive after all. They uncover an indigenous species that shows signs of being capable of swarming together to achieve goals impossible for a single cell, a colonial organism that they nickname Opa. These Opas swarm in several different configurations in the cold dark ocean beneath.

The teams A.I. is set the task of deciphering the science behind the Opa’s dances, a swirling, and swooping that looks very similar to the movements of great flocks of birds back on Earth. Science is done, samples are taken back to the lab on the surface… and that’s when the trouble begins.
The Opas have been given a chance to roam in a new environment. A human environment.

Mankind is not the only species hungry for exploration. The Opas escape into the expedition’s living quarters.

They are curious, and hungry.

They are voracious for food…

And they will kill every living organism in the space station!

A small team of intrepid scientists and engineers have made the long journey to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. While at first, they believe only primitive, unicellular life is possible, under the ocean’s icy surface the team soon finds signs that some of the cells can swarm together to achieve goals impossible for a single cell. They nickname the organisms Opa. The Opas can swam into many different configurations and soon samples are captured and sent back to the lab for study. Only now the Opas have a new environment within which to swam and explore – and eat.

I have enjoyed many of William Meikle’s horror and paranormal books and this was an excellent addition to the pile I’m growing. While I am usually not a fan of Sci-Fi or inter-space styles of stories, the fact I am such a fan of Meikle led me to give this book a try and I’m really glad I did. Meikle is exceptional at writing “monster eats all the humans” sorts of stories and this was another fast paced and excellent adventure.

Readers who are used to Meikle’s other tales should be warned this one does feature a fair bit more heavily on the Sci-Fi front than his others. While there is absolutely a strong element of “monster eats everyone” to the story this didn’t really kick into high gear until after the first quarter or so of the book. The Europa moon and otherworldly nature of the setting featured heavily in the beginning, as well as introducing our six main characters and letting the reader get a feel for their dynamics and interactions. Speaking personally, I found this different focus was very well written and I did enjoy it, but I have to be honest that I was present – and really largely interested in – the monsters aspect to the story so I was pleased when this part took center stage.

Readers looking for something different – particularly Sci-Fi fans or readers who enjoy the “monster eats everyone” style of story should find this is definitely up their alley and I found this a well-paced book with relatable and interesting characters and a whole bunch of vivid imagination. A story I will re-read in the future.