Review: Cold Storage by David Koepp

Rating: ★★★☆☆-


For readers of Andy Weir and Noah Hawley comes an astonishing debut by the screenwriter of Jurassic Park: a wild and terrifying adventure about three strangers who must work together to contain a highly contagious, deadly organism

When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.

Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.

He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards—one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness, and a mordant sense of humor. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?


Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Cold Storage in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

Cold Storage has a fantastic premise and started off with a captivating introduction, but unfortunately, it ended up being a B movie of a novel with shallow, uninteresting characters and no staying power. I can see why this would be for fans of Noah Hawley as this feels like a long episode of Fargo in Australia, but without the consistent humor and amazing lead roles.

I want to backtrack just a little bit and state that I do realize Koepp did not write this book to be taken seriously. For heaven’s sake, we are given several sequences throughout the novel from the organism’s perspective and it converses like a backwoods redneck. The major players in the novel, Roberto aside, were written for more of a millennial audience, IMO, and felt like they belonged in a new take on Sharknado. Suffice it to say, do not go into this novel expecting The Andromeda Strain. Think of it more like James Gunn’s Slither.

While the above holds true, I do commend Koepp on being a very polished writer as this does not feel like a debut novel. The science-y bits and quick wit were what kept me coming back for more. The pacing also held steady throughout the novel so there were really any places where I began to slog. I also keep thinking back on the introduction because it gave me a sense that I was going to absolutely love this book. It was completely enthralling material, especially the ability to instantly connect with the original team sent to investigate the biochemical attack. It felt like the opening scene of a blockbuster film (which would make sense coming from an author who is an accomplished screenwriter).

Overall, if you want to take a chance on Cold Storage, just don’t go in expecting the next great sci-fi thriller. It is a quick and entertaining read with plenty of laughs thrown in, but the Weir/Hawley blurb over-hypes it a bit.

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