There's no doubt that Mccammon is a great storyteller but after reading Swan Song (I'm reading his books in chronological order) this is certainly a let down. I think it's best to describe Stinger as a 'noble experiment' because it does deal with a subject that is certainly 'beyond' what he usually deals with. In simple terms, there's something just not quite right with this book, even though it is fun to read and the characters are certainly interesting. Infact, the main character is really the town (Inferno) itself. Let's face it, you KNOW that by the end of the book the alien bad guy will be, surprise surprise, defeated. And I think Mccammon knows this-he even admits to the formulaic nature of the genre, and therefore trys to put a slightly different spin on the 'alien invasion' story by playing up certain elements. This leads to my 'noble experiment' description. It's no secret that by this time in his career Mccammon was trying to move on to bigger and better things (e.g. Boys Life) and I think this was his springboard. Nevertheless, a good book and worth picking up.