Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review: They Rise

They Rise They Rise by Hunter Shea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When a chimaera fish of usual size is caught, ichthyologist Brad "Whit" Whitley comes all the way from Australia to Miami to examine it. Having made the chimaera fish, aka ghost shark, his life's work, Whit thought he knew it all but discovered he had a lot more to learn when even larger ghost sharks start popping up and devouring everyone in sight. The only person Whit can turn to for help is even more fearsome, his ex-wife...

As I've said many times before, I'm a sucker for Hunter Shea's creature feature gore-fests. When this one dropped to ninety nine cents, my cheapness alarm when off and I snapped it up like a ghost shark on an unsuspecting swimmer.

They Rise is part cautionary tale, part bloodbath. Climate change has lead to more methane vents opening up on the ocean floor, causing ghost sharks to congregate and the oceans to run red with blood. Whit, the smart-mouthed scientist with a drinking problem, is forced to reject everything he knows about ghost sharks in an effort to stop their feeding frenzy. His ex-wife ends up in the same boat, pun intended, when her expedition studying the methane vents goes horribly wrong.

It's a fun story, full of ghost shark carnage. Shea's writing is as crisp as ever and Whit is hilarious, sometimes annoyingly so. However, the story wasn't up to Shea's usual efforts. It was pretty much a variant on Jaws, as could be expected with sharks. How about staying away from the water, people? The ending felt a little detached. When the coast guard and navy get involved, it gets a little impersonal.

Despite my gripes, it was still a fun read, just not an essential one. Three out of five stars.


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