Tuesday, 7 April 2015

From the Deep by Michael Bray





If you are into deep sea critters, government skulduggery, deep interesting characters; then you will like this book.

There are a many aspects in this story; tension, gore, fantasy, whatifs, horror, I could go on, and just what is that thing lurking in the ocean!?

The story begins with a shift in the Ross ice shelf and something being awoken and set free. 

Switch to a family run crabbing vessel that is dramatically sunk by a "sea monster", killing several on board.  Rainwater and Mackay, the only survivors, get a fleeting glimpse, enough to send the pre-troubled Rainwater on a Moby Dick style hunt for the creature that killed his family.  

MB then throws into the mix scientists and the “government” who are out on the ocean searching for the elusive “blip” and wish to capture this critter for some villainous use. They enlist, well threaten and kidnap really, a marine biologist, queue possible love interest, Clara and her assistant Dexter get involved, but soon wished that they shouldn't have.

The creature that MB describes is one of gargantuan size and is on the hunt for food having laid dormant for a long, unknown, period of time. Size, tentacles, teeth and a serious ability for speed make for a very scary fish.

The government characters Andrews and Russo, are a little cliché in their fit but work well in this monster book. Andrews wants to do right but can’t help being bad! Russo is one step away from gangster, readily willing to sacrifice all who get in his way. In fact if you think of Bond villain you are not far off; most enjoyable in a tongue in cheek way. 

Rainwater and Mackay are your usual sea/life hardened men but I really liked how MB brought them to life with some softer edges.  I just want to be Clara.

Plot holes, yup a few. I did wonder how something so huge could evolve with no previous knowledge, how had it survived all this time and why, if so hungry, did it only half eat things so they could conveniently wash ashore to shock and awe us humans!  And apart from a brief description at the start the behemoth is only vaguely described later in the book – I wanted more tentacles and teeth!

Unsure if totally intended by I viewed this book as an upmarket B-movie style story, yes some cliché, yes big leaps of believability, yes some huge impossible creature from the depth, yes lots of grotesque killing, blood, gore, but wow what a ride! 

I understand that this intended to be a trilogy so really looking forward to where the author takes me on the next thrill ride!