Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dead Sea by Tim Curran

If you love monsters, don't even bother reading the rest of this review, just pick up this book. If you love survival at sea stories, don't read further, just pick up this book.

Yes, I, too, like monsters and stories of survival at sea, but I don't like these tropes quite enough to overlook some of this book's shortcomings. I felt this had some pacing problems; the middle was particularly saggy, and the ending felt quite rushed. Key plot elements weren't introduced early enough not seem tacked on at the last minute. The overall effect was like watching one of Zack Snyder's trademark action sequences in the movie 300 when we see the Spartan soldier leap in glorious slow motion toward the enemy and then suddenly snap back into real time to deliver the fatal blow. Except here we'd be watching the Spartan hovering in the air over his enemy for a few minutes of screen time rather than a few drawn out seconds.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike this book. There was a lot I really liked about it. It had a lot of great monsters, harrowing scenes, cool set pieces, and solid characters. (Saks was my favorite.) I just felt it was a bit bogged down with repetitious descriptions of fog and mist. I think some scenes and some characters could have been cut to give the work more focus.

If this book were 70 pages shorter, I'd say that instead of liking it quite a bit, I'd be loving it quite a lot.

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