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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2008
This book reminded me of the way Crichton used to write: instead of genetically engineered dinosaurs it's about the evolution of a never-been-seen-before predatory species that, get this, is evolving to fly. Brilliant, tremendous research, impossible to put down. I read this cover to cover in literally a day and a half. This is much more than your typical dumb fiction. Like Jurassic, the science here is precise (and real) yet still riveting. Very entertaining stuff.
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on 3 November 2012
This novel is essentially a monster movie in book form. The cover blurb draws comparisons with `Jaws' and `Jurassic Park', whilst describing it as a `Michael Crichton style thriller'.

None of those comparisons can be denied, but unfortunately, this book fails to thrill.

The characters are well written and the story develops with credibility, considering the subject matter - giant flying man-eating manta rays. For such an entertaining far fetched concept, it is therefore disappointing, that the novels real focus is the scientific search for the creatures. I had hoped that there would be more attention to the hysteria and destruction that the emergence of such a creature would cause. Adding to the tedium, there is little of any sub-plot to draw attention from the repetitive scientific research passages. Ultimately, the novel reads like a really low budget horror film that promises a lot, but delivers little.
The following dialogue from the book, quoted verbatim, sums it up:

Page 285
"It's not out there" Darryl said the next morning.
"It's still not out there" he said again in the afternoon.
"It's just not out there" he said yet again the next day.
Page 287
"It's still not out there" Darryl announced for what felt like the hundredth time.

I did read the book completely, and it did pick up pace towards the end, but regrettably it was too little too late.
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on 6 August 2009
So OK, this is about giant manta rays that learn to fly and start eating people. There is a lot of pseudo science to back up how this happens, but just dwell on that phrase for a bit. A fish the size of a glider learning how to hover and swoop on prey. A flying fish the size of a glider sneaking up on people?????

It reads OK, not a bad page turner. The characters are a bit 2-D but not bad. The plot develops at a reasonable pace. And there are some decent set pieces. So it's not a bad story as such. But at some point I would imagine that most readers will have a reality check moment and realise just how silly this is. It goes too far and you lose faith in the story. Be hey, not bad for what it is.
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on 4 September 2010
There are at least two fantasy plots in this book. One of them is a flying, monster that may or may not be a fish. The other is the kudos attached to being at the vanguard of a new species discovery. The first story is somewhat lamentable. Here is a blind ray like fish monster, so why does it have eyes, and why does it seem to be able to see towards the end? Many of the sentences are very badly edited from "shined a light" to other garbled facts that are not internally consistent. For example, in one sentence we hear that there were very few plants including, followed by two animals that the author knows are animals. Well then why call them plants? The beginning of the monster tale is very very slow and pseudo scientific though vaguely plausible if very obscure (I'm not bothered about fiction, but fiction has to work and be believable within limits), but the fantasy attack scenarios much later on represent a level of fictitious escalation that just don't sound authentic. It's like a Star Trek episode that turns from a film with actors into a more childish animation at the end, perhaps like Scooby-Doo.

What did make me carry on reading this yarn was the excitement it proposes for the discovery of a fantastic new species. This to me is a more worthy fantasy, and I should know as a taxonomist, just what a fantasy it is. Here is a multi millionaire who wants to actually fund the discovery of a single species, no expenses spared. Well, having discovered seven new species of squirrel, I can't see anyone queuing up to give me any money. Then there is a species committee of 12 in Washington DC who authorize the discovery of a new species. In reality, there is no such body, but it may be good if there were, given what a hard time amateur taxonomists have getting some dumb peers to allow their work to be published. Finally, new species discoveries are seen as stunning and grand. Unfortunately, there are hardly many people to do this job as it is so badly paid, and most published species discoveries happen with very little if any comment.

Here, the fantasy of new species discoveries being hailed as significant and being well funded is a true fantasy scenario to warm the cockles of any real taxonomist, who knows just how poorly recognized these people and their work is/are. I applaud the author, for writing a cracking fantasy around the theme of a taxonomic discovery that certainly does not mirror what happens in the real world, but would be worth celebrating at least in this fictitious scenario. At least to this extent, this book will win readers among the science community. I believe the book also highlights a dearth of real research concerning the oceans as we as species plunder its life forms to oblivion.
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on 12 January 2011
If you're looking for a specific, factual science based page turner, go away now. However, if you're looking for one of the most well based ridiculous concepts in the history of sci-fi, seriously, buy this book right now. I bought a copy over christmas and I was through it in less than 2 days, it reads so well, and though there are parts where I had to shake my head of some of the less enthralling chapters, altogether it's pretty well done and I enjoyed reaching the end. The characters could have used a little more emotion in some situations, and I wouldn't have minded a less typical set of characters. I think if you want to enjoy this book, you definately have to overlook the madness of the creatures involved, I did this and found it pretty fun to read.
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on 27 July 2010
This was an ok read, i selected it purely because it was a reccommendation based on my previous purchases. It was a bit like Jurassic Park meets Meg, just not was well done as either. There was a lot of technical jargon which was a bit distracting from the story and i didn't think the characters were particularly well written to be honest, no way near as good as Jonas Taylor in the Meg series. If you like books like this i'd advise you sticking to Steve Alten, a far better writer in my opinion. This seemed to take ages to progress and i felt it was a slow story, then all of a sudden it came to the climax which was over very quickly, like the writer had ran out of steam? Stick to Steve Alten, far more thrilling, scary and better stories!
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on 15 July 2009
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on 18 December 2008
This if on of the best thriller combined with science since Jurassic Park.
Brilliant book.
I recommend it to anyone who;
likes science.
Or anything along those lines.
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on 23 June 2010
A great summer read, very enjoyable. A book that builds up the pace with good writing. Great if you like those monster novels. The atmosphere builds and this creature certainly menaces.
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on 20 July 2009
It's not on a par with Preston/Child, but only slightly below Rollins. Almost got four stars, and I'll definitely be buying his next book.

Good start David
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