Published by Severed Press on January 4, 2016
Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror
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Some call them ghost sharks, the oldest and strangest looking creatures in the sea.
Marine biologist Brad Whitley has studied chimaera fish all his life. He thought he knew everything about them. He was wrong. Warming ocean temperatures free legions of prehistoric chimaera fish from their methane ice suspended animation. Now, in a corner of the Bermuda Triangle, the ocean waters run red. The 400 million year old massive killing machines know no mercy, destroying everything in their path. It will take Whitley, his climatologist ex-wife and the entire US Navy to stop them in the bloodiest battle ever seen on the high seas.
THEY RISE, by Hunter Shea, is an aquatic-themed creature feature of mass proportions! This novel was pure fun from an 80’s-loving horror enthusiast’s perspective. We start out with an unexpected incident on a fishing vessel, when they bring aboard a horrific species of fish that few had even heard of before.
Dr. Brad (Whit) Whitley, an Ichthyologist, is one of those very few. In fact, the fabled “ghost shark” has become an obsession with him.
“. . . a chimaera fish, one of the oldest fish in the ocean . . . “
Shea’s descriptions of this monstrous species leaves the reader absolutely stunned by the sheer brutality and ferocity these creatures are capable of. They were once the ultimate killing machines in the oceans, and now something has brought them back to the Atlantic in staggering numbers.
“It doesn’t look real . . . “
“. . . That’s because it’s not supposed to be.”
In addition to the chimaera fish, we are given a cast of characters that are so finely detailed and humanly “flawed”, that they instantly feel real to the reader. I’ve always felt that Shea was exceptionally strong when it comes to characterization, and this novel offers further proof of that. In addition to Whit, we have his ex-wife’s climatologist crew, Nestor–a retired, comedic man of all jobs, and various other personnel that are all thoroughly fleshed out so as to portray their roles realistically.
“I don’t like that word, probably.”
“It’s better than definitely getting squashed . . . “
The novel starts off with the action immediately, and keeps the adrenaline pumping through each successive scene. Just as the characters are not given a chance to rest, neither are the readers. The body count and carnage continues to rise, with enough graphic depictions of the various deaths the chimaera are capable of also increasing exponentially. Still, many are positively stunned merely by the presence of the alpha fish.
“This shouldn’t even be here . . . “
Shea is in top-form with this novel of “extinct” nature returned. I honestly couldn’t put this book down due to the rapid pace, mounting action, and gore splattering everywhere at all times.
“. . . A predator with no equal. Anything and everything around them was fair game . . .”
A horror-lover’s dream, THEY RISE is a novel you won’t want to forget. With realistic characters, insane scenes of slaughter, and a mass of enigmatic killing machines, if you haven’t read this book yet, you’ll want to add it to the top of your list.