I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.FURY OF THE ORCAS by Hunter Shea
Published by Severed Press on December 6, 2017
Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
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They call them the wolves of the sea.
From marine parks to the deepest oceans, the world’s killer whale population has turned against man and beast alike. Orca show trainers are ripped to pieces before stunned audiences. Ships are capsized. Oil rigs are bashed without mercy. What has driven the apex predators stark raving mad?
Chet Clarke has dedicated his life to preserving the health and dignity of orcas in captivity. Along with orca trainer Rosario Benitez, he embarks on a whirlwind journey across the globe to witness unconscionable carnage and uncover the mystery for the sudden outbreak of mania. Is this the start of a catastrophic pandemic? Or do the clues lead to an enigmatic experiment in the wilds of Alaska and shadow operations in a Russian ghost town? Time is running out faster than the lives of those in the path of the orcas.
FURY OF THE ORCAS, by Hunter Shea, is another of his fast-paced novels with the “nature-goes-wrong” theme. In this case, we get a close-up view of Orcas, which are actually dolphins.
“. . . they’re members of the dolphin family. I’ve always found it odd that we call them killer whales, when in reality they’re whale killers . . . “
We start with Chet Clarke and his “girlfriend/Orca expert”, Rosario Benitez, as they witness a horrific scene when a captive Orca goes insane trying to kill everyone–and itself–in the process. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the traumatizing event occurred during a special trip from the Dreams Come True Foundation: “Chet was pretty sure this wasn’t the magic moment the charity had intended for the terminal boy.”
Shea does a great job of introducing us to these magnificent creatures– “. . . apex predators that will attack anything in the sea . . . “ –and in giving a broader view on the use of Orcas in captivity. We can instantly emphasize with our two main characters, Chet and Rosario, as they describe the differences in the killer whales of the wild, verses those imprisioned in man-made aquariums for show. The depression levels, health status, and even other mental illnesses are what plague the captured Orca’s as opposed to those in their natural environment.
“. . . Orcas didn’t magically get better, not when their minds had gone.”
In a sense, this story builds upon some of the other “nature-going-wrong” books that Shea is so proficient in. While humans view themselves as being at the very summit of the food chain in terms of intelligence, cunning, and sheer power, novels such as FURY OF THE ORCAS, THEY RISE, and SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE, really make one step back and see that there are some things we just “don’t ” expect to ever happen.
Perhaps that human arrogance is our largest weakness.
“. . . there was definitely something going on when it came to the sea . . . “
This story simply never lets up in its intensity. We jump from one scene of carnage and gore to the next without pause–going along this surreal nightmare with the main characters. Their every thought and reaction become our own reality as we race along “seeing” the escalating devastation through their eyes. Never knowing just what to expect adds tremendously to the fear factor and adrenaline rush the reader experiences.
“. . . Keep everyone afraid . . . It was the mindset of all terrorists.”
Another aspect of this story that I found most impressive was that even through the blood-fueled incidents, the author is feeding us facts about these majestic creatures. While the carnage continues, we “feel” for these animals, particularly those housed in aquariums for human amusement.
“. . . the United States was home to over half the total of imprisioned killer whales . . .”
When a fictional tale can get you thinking about near impossible “what-if?” scenarios as if they were actually occurring, you’re reading something from an author that KNOWS his/her craft.
“. . . Only man was capable of mass slaughter just for the sheer joy of it . . . “
Overall, I feel that Hunter Shea has weaved an incredibly horrifying story by blending some true facts in with an impressive imagination, and plenty of gory scenes to keep even the most seasoned horror addicts’ attention.
“. . . Only crazy people insist they’re not crazy . . . “
His characters come alive through the passion he gives them and some comedic wit, a combination sure to capture the readers’ imaginations. After reading one of these nature stories, you may find yourself questioning just how secure is our position at the top of the chain. . .
“. . . They opened Pandora’s box, and there’s no closing the lid again . . . “