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
Also by this author: , , ,
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 . . . “
About Hunter Shea
About the Author
Hunter Shea is the author of over 20 books, with a specialization in cryptozoological horror that includes’The Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Loch Ness Revenge’and many others. . His novel,’The Montauk Monster, was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. A trip to the International Cryptozoology Museum will find several of his cryptid books among the fascinating displays. Living in a true haunted house inspired his Jessica Backman: Death in the Afterlife series (Forest of Shadows, Sinister Entity’and’Island of the Forbidden). In 2011, he was selected to be a part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. When he’s not writing thrillers and horror, he also spins tall tales for middle grade readers on Amazon’s highly regarded Rapids reading app. An avid podcaster, he can be seen and heard on Monster Men, one of the longest running video horror podcasts in the world, and Final Guys, focusing on weekly movie and book reviews. His nostalgic column about the magic of 80s horror,’Video Visions, is featured monthly at Cemetery Dance Online. You can find his short stories in a number of anthologies, including’Chopping Block Party, The Body Horror Book’and’Fearful Fathoms II. A lifetime New Yorker, Hunter is supported by his loving wife and two beautiful daughters. When he’s not studying up on cryptozoology, he’s an avid explorer of the unknown, having spent a night alone on the Queen Mary, searching for the Warren’s famous White Lady of the Union Cemetery and other mysterious places. You can follow his travails at’www.huntershea.com.’
I am an avid reader/reviewer of books--primarily horror, thriller, supernatural, and mystery.