(Cover picture courtesy of The BunsyDawg Diary.)
It’s massive, it’s intelligent, it’s relentless and it’s always looking for its next meal or its next challenge.
Maxwell Baxter is intent on fulfilling his greatest ambition yet, and he is an ambitious man. He wants to build the largest floating aquarium in the world, an aquarium city, and fill it with all manner of monsters from the depths, the first being a presumed extinct Megalodon he has captured, a prehistoric monster shark currently only thirty-five feet long but destined to grow up to one hundred feet of raw, razor-toothed ravenous greed with extraordinary abilities to detect anything edible or threatening in the water for miles around.
In the midst of international financial negotiations to raise the rest of the money to complete his ARC, and with the Governor of California being entertained on his private yacht on his way to review the facility, the Megalodon escapes and begins to terrorize everything in the Pacific, ships and other sea creatures alike, no matter what their size.
Maxwell Baxter’s future rests on a knife-edge, and the Megalodon has a gigantic mouthful of them, each five inches long and giving it the capability to bite a small whale in half with one snap of its jaws.
With a Megalodon about, if you are thinking of getting back into the water, don’t flatter yourself – you’ll barely be a snack.
[Full disclosure: I received a free paperback copy from Paul Rudd in exchange for an honest review.]
In some respects, Sharc reads a lot like a B list action movie, but at the same time Paul Rudd remains fully aware of this and occasionally pokes fun of himself in his writing. The comparisons to Jaws, the allusions to James Bond, etc. show that he didn’t take himself too seriously when writing Sharc, which is a good thing. It definitely helped me buy more into the premise and just enjoy the book for what it was rather than constantly nitpick over plausibility.
Sometimes the constant changing of points of view annoys me, but Paul Rudd managed to toe the line between head-hopping and moving the plot forward. The point of view changed often enough to make things interesting, but not so much that I couldn’t connect with the characters either. In fact, some of my favourite characters include the spoiled rich boy Tyler Baxter and the diver Morgan. Both have great character arcs and are just overall interesting characters. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them amazing, but the characters were good in that they were well-developed and changed throughout the story.
There are quite a few subplots throughout Sharc, but they don’t distract from the main plot: the fact that there’s a prehistoric shark on the loose. In fact, the subplots with the development of the ARC and the characters’ struggles just add to the tension the shark creates throughout the book. With the shark, it’s like waiting for a shoe to drop because you know it’s going to strike, but you don’t know where and when. You don’t even know if you can stop it. So I suppose Sharc could also be classified as horror, in that when you think about it, the idea of a great big shark swimming around devouring humans is pretty terrifying.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Sharc by Paul Rudd. You just really have to take it for what it is: a plot-based thriller, not necessarily hard science fiction.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars.