Friday, 15 September 2017

Book Review: Just Add Water by Hunter Shea


It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:

Just add water . . . and watch them grow!


Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .


It’s been years since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .

My Review: 
Patrick and David love nothing more than to buy comics with any spare money they earn and on this particular day, the buy a Wonder Woman comic. In it they see an ad for Amazing Sea Serpants! For just $5 you can get your own mail order creatures and grow them at home. The boys ignore that it is probably a scam and are excited when their package arrives. When it doesn't live up to their expectations, they decide to tip the contents into the sewer and forget about it. Local pets soon start to go missing but the boys don't know that their actions caused this and that things are going to get bad in a hurry. When the Sea Serpants are fully grown, they come out of the sewers to feed on everyone...

This is quite a short story, under 100 pages and it is probably the right length. The boys are just two normal kids who innocently buy something that should be a scam, unaware that the Sea Serpants will really grow and bring terror to their neighbourhood. How many times did I see silly ads in comics and magazines just like that? I never bought any and my town can indeed be very grateful! So the boys start helping by putting missing posters around town for the pets that have vanished but it is later that people are on the menu.

It's hard to say much without spoiling the story but you will never look at wasabi the same way again! It has the usual gory death toll that you would expect from Hunter Shea along with a solid monster plot. I very much enjoyed this story and hope it will appear in an omnibus of these mail order shorts that he is doing.

Read August 2017. 
4 stars.


  1. I've read the second one and it was good, but liked this one better. I had the same thought about wasabi. I also just finished another Shea book which I really enjoyed and will have my review up in a few weeks. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. I eat a lot of sushi and I usually throw out the small satchets of wasabi but maybe I should keep them just in case!

  2. I'm with Barb. Optical Delusion was okay but I liked this one better. The third book sounds more like this one so it should be full of monster mayhem in the way Hunter does so well. LOL

    1. We all need some monster mayhem in our lives! I just took delivery of the new shark one which I'm very excited for!