Monday, 16 October 2017

Book Review: Hell's Teeth by Paul Mannering

In the cold South Pacific waters off the coast of New Zealand, a team of divers and scientists are preparing for three days in a specially designed habitat 1300 feet below the surface.

In this alien and savage world, the mysterious great white sharks gather to hunt and to breed.

When the dive team’s only link to the surface is destroyed, they find themselves in a desperate battle for survival. With the air running out, and no hope of rescue, they must use their wits to survive against sharks, each other, and a terrifying nightmare of legend. 

My Review: 
A two day expedition to explore the floor of the ocean is now possible thanks to the building of a specially designed habitat on the sea bed for the divers to spend a few days living in. The first sub takes the first of the team down but suddenly the lines comes loose and it lurches out of control down to the bottom. The best chance for the survivors is to get out and swim for the safety of the habitat and come up with a plan for what to do next. But as they head for the habitat they don't know what is happening above or how much danger they are in.

Up on the surface, Casey is distracted by automatic gunfire as he supervises the lowering of the first sub. As he hides he realises that the cinemaphotography team who were filming them are actually South African environmental terrorists who want to kill everyone as a lesson not to touch the ocean floor. The only chance Casey has of escaping before the bombs blow up is to  dive down to the habitat below and link up with the sub survivors. Tyler is semi-submerged at the time of the attack and is pulled down to the bottom by the cables he is tangled in. He is hoping for help on the bottom from the others but he can't help noting the number of sharks gathering in the water around him.

The survivors are now gathering in the habitat but there are several problems...part of the building is damaged and may need repairs which could be highly dangerous. They cannot use the dive suits to surface as there are no longer any decompression facilities available on the surface to use with everything blown up. The sub is damaged and unusable. The second one in on the sunken ship. Air is running out in the habitat along with supplies. And the sharks are very hungry and aggresive and are circling them...

Slight niggle-we are told at the start that when underwater, a thumbs up means that you want to surface, perhaps due to a problem. So why is everyone including the diver experts using a thumbs up through the book to signal ok? Confusing but not vitally important to the enjoyment of the story.

My main issue with the book was my particular hatred of one of the characters Nari, a marine environment expert. She is bragging about how smart she is and biting everyone's heads off at the start of the book yet makes no attempt to offer any kind of assistance with a plan. Instead she spends her time whining and bitching at everyone and expecting the men to do everything to save her. It would've been nice for her to actually use that brain she brags about to help them. However, she is there to play a particular role in the story and she didn't stop me reading on as the other characters were good.

On the bright side, this was a nicely written little ocean thriller. There was plenty going on of interest as the disasters start to kill or trap the characters and we follow what happens on the surface, under the water and on the sea bed as everytime tries to get to the relative safety of the habitat. There are tense scenes as they try to come up with a plan and a few scary action scenes as the sharks close in. There was enough to keep me interested and wanting to see what was coming up next. I liked the tension every time someone left the safety of the habitat, waiting to see if the sharks would get that character. I thought the plans they came up with were interesting and their fights with each other were realistic of how people might respond in that situation.

Overall I liked this as an undersea thriller with some shark action.

Read August 2017.
3 stars.


  1. It sure is a great cover! I meant to ask if you've ready any of Carolyn McCray's books? Her Apex Predator books are good. There are sharks and dinosaurs!

    1. Her books are impossible to get on paperback here and only ebook omnibuses are on Kindle-don't want to pay for a whole omnibus to try a new author! If it becomes cheaper or the books become available individually I might change my mind though as they sound good.

  2. Love that cover and it sounds fantastic. I love Carolyn McCray's Apex stories too. I was lucky to find them free, but I can't remember what website I was on to get them. Don't know if they were US only or not. I'll be back...

    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. It was a decent read. I'd maybe look at other books by the authors.

  3. I might have to check a few of these thrillers out. I've been enjoying the ones by David Wood and his co-authors. Thanks for sharing about these. :)

  4. this is one of my favorite covers of your ocean thrillers! Glad you enjoyed it!