Rugged adventure guide and "player" Ron Combs leads a group of thrill-seekers to an island off Washington's coast. But when devastating lava flows destroy their boat and overtake the island, Ron and his clients are forced one-by-one into the sea, where a gigantic prehistoric predator awaits.
Trapped between the lava-covered island and the huge jaws of an ancient shark, Ron teams up with his client Rachel to devise a way to keep everyone safe…even if it means sacrificing himself in the process, and finally changing his ways.
You know how you get that feeling of utter excitement when you see the plot for a book and you can't wait to read it? Then you get that deflating feeling as you plough through it, lamenting how it was all going pear shaped? Yes, that was my experience of this book.
I very much liked the idea of the book. Geological activity around the Falcon islands has increased, causing earthquakes on a small island chosen as the venue for a party. Boat owner Ron has taken the group of party animals to this remote island by boat, unaware that they are going to be stuck there when a volcanic eruption causes lava to spew out over the island. A small tsunami has already destroyed Ron's boat...and the waters around the island are being stalked by a massive megalodon. Now what is not to like about that for a b movie book plot? The idea of the group being stuck between lava and a killer shark is great. So why didn't I like it? The actual writing in this book was decent. I liked the scenes with the lava moving towards them and slowly destroying the island. I liked the numerous scenes with the shark stalking and killing the party animals, though most of the time I was rooting for the shark.
Simply, I couldn't stand most of the characters. The exception was Ron. I quite liked him and he was the one who was coming up with ideas on what to do, determined to find some way to save his clients, even when the odds are firmly against them. Sadly I hated the rest of them. Jeremy and Raul are nasty and unpleasant tossers, the girls are somewhat pathetic and I really wanted most of them to get eaten or burned to death. All these idiots wanted to do was drink, take drugs and have sex, and to be honest I find that very dull for the plot of a creature feature book. And then there was the MC Rachel. I found this self obsessed bitch to be highly annoying, rude, manipulative, and caring little for other people as long as she was doing ok. I hate that kind of selfish attitude in my MC and there was nothing nice about her at all. She keeps claiming to be this tough independent woman who can do everything the men do but every time she has a dangerous plan, she manipulates one of the men into risking their life to do it instead of her. I find her pathetic.
The author spent way too long padding the book out with things that mattered little to the plot like Rachel's mother with cancer and her being sexually abused as a child. To be honest they did nothing to make me have any sympathy as Rachel was a cold and calculating woman, so if it didn't make me like her, I saw no reason to include it all. We get a whole big description of every single time Rachel and Ron have sex. We get flashbacks to Rachel having sex with other people and every failed relationship she has had. This was so dull and boring when I wanted more lava and more shark. We also had too much of Ron's previous boating adventures which added nothing to the plot. I wasn't interested in Rachel's lesbian sex which felt like it was thrown in there to tick a diversity box rather than adding to the plot.
This was a really frustrating book to read. There were plenty of good ideas and nicely written tension and action scenes but there was just too much irrelevant stuff including continued sex at the expense of the plot. Seriously if I was stuck on this island with death coming for me, the last thing I'd care about was sneaking off for more sex! With an MC that I really despised, a supporting cast that I mostly didn't care about and sections of plot that bored me, I'm surprised that I actually finished this book. I guess I wanted to see who died but that was the only reason.
This book could have been something really good but for me personally, it just did not deliver.
Read August 2017.