I love maritime horror and science fiction. Got a weak spot for it. Blame it on Jaws, which I saw at a criminally young age (thanks, mom and dad – it is okay to tell a five year-old no!), or maybe on the fact that I swim about as well as your typical…well…your typical kid who was too frightened by Jaws to go anywhere near a pool for most of his formative years – alright, you know what? Actually, yeah, blame it on Jaws.
I’m supposed to be getting ready for my summer get-away to San Diego Comic Con next week, but someone at Ballantine Books sent me a copy of Jack Rogan’s The Ocean Dark, and well, here I am hours later wondering where the time went…and questioning if I’ll go anywhere near the beach when I make it to San Diego.
The crew of the Antoinette, a gun-smuggling cargo ship out of Miami, is set to rendezvous with a bunch of Central American baddies looking to score some firepower. Naturally, a remote caribbean island far from regular shipping lanes and surrounded by a graveyard of broken, sunken ships is the perfect place to do it. It looks to be a pirate’s paradise, far from the reach of authorities, and what’s a few more ships in a veritable maze of deserted vessels? Everyone should be in and out in no time. Except that it’s not pirates that are responsible for all of those scuttled boats, it’s something else: a race of monsters from the darkest annals of myth. The Antoinette may be doomed, but if she goes down, so does the undercover government agent on board, and the Department of Defense and the FBI aren’t going to let that happen without a fight.
The Ocean Dark is a great, pulpy, unapologetic beach read featuring a mix of desperadoes, government cover-ups and bloodthirsty monsters that will prove irresistible to anyone who has ever looked across the sparkling, seemingly safe waters of a tropical paradise and repressed a shiver of fear at the thought of what might be lurking just under the glistening surface. Look for it on July 27…hopefully just in time for your own summer vacation.