Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sharcano (Jose Prendes)

(The Sharkpocalypse trilogy, Book 1)
Jose Prendes
Curiosity Quills
Fiction, Action/Humor/Sci-Fi
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: When the body of a modern-day Megalodon, the monster shark of the dinosaur age, washes up on the shores of Nicaragua, it quickly becomes worldwide news. Little does anyone realize that the shark isn't the real story. All over the world, earthquakes rumble and volcanoes wake, as ocean temperatures rise... though not hot enough to explain the massive fish die-offs, in which sea animals appear to have literally been cooked alive. Popular TV journalist Mick Cathcart, sexy single scientist Dr. Agnes Brach, and numerous other people around the world soon realize that what's happening isn't simply tectonic activity or global warming. It's something far less natural and more sinister, and it may well be the end of the world.

REVIEW: In the vein of Sharknado and other B-movie flicks, this straight-faced monster/disaster film homage doesn't even try for believability or logic or anything remotely cerebral. It just jumps into its ridiculous concept - involving sharks made of living lava - and wallows in it gleefully. The characters come straight out of the genre stock bin: Mick Cathcart's an oversexed alpha male whose family (including a frustrated ex-wife and his humanizing daughter Annie) is falling apart, Agnes is the dedicated scientist whose neglected feminine side responds to Mick's potent combination of masculine presence and vulnerability, Agnes's boss is a cold-hearted tycoon with a tragic past, and so forth. Numerous side characters fill out the story, including the obligatory good-hearted President, a priest who sees signs of diabolical influence behind the disasters, and a pair of backwoods good-ol'-boys who eat way too much page time with their redneck, lowbrow antics. The story is full of action, though it doesn't always move the plot forward, and the writing tends to be clunky and crude (literally, enough that the swear words felt like crutches rather than a deliberate style choice), with overused pet phrases and descriptions, not to mention a few winks to other monster and disaster stories. All in all, I give it credit for delivering just what it promised: a B-movie in a book. I just found the style a little too crude, not to mention the overall plot a little too long and full of side-trips, to justify a Good rating.

You Might Also Enjoy:
How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters (Mark Shaffer) - My Review
Field Guide to the Apocalypse (Meghann Marco) - My Review
Sharknado: Rifftrax Live - Amazon DVD link

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