Friday, 10 July 2009

The Swarm - Franz Schatzing

Now I am very partial to an 'end of the world is nigh, humanity is doomed' disaster novel or film, and The Swarm by Frank Schatzing is one of my favourites. A big book, with a story on a large scale, it takes you into the world's oceans amongs the creatures who live there. What would we do if the ocean's whales and dolphins suddenly started to attack shipping and fishermen? Or if previously harmless crabs and lobsters were suddenly mysteriously poisonous and started coming ashore in great waves? These are the questions that Inuit whale expert Leon Anawak has to ask himself and come up with the answers quickly, when reports of attacks on shipping start coming in from around the world and the animals that he studies off Vancouver island start display the same disturbing behavioural patterns.

So what or who is causing these disturbing new developments beneath the waves? Could it be that we have been searching for alien life in the wrong place, and it has been amongst us in our seas all along? Leon, the Norwegian scientist Sigur Hohanson, Jack Greywolf and the rest of a small band of disparate scientists around the world, frantically search for answers as time begins to run out, and the world as we know it begins to crumble. Their research also takes them on an inward journey, and for Leon particularly as he has to finally come to terms with his Inuit heritage and the sadness and tragedy of his early years.

I wouldn't recommended sea food for lunch, but a warm, hearty bowl of soup with fresh bread and a big mug of tea!

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