My second read by Hunter Shea and also my favorite, so far. They Rise is equal parts Jaws, Pirahna, and Tremors. Shea does a marvelous job creating a tale that mixes B-move sci-fi without having any of the hokiness.
A fishing charter catches more than what it bargains for off of the shores of Miami. A strange fish, unlike anything the crew has ever seen before, lays carnage to the boat and it's passengers. Around the same time that the charter has its hands full with the strange fish, a commercial fishing boat in the area bags a couple of these big bastards and finds out that they not only can take a mean bite out of you but they also pack a nasty and lethal sting. Brad Whitman, icthyologist and expert in chimaera fish, or also known as the ghost shark, is brought in to study the captured killer and what he finds makes his bowels loosen.
Shea's characters are fully-fleshed out and extremely realistic. The dialogue is spot on and very believable. The setting and the atmosphere plays nicely inside your head as you're "hooked" into this creepy tale. I found myself being completely immersed into the story and developing a slight diversion to wanting to be out on the ocean. This is ironic, because I was planning a Caribbean vacation at the same time while reading They Rise and this story infiltrated my psyche and, for a moment, I had to shake an irrational aversion to my upcoming vacation. That's the makings of a good yarn - one that keeps you thinking after you've put it down. Great stuff.
5 highly lethal fish out of 5
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