Natural Selection: A Novel
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Natural Selection: A Novel

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  600 ratings  ·  120 reviews
A shocking biological discovery. A previously unknown predatory species. Evolving just like the dinosaurs. Now. Today. Being forced out of its world and into man's for a violent first encounter.

Weaving science and thriller in a way not seen since Jurassic Park, Natural Selection introduces a phenomenally dangerous new species that is rapidly adapting in a way never before...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published June 6th 2006 by Hyperion (first published June 1st 2006)
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Meg by Steve AltenProgeny by Patrick C. GreenePoseidon’s Children by Michael  WestSpook House by Michael  WestCryptid Hunters by Roland Smith
Cryptofiction
32nd out of 42 books — 18 voters
Meg by Steve AltenTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules VerneSphere by Michael CrichtonA Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le GuinStarfish by Peter Watts
Oceanic/marine science fiction
76th out of 79 books — 79 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jeffrey J
This one was impossible to put down. I didn't love the intro section but that was literally just a few pages. Then, wow, hard my heart racing right until the end of the book. The concept, the evolution of a flying predator, is really cool. The execution is even better. Some brilliant science here, really smart; don't know if it's real or fake or a little both but regardless it had me convinced. The characters were pretty good, too. Obviously, people don't buy these books for characters -- Cricht...more
Andrew
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Michael
This was an extremely entertaining read. What a pleasant surprise. Based on the cover I'd kind of expected pure horror; I'm just not a pure horror type, love thrillers and suspense. This book was incredibly intense. Really fun. The pages turned really, really fast. Reminded me of Crichton and Dan Brown, arguably even more entertaining. Should make an amzing movie too. 5 stars.
Tressa
I'm surprised at the one and two star ratings for this book. I thought it was action-packed and quite scary. Sharks evolving so that they can fly and hunt their prey on land? The stuff of nightmares. I really enjoyed it.
Randy Daugherty
From the depths they came, migrating searching for a dwindling food supply, as they came they grew, they changed, they evolved and they adapted, some faster than others but changed non the less.
A group of Marine biologist on the verge of making a new discovery, a new species,a world changing discovery.
If only they had known, with a brain twice the size of man and learning and adapting as it grew and explored, was this mans newest addition to the world or was it the beginning of the a new world o...more
Amy
This book was excellent! A strange creature resembling a manta ray is spotted in the Pacific ocean near the California coast where many seagulls, dolphins, and sharks have been disappearing. A team of scientists and biologists track it's migration north. They think it may be an evolutionary new species, predatory, deadly, rising from the ocean's depths, but why? What is causing it? Could it be a virus, nature's way of solving the world's over-population problem? I highly recommend this thrilling...more
Victoria
This book was either a five-star book, or a one-star book depending on your perspective. I mean, it was laughably bad in places and the whole story was absolutely ludicrous... giant, flying (air-breathing) manta rays? The “science” bordered ludicrous at best. There used to be an Amazon review posted by a “C. Gull” that no longer appears to be posted, which actually is what made me buy this book in the first place. The numerous errors that he painstakingly recorded not only made me laugh, but def...more
John Yelverton
The book started off so well with a new species of ray evolving into a killing machine and the scientists quest to find it. By the end, it just turned into a bad "Syfy Channel" original movie. Still a fun read for science fiction fans.
Dan
Terrible. Just awful. The entirety of the dialog consisted of the characters (who all have PhDs, except for one), second-guessing each other, forcing each other to explain their moronic choices to the audience, then agreeing, and moving on.

Nothing anyone did had any consequence. Characters made bad choices, and didn't pay for it. They just came close. I was willing to suspend disbelief for the ridiculous premise (I mean, come on, you have to with this kind of book), but the novel itself didn't s...more
Charles
Well, unfortunately, I didn't like this very much, and ended up scanning large portions of it. It started off quite promising and I read the first 50 or so pages very quickly. The characters seemed stereotypical to me but I've seen that in other thrillers so it didn't throw me out of the book.

To me, and others might well disagree, the creature became quite a bit less realistic as it was developed, and the action sequences took a long time to kick in. The creature is supposed to be very threateni...more
Drew
I kept expecting this book to slow down but it just didn't. The plot just flies. It's riveting and whether it was late at night or whatever, I really had to force myself to put it down. The chapters kind of reminded me of the DaVinci Code and some of Dan Brown's other books: not the best writing but punchy, highly visual stuff with tons of cliff hangers that really made you want to turn that page. On another note, I'm generally not one of those people who is prone to nightmares but this thing re...more
Cynthia
Super fun. Talk about a page turner. I could not put this down. The cover was really stupid so I didn't have much hope for the book. But this turned out to be an Amazing read. Really, really smart as well. Just love the concept: a predatory species evolving to fly. It's sort of like seeing planet of the Apes play out in real time. A lot of the writing here creeped me out in a good way. The predators, originally from the depths of the ocean, just felt real, believable, the stuff of very bad dream...more
Vicky
This is the best book I've read in years. It was thought provoking in a way fiction rarely if ever is, really well researched and as others have already suggested, impossible to put down. I loved Jurassic Park and thought this had the same fantastic combo of a great premise, easy-to-follow science, readability, and a "keep-you-up-at-night-because-it's-so-damn-real" feel to it. Just loved it.
Athena
This is an extremely interesting book that Darwin would be proud of. The characters are believable and irritating (as real people can be sometime!). This is a book that can make you think!
Tim Greaton
I was fascinated by the prospect when seeing this book cover, and I was even pleased as I enjoyed the first three quarters of this book. Not being a biologist, I was ready to accept the underlying evolutionary precepts that led to the super-beasts portrayed here. I also felt Dave did a good job presenting the characters on deck. Unfortunately, for me, fiction relies on one immovable pillar: believability within the realm built by the author; and the last quarter of the book fails completely in t...more
Reader
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Nicely Read, Kate
So I like to read monster/science thrillers, you know, Crichton and the like. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs are my particular favorites. Reading their novels have taught me a few things, namely that a good idea is not enough. This novel is an excellent example of this. I love to picture the monster in question: a ginormous flying manta ray thingy, adapted to land and lookin' for meat. However, our monster doesn't get to eat anyone until well into the second half of the book. Too long! I nee...more
Chrystal Hays
I'm only reviewing this in hope of saving someone the bother of reading it.

Bad grammar, syntax, spelling.... and made-up science really push this book over the edge. A good argument for both real, live editors and proof-readers and also for consulting with real scientists.

After the first paragraph, I looked at the jacket and confirmed it was a first novel. Not too much later, I looked again. I'm suspecting that degree in "science" is computer science.

Favorite example sentence: "Everybody's wh...more
Audrey
This was a very good and exciting book. I love books like this, monsters against mankind, or at least some members of mankind.

I thought the plot moved very quickly and the ending, oh my gosh the ending, talk about your nail biter!

I would love to see this book made into a movie, the giant manta rays would be fantastic, I've always thought rays were kind of creepy anyway, especially when you see their undersides.

Anyway I did really enjoy the story, it seemed to be well researched, I only had a pro...more
Alex
This was such a ridiculous book. The writing was atrocious, the characters were flat and one-dimensional, the "science" was laughable, and the entire premise was ludicrous.

So needless to say, I loved it.

This was just exactly what I was in the mood to read and I make no apologies for that. From the very first mention of a new species that is rapidly evolving and threatening mankind I was hooked. Honestly, this was just one of those so-bad-it's-good books.

By the way, the author used the word "lit...more
Suzanne
I agree that Natural Selection was a fun read. The writing wasn't quite what I'd hoped and there were too many typos that bothered me as well. I hated the cover, too; it looked like that typical horror crap and I never read those books because when I do, they're just not my cup of tea. But a friend who most reads thrillers assured me that I should not let Natural's cover scare me away. And you know what: she was right. This was a thrilling, riveting read with lots of huge scares, big twists and...more
Lance Howell
I just bought this at an airport for something to read while on a plane. If you've read my other reviews, you know that I really enjoy science fiction so of course I liked this one.

My favorite scene in this book is when the new species is hunting a group of dolphins and the dolphins put up some pretty good maneuvers. But the way it was written made me understand exactly how the dolphins were thinking and how confused they were. So interesting.
Greenie
This really made me forget about life for a while. I've had some awful stuff going on in my life with sick family members, lots of fighting; not fun stuff, you know? But when I dug into Natural Selection I just forgot about all of it. I found this book completely absorbing. It's a classic thriller that moves so quickly you wish you could read the whole thing in a day. It took me four days. Now back to reality.
Jeannie Sloan
Just could not finish it.I got about half way through and just couldn't go on.Too silly and preposterous.Characters are very shallow and one sided and found that I didn't like any of them very much.
It's funny but I can read about ghosts and monsters and such things, even though I don't believe in them, and have a good time.Not with this book.Don't waste your time unless you really are very credulous.
Eric
I picked this up from the library based solely on the cover. I admit the premise of a manta ray learing to fly is far-fetched but it was still fun to read. Several scenes you could almost guess what was going to happen next but overall I thought it was an enjoyable read.
Mary Lizotte
It's been two years since I heard this, but I remember well how absorbing this thriller was and I remember that I enjoyed the narrator. I don't remember whom it was though.
James
Good read it sparked some intriguing stuff. The depth in explanation and the way he described his internal details. The book sounded more real then a figure of imagination.
Ken
I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading this. The combination of suspense, intense thrills, action and real smarts and research you don't typically see that often in one package made this book outstanding. I love the basic premise - predators evolving to fly - and thought the author did an amazing job executing it. Natural Selection is the stuff of nightmares. What makes it so scary is how real it felt. This did not feel like another dumb Hollywood movie but like something that coul...more
Shari Schawo
It was good to read a creature/monster horror book. It was a good debut.
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