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Natural Selection: A Novel
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Natural Selection: A Novel

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,178 Ratings  ·  165 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
ebook, 432 pages
Published June 6th 2006 by Hyperion (first published June 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,243)
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Feb 07, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very unique way of telling the story from not only the human perspective but from the predator and sea life perspective too.

There are unimaginable predators in the lowest points of the ocean but because of a virus their food supplies are drying up. Therefore, they must go to shallower waters. They adapt, oh so fast.

Jason and his group of scientist are trying to find out why manta rays have died in captivity until the discovery of the new life form. Then all attention is drawn to learning more a
I read a lot of books. A lot. Even before I began reviewing them, I always had a book in my hand or in my bag. True crime is among my preferred genres. I don't scare or get freaked out easily. Natural Selection scared me. More than once I found myself actually speaking to a character, saying "No! Don't go there!" or "No! Don't touch it!" If I could have continued reading with my hands over my eyes, I think I would have.

Natural Selection is a cyclone of crazy action, biological discoveries and a
Oct 30, 2015 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing more enticing than finding a review that compares a book to JURASSIC PARK for me. This is so much more, and I dare say more entertaining on a lot of levels.

It takes the theory of aberrant evolution and mainlines a factory's worth of Red Bull into it. It takes one of the ocean's most beautiful and majestic creatures and dials them forward -- and backward -- on their evolutionary timeline to create a new animal that the world is not ready for.

There's no stopping the pace of the storytellin
Dec 31, 2015 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best "sea monster" books I've read yet.

This is the story of a previously unknown species - an unknown order for that matter - that has evolved in the deepest parts of the ocean for thousands of years. Due to a rising spread of aquatic disease and the subsequent die-off of their food sources, the creatures are forced to move up to the surface waters in search for prey. The older generation are unable to adapt to their new challenges, but the younger ones - with their six pound brains -
Jeffrey J
Jul 03, 2011 Jeffrey J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2015 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently a new species of ray appears off the coast of California, but this is not just a story that takes place in the sea. Terrific plot. Non-stop action. Very imaginative. Not all the characters were at first likeable or trying to work together but they had all bonded by the end. The last few chapters could have been made more understandable if there has been a map of the area. Sometimes I was confused about where the action was taking place. But highly entertaining. I would like to know of ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
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
Nov 29, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sea-creatures
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
Sep 21, 2011 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Freedman...amateur author and possibly professional biologist???

The book was chock-full of scientific reasonings and biology knowledge. It might not all have been true, but it was very convincing.

The story was different, the setting interesting, the "what-ifs" engaging.

The writing was a little amateurish at times, but it's a first novel, I can look past that for the enjoyment of a good story.

LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Of course, you have to distend a lot of belief with this one, but it's still fabulous. It's pretty much Jaws, only with giant flying Manta Rays. Yes, you read that correctly.
Jan 25, 2010 Athena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mar 10, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on audio and I thought it was great!! It grabbed you right from the beginning and kept me interested. One of the reviews I read called it a "Cross between Jurassic Park and Jaws" and that was fairly accurate. It wasn't quite "Sci-Fi" cause it was actually plausible, so it was more of a "What if..." story. The basic story consisted of the theory that creatures living at the bottom of the oceans for millions of years, were forced to the surface due to a man-made virus. Once ...more
Dec 03, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: q2-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lance Howell
Aug 30, 2008 Lance Howell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 03, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 25, 2015 Karin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant story with regards to evolution.
One of the first audiobooks that I listened to that wasn't narrated by the author. I guess that is why I tended to lose track of who's who and made listening to the story a bit confusing at times. The narrator didn't give the individuals any individuality.
May 12, 2009 Tressa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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.
Oct 01, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 20, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Would have given it 5 stars but it dragged on a little in parts. I thought it was a really cool, scary but realistic premise! They should make it a movie!
Randy Daugherty
Apr 05, 2011 Randy Daugherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2011 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jane Simmons
Jul 15, 2011 Jane Simmons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Natural Selection read like the wind. The science was fascinating; the stuff about the evolution of the brain and of lungs was incredibly detailed and well thought out yet still easy to read and understand. I could have done w/out the typos; you would think that an editor would have looked this thing over before they printed it- guess not - that's why only 4 stars. But the book moved, I mean really flew. The concept of a massive, dangerous predator evolving to fly scared the you know what out of ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2012 Jessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just plain fun. Made me forget about my life for a while. All of the scenes in this book were very easy picture to see, to visualize - you could see this new predator so easily and that made it believable and, yes, terrifying. You didn't even have to close your eyes, it was just there on the page. I really thought the concept was brilliant, yet also simple. A new species of creature evolving today. And I found the execution great as well. I am not prone to nightmares but this book gave them to m ...more
Jul 05, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2011 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2012 Cassius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page turner! As many others have said, I too, could not put this book down. I was skeptical of the hype but boy, did Natural Selection deliver. Freedman is a very convincing writer. There was just enough research here to make this unbelievable story feel terrifyingly real but not so much that it overwhelmed you with minutia. I am not prone to nightmares but this book gave them to me in spades. Natural Selection will make an unbelievable movie.
Jul 15, 2011 Danny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I see others have already commented, I too found this to be a breathtaking read. The concept was really, really cool. I was skeptical that the author, Freedman, would be able to execute it properly but he did - and then some. Natural Selection was genuinely terrifying and yes, very hard to put down. The visual descriptions were amazing too. If Hollywood could pull it off, this would make an unbelievable movie.
Jul 05, 2011 Greenie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 03, 2011 Vicky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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