While I was searching for 'Beasts of the Bible', a favorite offshoot branch of cryptozoology, I came across this independent book and intstantly gravi While I was searching for 'Beasts of the Bible', a favorite offshoot branch of cryptozoology, I came across this independent book and intstantly gravitated to the awesome cover. What I didn't realize is that it was not a whale.
After doing a great deal of searching for books in a genre I had purposely ignored up to that point, that being, tech-thrillers, I was now avidly gathering as much info and knowledge to pinpoint tech-thrillers combining cryptid adventure in hopes that maybe I would like this genre afterall.
I'm glad I did. After going through about 50 to 60 books I narrowed it down to about 25 to 30 of them I would be interested in. I ended up purchasing about 12 of them and when I was in the right mood, 'coz mood is everything for me when attempting to read a book, I read 2 cryptid adventure tech-thrillers and then immediately jumped into this one right after enjoying those.
It's funny how a great deal of these books are called tech-thrillers. Not much different than how bird-watching is considered a sport. Not much sport, not much tech. And don't get me wrong, I love bird-watching. I do a great deal of it every day while drinking my coffee and resting my feet up on the patio table in my backyard with my chair leaned back.
Surprisingly, this book does have a bit of tech.
And, so. I had seen the title, 'Leviathan' and to me, it looked like a whale on the cover, and so I thought "well this looks like a nice lighthearted affair I can read on a nice sunny day". Thinking it would be about a whale, maybe with religious connections about a misunderstood beast that was being tagged with killings and destructions it had not committed.
Boy, was I wrong! About a month before this I read a really fun, action-packed book by Jeremy Robinson called 'Kronos' about a supposed vicious Kronosaurus dinosaur. I thought from THAT cover it was going to be similar in tone to Steve Alten's 'Meg', and in some ways it was. However, whereas that book I had perceived was bent more towards horror, and it did have it's share, decidedly it was not. But THIS book was the opposite.
'Leviathan' has a nice soft-toned blue cover with a picture on the back cover of a guy standing in front of an ocean mural, that looks like a straight-laced 16 yr old kid had his dad take a pic of him while visiting the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Nothing wrong with that but it lead me to believe this would be different in tone for some reason.
Well. The adage saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" had a literal double-meaning when considering my misperception of the front AND back in this case.
The book starts off with a bang, or more truthfully, a few rips, a few tears, and a a few swallows. And I'm not talking about a couple of overweight fisherman casting their reels on the dock of the bay while downing a few beers while reminiscing about old flames they had loved and lost.
It was at this moment I realized I was holding a horror book in my hands. Yes, it is still basically considered a cryptid tech-thriller but I erased the 'adventure' sub-tag and added horror to it instead.
What I was most surprised in was the fact that seeing this kid on the back cover fooled me into thinking it would be really juvenile and maybe even badly written. It was not.
This is an amazing debut! Jared Sandman is a real author writing competitive books in a field dominated by Geologists, Oceanographers, and Biolgists that retired from teaching those subjects at major colleges and universities the world over to write fiction. He has both a firm grasp on the science of all of his subjects and a natural storytelling ability that I can see possibly evolving into a very popular personage in this field of fiction.
He isn't nearly as rough around the edges as one would expect and his story is researched and well told and erased any notions I had that it would be inferior to good storytelling for lack of experience.
The characters are well portrayed and I felt I could see this developed into a good film.
I was drawn to our main protagonists, Kelly Andrews, a Doctor of Marine Biology and Evan Hale, a former Biologist and Specialist in identifying known and unknown animal species, and felt true hatred for the uncaring, heartless and original antagonist in the character of Oscar Wright, a billionaire investor and Empire all of his own making.
It was a very entertaining read. I won't give away what the creature is because that's part of the fun. I'm only going to say that if you feel this type of book would be your cup of tea, I recommend it very highly.
For you bible thumpers out there, don't expect a lesson from The Book of Job or The Book of Enoch. You won't find it here. You will find a writer in his early developments who was able to pull out an entertaining story worthy of any cryptid adventure / cryptid horror tech-thriller collection.
I'm going to be checking out some of Jared Sandman's other work. He's not a kid anymore. He's 27 years old evidently and has 6 books to his name now, one of them a werewolf novel called, 'The Shadow Wolves' that sounds kinda interesting.
*As already mentioned, check out the awesome cover. It's by artist, Ruth Taylor. You can find more of her work at http://ruth-tay.deviantart.com/ She's only 21 yrs old and producing some fantastic work herself.