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Sea Change

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
BENEATH THE CALM SURFACE A DEADLY TERROR AWAITS.

In the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest, two fishermen are the first to feel the heat. Then a young girl, playing innocently by the seashore--before dying an agonizing death. Now the media have a story. Reporters, scientists, and government officials are descending on the coastline, searching for a killer in the water. Re
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 481 pages
Published August 8th 2000 by Island Books (first published 1999)
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Victoria
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thrillers with an oceanic twist invariably end up being amongst my favorite. It’s an admittedly small sub-genre and one that I greatly enjoy. Powlik’s addition to the sub-genre is a thrilling one. The plot holds plenty of excitement and the characters come to life above the stock-character genre level. There’s a definite effort here to give it a solidly scientific tone with a strong attention to detail - which unfortunately can slow the overall pacing down at times. There is one major, gaping ho ...more
Audrey
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good thriller involving some deadly plankton blossoms in the sea that may or may not have been created by man and the deadly tide of these microscopic killers are getting closer and closer to Seattle!

The plot was pretty good, there is a lot of science in this book and I found most of it very interesting but it also tended to bog the story down at times.

I didn't like the two main female leads very much at all, Carol seemed to be in a rage most of the time I began to doubt if the
...more
Brian Bova
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned
Started out a bit too violent but then turned into a pretty good book. A bit extreme at times dealing with "practical* things. Navy would never send in a sub to destroy a civilian ship. Good storyline.
Scott Parsons
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This 1999 yarn by James Powlik came to my attention in a used book store. It is a riveting yarn pitting marine biologist/oceaonograper Brock Garner against a deadly colony of rare phytoplankton previously unknown to science.The setting is the Pacific Northwest, BC and Washington State.Brock is doing his Ph.D. thesis at the Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island. When the novel opens Brock is at sea in the middle of the Pacific on a research vessel monitoring plankton and oceanographic param ...more
Tom
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
I still can't decide:
Was this one "Sea Change" inspired by "Der Schwarm" from Schätzing - or, more likely, was the "Schwarm" inspired by this one.
They're just TOO similar.
It's not as bombastic. You could say: It's the Swarm without tsunamis and a bit more well-grounded biology.
The characters are as cheesy as Schätzings but thankfuly it's a good deal shorter and therefore cut out most of that greasy pathos, that Schätzing has quite overdone.
Additionally, Powlik is an actual biologist (maritime bi
...more
Cris
Aug 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t really dislike this book, but I didn’t much enjoy it either. The story is definitely the draw for this book. The characters are flat and very uninteresting which robs the story of some of its power. Several characters meet gruesome deaths, but because they were unappealing, flat and boring, I didn’t care. A reviewer called this book “an expert riff on the classic monster-horror novel,” and I’d have to agree. And while the story is pretty interesting, it would have been much more powerf ...more
Tom
I still can't decide:
Was this one "Sea Change" inspired by "Der Schwarm" from Schätzing - or, more likely, was the "Schwarm" inspired by this one.
They're just TOO similar.
It's not as bombastic. You could say: It's the Swarm without tsunamis and a bit more well-grounded biology.
The characters are as cheesy as Schätzings but thankfuly it's a good deal shorter and therefore cut out most of that greasy pathos, that Schätzing has quite overdone.
Additionally, Powlik is an actual biologist (maritime bi
...more
Peggy
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This novel is set in the Pacific Northwest, where people and marine mammals are dying after being exposed to something in the water that destroys them. The main characters are a marine microbiologist and his ex-wife, a whale sonar expert, and a doctor who treated some of the victims. The race to identify and neutralize the killer before it decimates the population in the Seattle area is complicated by an oncoming storm and the interference by other interested parties...don't want to give it away ...more
Margaret
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Ex-navy seals with a phD in Marine Biology
This book is hard reading...I have a very strong science background and even that didn't help with much of the terminology. This is the first work of fiction I've ever read that required a glossary. I think so much more could have been done with this topic. The author spends more time describing the ships and the gear than he does developing his plot. Not really a fan of this one and won't be reading any more from James Powlik anytime soon.
Liesl
Sep 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Thought this one started slow, but had a good ending. Didn't like that there was a map, but many places flagged in the story weren't on the map. Plus didn't like that everything kept getting flagged in latitude and longitude and again, wasn't on the map. Silly complaint I'm sure, but found it mildly distracting.
Terry
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I read this book quite a long time ago, but it has stuck in my mind and obviously passed the test of time. I loved that it is set in the Pacific Northwest, and I found the story to be very engrossing, even though I'm not a "sciencey" person, I was able to catch the gist of what was going on. I think I'll give this book a re read this summer.
Jim Carvin
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really like it. Thought it was imaginative, creative and the possibilities scary. I could be biased because it's locally based, but science/tech books take me on adventures.
Amy
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The prolog and the epilog were the best. The stuff in between was good, technical at times but good. I really enjoyed this book as I thought it was all figured out until the epilog!!
Allison
Jun 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Suspenseful tale of bioterrorism/red tide in the Puget Sound area.
Jeremy Hannaford
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Takes a little bit to get going but once it does, it is super engaging.
And now I know a lot more about oceanic studies and terminology so that's a plus too !
Teipu
I couldn't finish this book. The story itself is quite interesting but Powlik stuffed this book so full of technical details and biologic explanations that it confused me more than it helped me.
Cherry Brown
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great pace...very scie tific...learned a lot!
Laura
rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2017
Deek
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Dec 10, 2015
Priscilla Del Gesso
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Nov 19, 2017
Brian
rated it liked it
Nov 29, 2008
TJ
rated it did not like it
Feb 20, 2012
Witchabilly
rated it it was ok
Aug 01, 2009
Todd
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2016
Dhananjay Vasa
rated it liked it
Apr 25, 2011
Tammy Godwin
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2015
Jen
rated it liked it
Feb 23, 2011
Nicholas Sawyer
rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2013
Janeckb
rated it it was ok
Jan 02, 2016
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