Dan Schwent's Reviews > Just Add Water

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea
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Apr 06, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: 2017, 2017-books

When David and Patrick order Amazing Sea Serpents from the ad in the back of a Wonder Woman comic, they wait 6-8 weeks to receive an envelope of disappointment in the mail. However, when they dump the Amazing Sea Serpents down the sewer, they get more than their money's worth.

I'd pre-ordered this, fueled by nostalgic memories of Sea Monkey ads in the backs of comics back in the day and my fandom of Hunter Shea. Imagine my delight when it popped up on Netgalley AND I got approved for it.

Just Add Water is another one of Hunter Shea's lovably gory creature features. David and Patrick are junior high kids at the dawn of the 1980s. Like many of us who were comic nerds in the days before such a thing was fashionable, the ad for some amazing anthropomorphic pets caught their eyes. Unlike most of us, they actually ordered them. Turns out, what they got was monster eggs.

Just Add Water feels like an 80's kids' monster movie, like The Monster Squad, only with a much higher body count and ten times as much gore. While there's a dose of nostalgia, it's so smeared in gore that it's soon unrecognizable. And the early 80s nostalgia isn't limited to comics and TV. There's also a key party that goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Hunter Shea's writing continues to entertain the shit out of me. I'm convinced we would have been buds back in our younger days due to our mutual interests in comics, cryptids, and monsters in general. Now if he'd just lift that damn restraining order...

Just Add Water is a horror novella that is a hell of a lot of bloody fun. I can't wait to read the next installment in the loosely connected series, Optical Delusion. Four out of five stars.
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2017 – Shelved
March 1, 2017 – Shelved as: pre-ordered
April 6, 2017 – Started Reading
April 6, 2017 –
52.0%
April 6, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
April 6, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-books
April 6, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Koivu As a kid, I assumed seamonkeys were pure fantasy, but it didn't stop me from wanting to order some...whatever they were.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Jason wrote: "As a kid, I assumed seamonkeys were pure fantasy, but it didn't stop me from wanting to order some...whatever they were."

They still sell them. I think they're some kind of shrimp.


message 3: by Zoeytron (new)

Zoeytron Gawd, I remember those sea monkeys, but never had any to call my own. Thanks for a most entertaining blast from the past. Loved the bit about the restraining order . . . Ha!


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Restraining orders are no laughing matter, Zoeytron!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

When any half-wit is instructed to "Just add water", the first option is usually not to flush it down the toilet or otherwise dump it in the sewer. Please consider. What good would that do for your Lipton Ice Tea Mix? That'll come back and bite ya right in the ass.


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Koivu Dan wrote: "Jason wrote: "As a kid, I assumed seamonkeys were pure fantasy, but it didn't stop me from wanting to order some...whatever they were."

They still sell them. I think they're some kind of shrimp."


I didn't write that well. I was heading out the door. But anyway, yeah, I eventually figured out they were brine shrimp. Discovering that kind of deflated my eagerness, and yet the desire is still there. One day I will own and spawn and swiftly kill off (so I hear) my very own packet of seamonkeys.


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Only ten bucks! And in this day and age, it won't take 6-8 weeks to get them.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGYOIKC/...


message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason Koivu Dan wrote: "Only ten bucks! And in this day and age, it won't take 6-8 weeks to get them.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGYOIKC/..."


That 6-8 week shipping phenomena confounded/annoyed the f outta me. I suppose it was a combo of slow delivery times and use of checks as payment, which took time to clear. But all rationality aside, as a kid that felt like an ungodly amount of time.


message 9: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent 6-8 weeks might as well have been 6-8 years when you were a kid.


message 10: by Jason (new)

Jason Koivu Dan wrote: "6-8 weeks might as well have been 6-8 years when you were a kid."

I remember ordering one of those electric vibrating football games and the agony of the wait not wearing off for the entire 6-8 weeks until it arrived. It's probably why at 10 I had the heart of a middle aged man.


message 11: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent There were many times where I was waiting for comics to arrive in the mail and I thought I'd wither away and die before I read the newest issue of Captain Atom or the Fantastic Four.

The sequel to this involves a pair of x-ray specs. Now those are something I coveted as a kid!


message 12: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Apr 07, 2017 10:31AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty I got the sea-monkey's. I also had something else involving 'grow your own real crystals!'. Shesh, both grew rapidly - the sea-monkey's weren't really visible individually, but I'd see a cloud moving around in the water. And the cloud kept getting bigger. As did the crystals - I think, if I recall correctly, one I wasn't watching too carefully burst through the container it was in.

The sea monkey's did seem to last only a week or less.

Dan wrote: "The sequel to this involves a pair of x-ray specs. Now those are something I coveted as a kid! "

You wanted to look at skeletons? (reminds me of I comic I saw - Batman and Superman are standing near each other. Batman, for whatever reason, suddenly bursts out with 'with my skills as a detective, I have determined that you are Clark Kent!'; Superman looks shocked, annoyed, then stares at Batman, then you see him using his power 'with my power I have determined that you are . . . a skeleton!' (He'd used his x-ray power))


message 13: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Somebody gave me a crystal growing kit but I never took it out of the box.

Lexxi Kitty wrote: "You wanted to look at skeletons? "

As a naive kid, I assumed X-ray specs had some kind of mechanism to control the intensity. Some days it would be innards, some days just naked flesh...


message 14: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty Dan wrote: "Somebody gave me a crystal growing kit but I never took it out of the box.

Lexxi Kitty wrote: "You wanted to look at skeletons? "

As a naive kid, I assumed X-ray specs had some kind of mechanism..."

Well, if you go by Christopher Reeves version of Superman, that version (at least) had the power to gaze upon naked flesh (at least based on some jokes he'd make like 'I see you are wearing lead lined underwear today').

Truly, in a way, I'd never want to see a young superman comic/show. I just can imagine the number of people accidentally exploded by a young horny Clark Kent attempting to use his powers to gaze upon naked flesh. With a certain level of intensity - can see if you have a broken bone/less - can see what you look like naked/Clark hiccups (or gets distracted/aroused/whatever) and suddenly the person being perved bursts into flames.

That's the trouble when you have a lot of different superpowers that are eyeball based.


message 15: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I think Superman's eye-related powers would work better if they were psychic-based instead of coming out of his eyes, like clairvoyance instead of x-ray, microscopic, and telescopic vision, and pyrokinesis instead of heat vision.


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