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Book Review: Sharcano

Sharcano by Jose Prendes

Sharcano by Jose Prendes is the first book in the Sharkpocalypse Trilogy. I like my science fiction to be farfetched. I figure if I am going to suspend my disbelief, it better be worth it. Sharcano did not disappoint. 

“Shark!” Max squealed
There is a f*cking shark in that lava!”

I was expecting SyFy Channel’s Sharknado meets Snakes on the Plane, but it turned out much better. It was like when I was a kid grabbing paperbacks off the shelf at Lawsons: Cool covers, books I probably shouldn’t be reading, and I got to get a paperback copy of the Exorcist without my parents finding out that I was reading that “trash.” Sharcano is better than all that. It is like The Omen meets Jaws. Yes, there are sharks swimming in the lava that is pouring out all over the world. China suffers a tsunami after a sharcano erupts off its coast. Yellowstone turns into a sharcano hot spot. Of course Los Angeles could not be left out either. Lava sharks are on the rampage, and they eat people. As if sharks swimming in the street was not enough, they can jump…really high…like aircraft high. 

What happens next throws three groups of people together. Two rednecks from Wyoming searching for Big Foot. A Chinese boy, his grandmother, and a pilot tell the story from China. A priest, who discovers his colleague’s body, a victim of a suicide, joins a marine biologist, a news anchor, and a Chinese-American scientist. There is a whole cast of others in the story too. It’s big like a 1970s disaster movie. 

The writing is excellent, far better than a SyFy Channel B-movie. The book will keep your attention. To periodically remind you that you are reading a book of extreme fiction, Prendes hits you with an eruption of similes: The ground opened like a knife cutting hot brownies. 

Every once in a while, I am surprised by a book. I was really expecting a heavy dose of camp with Sharcano. The cover has sharks flying out of an erupting volcano at helicopters. I figured I would laugh as much as I did at Adam West’s Batman series (Lucky for Batman he had shark repellent in his utility belt). Instead, I was drawn into the story accepting the fiction as I do with a J.G. Ballard novel. Sharcano is a definite break from my usual reading. It also is also a welcome break. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun break in their reading. I look forward to the next two books in the trilogy.

(Yeah, it is a bit like Snakes on the Plane, too ; ) )

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