Sea The Mass Market Paperback – Aug 29 2002
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Things begin to go from bad to worse. A ninety-foot barge goes missing in eighty-feet of water. Two divers and necessary equipment went missing with it. Then things start breaking and people start dying. Is it the Triangle at work? Or is it giant megalodon sharks and giant manta rays? There seems evidence for both.
But Elliot manages to wade through all of the troubles and setbacks and put the puzzle pieces together. Action, intrigue, and danger flow quickly as things spiral toward disaster. Can Wages save the day and save the apparently doomed expedition? You will have to read to find out.
This was an entertaining book with a nice mix of human and natural danger. I really liked the character of Elliot Wages and wish that we might see more of him in other books although plot-wise that is not very likely. Still, it was a very enjoyable bit of escapist reading.
So I came to this one with no particular expectations. I had never heard of the author and did not check any ratings or reviews anywhere before reading it. It is a story of a search for a sunken German U-boat which was supposedly carrying tons of Nazi gold. Unfortunately, its reported location is in the Sargasso Sea, deep within the Bermuda Triangle. The story is told from the first person POV of Elliot Wages, hired to join a salvage mission to retrieve the lost gold. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that not everybody on the mission has the same goals and are even willing to kill to achieve their aims.
I found the writing style enjoyable at first as Elliot is a witty, roguish fellow who is happily sarcastic from time to time sort of like most Floridian private investigators one comes across in many a novel. The plot was reasonably good but not all that original and the first half of the book contained far too much diving terminology and methods for my taste. We are also introduced to way too many characters to keep track of and most were never developed at all so there wasn’t much to make me care about who the god guys and the bad guys might be. In the end, the surprise reveal was no surprise at all and was all too obvious from near the very beginning of the story.
I think the book also suffered from not knowing what it was really trying to be. It’s mostly an adventure mystery novel but due to the location being in the Bermuda Triangle, an element of the bizarre snuck in all over the place but ultimately mattered little. Encounters with prehistoric sharks many times larger and more dangerous than ever recorded really elevated the eye-roll factor. In addition, members of the crew kept getting killed one by one and I was starting to think I was reading a repeat of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” except on a stranded salvage ship in the sea.
I now know that the author has a number of other books and series out there. While this was an “OK” read, I don’t think I will be specifically seeking out more books by this author. If I had another free one handed to me though…I would very likely read it.
I had to force myself to get though what could’ve been a much more enjoyable story if he’d just chose other than such a myopic point of view. The plot had lots of great things going for it with a sunken sub and Nazi gold. There were plenty of twists and turns and I had a good time as far as I could, but having to force myself through the I’s and me’s and we’s, just became annoying. Plus, the tunnel vision of seeing everything through only one character made the story lose some impact.
Still, there was plenty to like, so The Sea was not all bad. Largent was still one of my favorite authors and I miss him a lot. If you like first-person, I highly recommend this.