Author: Steve Alten
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Acquired: Netgalley ARC
Date Finished: December 31, 2014
Kwan Wilson was a high school basketball star living in San Diego when a tragic accident changed his life in ways no one could predict. He only looked at his phone for a few seconds, but that was all the time it took to crash his car into a telephone pole, killing his mother and paralyzing him from the waist down. After the accident his father, Admiral Douglas Wilson, sent him off to live with his maternal grandmother in South Florida.
Kwan’s new principal, anticipating his depression and isolation, tells him about an internship at a genetics lab in Miami that s testing shark stem cells on rats in an effort to cure cancer and repair spinal injuries. Kwan declines until he learns the beautiful Anya Patel is an intern at the lab. The good news is that the stem cells are curing their rat subjects; the bad news is it alters their DNA so much it kills them. When a promising breakthrough is made, Kwan risks his life and injects himself with the experimental stem cells altering his destiny and the lives of millions in the process.
I was first introduced to Steve Alten’s work years ago when I read The Loch. I had always been intrigued by the Loch Ness Monster and couldn’t pass up a fictional tale about Nessie. It ended up being a dark and twisted tale which I loved. I’ve always held Steve Alten in high esteem since then. So, when I saw a new book by Mr. Alten on Netgalley, I put in my request immediately.
The premise of Sharkman was a good one. Kwan is a paraplegic following a car accident. He is given the opportunity to intern at a research facility which has very promising research on shark stem-cells and the repair of spinal injuries. That is where the story went off the rails…
Like every mad-scientist tale, Kwan ends up injecting shark stem-cells into himself and is healed, but there are dire consequences. Unfortunately, the science, or lack there of, is utterly ridiculous; however, the ride it takes you on is quite fun. You have to be willing to suspend your logical thinking in order to enjoy this book. I am used to reading some really good techno-thriller authors who have tons of real science to back up their facts. Sharkman did not fall into that category. Let’s just say, it was more Sharknado than shark science.
So, with that being said, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether Sharkman is the book for you. As I said, it was a fun read and I enjoyed it, but if you’re looking for serious science, you might want to skip this one.
I’d like to give a shout out to Netgalley, Taylor Trade Publishing, and Steve Alten for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.