Review: Leviathan by Jared Sandman

Kept hidden from mankind forever, it is about to surface.

When it rises up, the mighty are terrified.

After a rash of violent attacks throughout the Caribbean, marine biologist Kelly Andrews captures evidence of an unidentified predator species in the Atlantic.  Something unknown to science, something altogether new . . . or else something very old. 

It makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea.

Billionaire Oscar Wright learns of the sea monster’s existence, which he considers to be the Biblical Leviathan.  Driven mad by grief, the old man devotes his vast fortune to kill the beast for a personal vendetta, harvest its hide as the ultimate trophy.

Nothing on earth is its equal — a creature without fear.

Two separate expeditions race across the ocean to find the animal.   And when it’s finally located, one thing becomes clear:  humanity no longer tops the food chain.

Review

I was a little wary about where this was going in the beginning because I’m not a religious person and I’m not fond of biblical creatures, but I told myself – don’t judge a book by its foundations Bonnie! It turns out that was some sound advice.

At the start I found Leviathan to be one of those stories that is a slow build up, taking a little while to grab your attention, and I think this is mainly because of the information dumping. I’m not used to reading stories where there is a lot of back-story and history interjected in regards to location, especially when it is in-between character interaction and action itself. That sort of style is too wordy for me and I found my attention slipping slightly when it would happen. Fortunately a few of the characters are interesting enough and the mystery of this creature is tantalising enough to grab attention once again when they come back into being the present focus.

Information dumping in this fashion isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s not mentioned to put others off. I used to read a lot of novels that would go into background and history in relation to both character and locations. Even though I can find it hard to stay focused in those areas, it still helps me appreciate how much work the author has possibly put into research, if it’s not garnered from experience in those areas. And the way that the information is shared in Leviathan gives me the impression that Sandman has given a depth of research that can be very much appreciated.

As for the creature itself and the rest of the story, I loved how it turned out, especially with what the creature turns out to be. I think that part, coupled with the descriptions of it when it was in action, was the highlight for me. It could have gone in so many directions, but it went in a direction I really enjoyed and was actually relieved by.

I also really enjoyed the character Oscar Wright being a bit of a crazy religious nut, which I’m sure seems odd to those that know me, but Leviathan isn’t a religious story. And when I say nut, I don’t necessarily mean religious fanatic or zealot, but a guy who has gone off the deep end in his grief and his belief is all tangled up in that. I come across more stories where the bad guy is an atheist and painted negatively because of that. My impressions in Leviathan on the other hand, the negativity isn’t directed at lack of religion or religion itself on the whole, but is more about man’s willingness to skew something to his own aims and to fit it into his actions. I found this also added both interesting internal conflict and interactions with other characters.

Back to my earlier point and when it comes to a slow build up; Leviathan has that and once it got past the point of information sharing, which did give a lot of insight into character, I found the pace quickened up and by the end of it I was finding it hard to put down. If you like a bit of deeper history into characters, learning about the setting it is in, and mystery then Leviathan would be a read to pick up.

4 thoughts on “Review: Leviathan by Jared Sandman

  1. “Humanity no longer tops the food chain”: that’s fabulous. A great line. I appreciated the review thank you!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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