Reviewer Richard Bunning: Richard is an author of books ranging from speculative fiction, (SF), to adaptations of neoclassical plays. He is a national of the UK and NZ and lives in Switzerland. He is active on Twitter, @RichardBunning, often as an indie writers’ advocate. Richard reviews here because he knows the importance to both authors and readers of finding independent opinions. You can find more information about Richard by clicking on his WEBSITE
Daniel Shields has created a masterful thriller, which is not just a great vehicle for reminding us all that we are the worst predatory species on planet Earth, but also the species that threatens the existence of all others. But don’t think for a second that there is any preaching here, there isn’t. This is just a great adventure in which the human cast comes off second best to most of this book’s sentient animals.
The words flow easily, in a style that paints a vivid framework into which one’s imagination can build. I felt his words effortlessly brush me over the threshold of a Disneyesque cartoon world that became more believable with every page I turned. The figures may start out from comic invention, but there is nothing shallow about the directions in which we are drawn. The emotions are those of us all, and carry as much weighty sub-text as one finds in plenty of more familiar adult books.
If in the second chapter you can’t quite believe evolution can throw up the Great White Shark that walks tall, plays pool, falls in love with a vixen, and grows into one of the world’s most heroic figures, then within a few more pages of engaging reading you will. If you can’t quite see we modern humans as the same low life that enjoyed the butchery of the Roman Colosseum, you may soon.
This is an exciting story for all to enjoy, from reading teenagers to time worn adults. A slightly mad vision, certainly it is, but one that most can slip into. One may even grow to get a least a glimpse of why the author and his star characters are so engrossed by the game of pool-billiards. I know such a game seems an unlikely backdrop to a book that points up the evils of creature exploitation and slavery, but then I was already snookered by Shields’ story long before the eight-ball slammed into any pocket.
All the locations are well painted, especially for me an exotic beach-bar on the Island of Viti Levu, Fiji. By the time I was caught up in the interplay of characters around the cool-blue, velvet, of that bar’s pool-table, there was not the least chance of me putting down the book before its exciting end.
Obviously this book is going to be best enjoyed by those who can easily go with the flow of the absurd. If you really are not able to see the comedy in a shark riding a chopper motorcycle, or feel an empathy with an elephant watching its parent being carried away by trophy hunters, or even suspend rational belief for long enough to see yourself as some other sentient creature, then don’t bother with this book. If you are anyone else, then grab a copy and enjoy.
Click Here To Purchase Shark & The Wolf: Predators and Prey: The billiards term Pool Shark comes to life.