Title: Shark Eater: Deck and Callie Adventure by K. D. McNiven
Genre: Currently #13812 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action and Adventure
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication Date: September 24, 2017
Source: Author Request
Title and Cover: Shark Eater – Cover doesn’t appear to project a high seas adventure
Decker and Callie Hayden are archeologists of some renown who pair up with a salvager, Dax Drake. He has unwittingly stumbled across what may be a sunken galleon from the Spanish fleet. The galleon was shipwrecked after the 1539 hurricane off the Bahama shores. Unfortunately, they uncover more than just a possible treasure. I previewed this book in my #AmReading feature on October 20, 2017.
Dax Drake has gone to request a grant to explore the underwater remains of the galleon when he meet the Haydens. The Haydens, having diving experience as well, are fascinated with the prospect of exploring a centuries old ship and what may be Spanish treasure and are invited to join Dax and Karina Gustoff, one of Shark Eater’s divers and herself a marine biologist. Decker and Callie agree to join Dax and his crew.
Meanwhile, Decker’s dad, Garrett, was preparing to remarry in Malibu and they are in the process of altering the lower two floors of their home to accommodate the newlyweds. Garrett, also an archeologist, planned their honeymoon out of Hawaii off the Hayden’s Hatteras yacht, Jade. (As the work the Hayden’s did often kept them away from home much of the time, it seemed an ideal solution to the care of the home in their absence.) Garrett is also an expert diver and is looking forward to diving in the waters around Hawaii and teaching his bride to dive as well.
No simple plot, involving both the Caribbean and Pacific locations, the book also teems with characters. The Shark Eater actually belongs to Dax and he appears to position as protagonist, while Decker and Callie offer expertise, some financial support, and professional advice. Dax and his ship run into problems almost immediately when they discover another ship anchored nearby involved in what may be illegal activities.
Meanwhile, Garrett and his bride fare no better, discovering a trail of gold coins but incurring the interest of other divers less favored with history morals.
The split plot moves along at a fast pace, switching between the Hawaii location plot and the Caribbean location plot. While Garrett (Hawaii plot) and his crew are able to explore further the gold coins, Dax (Caribbean plot) and his crew were planning strategy to pursue their antagonist.
The author demonstrates a fair knowledge of ships, equipment, and the sport of diving as well as interjecting interesting tidbits of local knowledge. However, the shear number of characters requires a playbill to keep names and locations separate. The antagonist is certainly nasty and obviously has the deepest pockets.
Dialogue is a bit stilted and dipped a little into the syrupy side of the romance between Decker and his wife and Garrett and his bride. Dax is not fully fleshed and not wholly empathetic though we do get more information on Decker and Callie. At one point, I was wondering if Decker and Callie really needed Dax at all, except that it was his ship.
Ms. McNiven slides into the climax, heating it up with some riveting action scenes. If not believable, at least pulled in all loose threads. Heavy on descriptions (“sea-green eyes,” “deep slate-blue eyes,”), a few typos, and punctuation errors in the ARC I was given, but these are all being addressed and will be corrected in a new edition to be released shortly. Recommended for action-(sea)adventure fans.
The Author: K. D. McNiven has previously written The Monkey Idol: Decker & Callie Adventure pitting the archeologists in a turbulent adventure through the Honduran jungle. ©2017 Virginia Williams